My house has wool tucked in every corner .  I fell in love with wool, sheep and spinning in the early 80’s and collected all kinds of wool like there would be no more.  Now in my early 70’s I am trying to find uses for it all.  I hope to finish some of the projects that have been sitting around this month..


This is one of the projects which needs to be finished   I have been working on it for years.   Each area inteminated me and certainly brought me out of my comfort zone in hooking.  Thank you Deanne Fitzpatrick for pushing me forward on this project.   WIthout your example I would have never attempted it.

I am still spinning and took up rug hooking and made many huge rugs but my supply is still there.  This year I am going back to weaving in hopes to make woolen rugs and I hope that will deplete my boxes and boxes of lovely dyed handspun.

I have found there just isn’t a kind of wool that I don’t like, even the coarsest of wool’s have uses in rug making and felting.  On a recent trip to Ireland I could not resist these wild colors at Kerry Woolen Mills.


I have started some fleece lined mittens with this wool.


 I still have 4 sheep and love the quiet life of being a shepherdess.   This year I plan to send the wool out to a mill and have it made into yarn.  It is a wonderful way for me to share my love of sheep to others.



Word has come to me that Hannah Hauxwell Of England has passed away and I wanted to share this with you.  She was 92.  She lived on a remote farm for most of her life and at age 35 after her parents passed, she took over the day-to-day chores on the farm.  In this very remote area there was no electricity or running water.  She battled poverty and hardship most of her life and did this all alone. She was discovered and  her life brought to the public eye through wonderful documentaries and her books and her life did get somewhat easier.   She carried a bale of hay on her back to feed her beloved cows.  When she felt she could no longer continue on the farm she, with help moved to a small town nearby.  Leaving her beloved cows was one of the saddest things but a neighbor agreed to take care of them.  The documentary’s can be seen on you tube and her books are available from Amazon.  She was such an inspiring woman.

Many thanks for reading Fiberuary,  please share your stories with our readers.  Contact me at


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Proddy Rugs and “Hooky” rugs

By Deb Palmer

I love all things fiber. I look forward to FIBERuary every year to see some things I may never have seen before, or learn something new. I am lucky to have been a knitter (from age 6), spinner (from 1981), and basket maker for years. I also love to make practical things most of all- I use everything I make for everyday life. Scarfs, rugs, placemats and most loved of all- hand towels.


One of the fiberarts I love is rug hooking. I have made many traditional hooked rugs, where you pull the cut wool strip up through a foundation cloth (usually linen with a very loose weave). I was given a rug when I was born, featured in last year’s FIBERuary blog, of Mary Had a Little Lamb. That type of hooking uses very fine, shaded strips. I love the look, but myself usually use a more “primitive,”wider strip for hooking. Like this:

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Even these traditional rugs (which are called “hooky rugs” in Great Britain, are fine compared to “Proddy” rugs, also known as Proggy, Clippy, Peggy, and even Bodgy” rugs in England, where in the northern area, they have been used for years and years to make a warm surface to have on the stone floors.  The Beamish Museum, located in County Durham, has a wonderful collection. They also sponsored a book titled “From Rags to Riches,” by Rosemary E. Allen.  The Beamish museum site can be found at:    Rosemary E. Allen’s book is available online ( .  For a  great primer on making them, from Gene Shepard, also available online ( Prodded Hooking for a Three-Dimensional Effect)  Proddy uses very wide strips of wool cloth- up to about ¾ of an inch, and the strips are about 3-4” long. A large hole gets made in the foundation (between threads of the weave) and the strip gets poked, or “prodded” through with a hand held tool. There are great videos and blog entries online for different methods. Just Google Making Proddy Rugs and you will find great pictures and instructions.

