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Rug hooking
"Crow" by Susan Sharpe of Mashpee, Rug hooking, 2015
Cranberry Rug Hookers' Guild
Dennis, Massachusetts
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Cranberry Rug Hookers' Guild
West Harwich, MA
Rug hooking fits into the "waste not, want not" mentality. Using recycled wool from clothing and remnants from textile mills, rug hooking was once common in households along the eastern seaboard in New England and Atlantic Canada. The technique is still used to create colorful floor rugs, table mats, pillows, and wall hangings.

Rug hookers work on a small frame, using a hook to pull strips of cut wool or other fiber through a loose weave, such as burlap. "I's like coloring with wool," says Kathy Blake Parker, president of the Cranberry Rug Hookers on Cape Cod. The guild, which is a chapter of the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists, meets at bi-monthly #&34;hook-ins"&; to work on individual rugs, learn from each other, socialize, and do a "mat swap," a version of a gift swap game.

Some women use commercially produced patterns while others create patterns of their own design. Many of the guild members re-dye their wool. In addition to the pleasure had in creating something of beauty, guild members comment on how comforting rug hooking can be during life's changes, like a daughter going off to college or the death of loved one.

The guild displays their work at the Barnstable Fair every summer and also produces the Biennial Cranberry Rug Hookers Guild show in mid-May.
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