Fall 2005

Rug hooking, one of the most colorful early American crafts, is enjoying new popularity with today 's skilled artisans. Examples of the best of this traditional art form will be demonstrated and displayed at the fourth annual Newtown Hooked Rug Show on Saturday, November 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane in Newtown, in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut. Members of the Nutmeg Chapter of the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists will give continuous hooking demonstrations throughout the day, using a hand hook to form looped pile from fabric strips or yarn, the same technique once used by pioneer women to provide floor coverings with scraps of fabric from a rag bag. Members will also display some of their prize creations, and visitors to the show will be able to vote for their favorite. Last year over 160 pieces were displayed. Appraisals will be available for contemporary hooked rugs. Available for the first time this year. The many attendees who are already among today 's enthusiastic generation of rug hookers will enjoy a talk by gifted artist Rae Harrell, who will discuss the design and use of faces in rug hooking. They may also enroll in a two-and-a-half-hour workshop on the Waldoboro tradition of hooking, an advanced technique that produces a three-dimensional effect. It will be given by well - known instructor, Jackye Hansen, author of a new book, Willing Hands, Waldoboro Hooked Rugs for the 21st Century. Advance registration by September 15th is required for the workshop, which will be limited to 15 people. Some 35 vendors will be on hand offering a great variety of rug hooking supplies, including by-the-yard wool, pre-cut wool, dyed wool in every conceivable color, linen (for use as backing) dyes, hooks, patterns, cutters (cutting machines to turn wool into useable narrow strips), books/literature, lap frames and other wood products used in hooking, finished rugs and commissions for custom rugs. A tasty lunch will be available for participants. Admission for the event is $7 (children free with an adult), with proceeds benefiting the Newtown Meeting House. For information, phone 203-270-8293. For more information on crafts and other nearby attractions, and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area contact Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, call 800-663-1273, or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.