I make one of these every few years or so. I was taught to make them by Mary Jane Peabody, my friend in New Hampshire who has a wonderful blog, called “Mary Jane’s Rugs.” This is my favorite rug hooking blog. Here is a blog entry from her archives on finishing a very beautiful proddy rug:  Mary Jane taught me to make the rugs without a frame, using a proddy stick- she carves them out of apple wood, but you can use any wide shank-to-pointed stick or tool. There are many types of tools that people use or make. There are also several methods- either “prodding” them into the hole, where you work with the back of the rug on top of your lap, or pulling with a proddy grasping tool. Mary Jane lived in England and learned to prod there. What I love about her blog is that it is about the intersect of art, design, and rug hooking and rug making. Don’t miss it!  (

Not surprisingly, a cat will gravitate to these rugs like bees to honey. When I have been making them, the cat will get on my lap and try to stay on top of it, or if that isn’t possible, go right under it as I work on it!Displaying IMG_0329.JPG


Below is my most recent proddy mat. I made it for my daughter. It’s the second one I have made her. The first was for her cats, Hadley and Hobbs. They, of course, love it. Now, her desk has a cold spot on the floor where her feet are, and she took the cat’s rugs and moved it there this winter. The cats, however, did not like this, as they preferred its previous location in a sunny spot. (They were “hissed off,” as I say!)

So, I made her a new one for her feet, to save harmony in the home.  It is a style called “mizzy-mazzy” in England- a kind of confetti like effect. I used some yardage and some leftover fabric from previous traditional hooked rug projects, and some sale-bin polar fleece. (Weird, I know! But it lightens up the weight and gives it some glints that I find interesting in texture).

Here is a picture:Displaying IMG_0331.JPG











Mine are quite utilitarian and simple. But really, there is no limit to design and color for these rugs. Like many of my projects, they are great users of upcycled materials. You can make beautiful ones out of wool clothing found at Salvation Army or Goodwill stores. I won’t get into the full instructions here- but they are easily found online. Cilla Cameron in England is a well-known rug hooker and designer who does lovely rugs. My friend Heather Ritchie, in England, ( has a wonderful site, and I just love her YouTube video (  Heather is a truly amazing artist and a wonderful human being. She runs a charity in the Gambia, in Africa, teaching blind people to make rugs, and facilitating the sale of them to improve their lives. It’s called Rug Aid.  Check it out!


You never really know where your art or craft will take you!










Winter  Newsletter

January 2017

Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild has been around for many years.  The group offers meetings throughout the year, a newsletter to keep you in touch with events and classes.  And every other year there is Hooked in The Mountains.  It’s a rug hooking show plus a hooking in and classes.   Through the guild you can find people who will teach you how to hook in various ways, be it proddy, hooking with yarns, shading, hooking faces and animals.  Everything you need to know about hooking is contained within the members of the group. 


One of the best things about attending Hooked In The Mountains is catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.  You might meet up with them attending a Featured Artist or educational talk, attending a workshop, viewing all the beautiful rugs, shopping for the next project in the vendor area or having coffee and lunch in the café..

If you have checked out the Local Hook-Ins map on the Guild website, you know we have members spread all over New England.  It’s a great way to find a group to hook with if you are traveling or just want to visit and see what other folks are up to.. They include groups from Beaconsfield, Quebec, the Northeast Kingdom, North Hero, Hinesburg, Rutland, the Mad River Valley, Sharon, and Richmond..  Many people from Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York attend meetings too.

A schedule of meeting held throughout the year.  My favorite is the summer hook-in.

Saturday Feb 4 Hook-in (no need to register) Tinmouth
Saturday April 22 Spring Meeting and Hook-in Berlin
Saturday July 29 One day summer hook-in Rutland
Saturday and Sunday

November 4 and 5

Fall Meeting and Hook-in Shelburne

Details about each event such as guest speakers, workshops, and accommodations will be posted on the website, via email, and in future newsletters as they become available.

Looking ahead….

Spring Membership Meeting and Hook-in

Saturday April 22

Capital City Grange in Berlin


Directions: Take exit 8 off I-89 (Montpelier exit). Take Dog River Road on your left and follow about 2 miles to the grange on route 12 (6612 VT-12). Plenty of parking and it has a handicap accessible ramp.

Speaker to be announced soon.

Register at

Check out the website for further information and about joining.  Everyone is so friendly and helpful. 

Happy Hooking



Hello FIBERuary Friends

From time to time I will be letting you know of happenings in our local and New England area.

Classes at Sheep and Shawl

Fiber Arts Classes at Sheep & Shawl in South Deerfield:

Beginning & Refresher Knitting – Short Course, Linda Forget – Wed. 6 – 8 pm  Mar 30, Apr 6, 13  (3 sessions) $60 plus materials
Crochet Refresher – Heather McQueen  – Sun. 1 – 3:30 April 3 (1 session)  $25 plus materials   Not a beginner’s class.
Knit Your Dog a Sweater  –  Susan Wright – Sun. 2 – 4 pm April 3 & 10  (2 sessions)  $40 plus materials
Sock Knitting for Beginners – Emily Gwynn – Thurs. 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm April 7, 14, & 21 (3 sessions) $60 plus materials
Learn to Spin on your own wheel – Carole Adams – Sat. afternoons 1:00 – 3:00  April 9, 16 & 23 (3 session) $60 plus materials
Rughooking with Yarn – Carole Adams – Sun. afternoons 1:00 – 3:00 April 10 & 17 (2 session) $40 plus materials  No experience needed.
Helping Hands Project Class (knitting)– Emily Gwynn – Wed. 6-8pm April 13 & 20 (2 sessions)  $40 plus materials
Sweet Marguerites! (fine crochet) – Heather McQueen – Sun. 1 – 3:30 April 17 (1 session)  $25 plus materials
Two-color Brioche (knitting) – Linda Forget – Wed. and Thur. 1:00 – 3:00 April 20 & 21 (2 sessions) $40 plus materials
Helping Hands Project Class (knitting) – Emily Gwynn – Wed. 6-8pm May 4 & 11 (2 sessions)  $40 plus materials
Entrelac for Beginners (knitting) – Beth Altemari   We hope to offer this again in May.  (3 sessions) $60 plus materials

For more information please see the website Call 413-397-3680 to register.


Click on below for information on entering your woolcraft items

You still have time to make or finish you item for the contest.  Lets make the tables overflow with wonderful handmade items.


The Wheelhouse Farm Truck from Brookfield Farm in Amherst will be at the fair serving up great food.  Those of you from the Amherst area know how good their food is.

The fair is held Saturday and SUnday of Memorial Day weekend.  COme and join us to celebrate  fiber and sheep.  Lots of vendors, dog trails, sheep contests, lead line good food and lots to see  No Dogs please. 



The Linen Symposium is full with a waiting list.  I am gong to be a volunteer and will report on this highly successful event.    


This program is put on by the local ATHA group.   A unique program to keep informaion on your rugs for the future.



August 20, 2016

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Shelburne/Buckland Community Center

53 Main Street

Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts  01370



The 4th Annual Region 1 Rug Registry will be held in August

in the picturesque village of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.


Region 1 of A.T.H.A. has undertaken this service so that

rug hooking artists can preserve and document their heirlooms of the future.


The Registry is not limited to A.T.H.A. members.

It is available to all rug hookers and owners of hooked items.


The form below should be used to make your appointment.

Return it to:      Diana O’Brien,   PO Box 310,   Shelburne Falls, MA  01370-0310



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Region 1 Rug Registry Appointment Request


Name ____________________________________________ Tel _________________

Address ____________________________,______________________,____,_______

E-Mail ________________________________________________________________


___ Number of Items to be Registered    (Fee is $10.00 per item.)



A Hook-In will be held at the same time & in the same facility as the Rug Registry.

The fee will be $10 per person; beverages and goodies will be provided;

bring your own brown bag lunch or order something delicious from a local establishment.


___ I will be attending the Region 1 Hook-In (A prepaid $10 reservation is required)

___ I will not be attending the Region 1 Hook-In, only the Rug Registry


Upon receipt of your appointment request, a Rug Registration Form will be emailed to you.

Fill out as completely as possible.  A trained volunteer will review the form with you at your appointment.


The item(s) must be physically present.  Digital photos will be taken.


The fee per item is $10.00 payable to Region 1 of A.T.H.A. due at the time of registration.

Thank you so much for reading and following FIBERuary.  You have made this a successful event.  I will keep you informed of wonderful events in our area.  Happy Fiber hunting.  Carole-Whispering Pines Farm