Daily Archives: March 14, 2011

CNA: Heritage Training Available‏ at Plum Point

Tourism Related Training Plum Point Flyer Print March 2011[1]

The link above is a flyer for a heritage training course to be offered in the region.  It can be of value to individuals working in the tourism industry and businesses employing people.

 This session would be of great value to interpreters at tourism attractions.

 If you need more information please contact Joan Kinden or the St. Anthony Campus of CNA.

Employment Opportunity: Heritage Development Specialist

Red Ochre Regional Board is hiring on the Great Northern Peninsula. Check out the following link for more details:


Rug Hooking – Learning the Process




Getting started...


Getting started…I started on February 24th, 2011 hooking a rug, which is a week later than the other participants. They started on February 17; however, the third Thursday of the Month is very busy for me as I am attending a Board meeting for the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (cCEDnet), Nordic Economic Development Corporation (RED Board) and co-chaired an Emerging Leaders (EL) conference call. EL is a standing committee of cCEDnet. To find out how you can be involved on an individual or organization basis, you can become a member of this National CED network by visiting http://www.ccednet-rcdec.ca/.

Impressed by the progression of my classmates work, I was a little nervous about getting started. I was given a kit, frame and some printed instructions. The design we are completing is one of Ms. Hilda Pilgrim of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Ms. Gaulton, our instructor got everyone started for the evening and spent a few minutes helping me get started. This included ensuring that the Scottish (loose-weave) burlap was placed snuggly on my frame, secured with tacks. Some of the material was pre-cut. This really eased the getting started process.

Flower complete

My first task was to transfer the flower design using transparent paper and a Sharpie marker. Next I completed the border with the brown pre-cut fabric. Getting started is always fun. I filled the border using green homespun wool. The flower was to be completed next. That material wasa pink hosary or stocking. It was quite difficult to work with, maybe just because it was more challenging than the wool. I had immediately felt the wool was the superior hooking material. I continued to progress.

The four coloured triangles were completed with 1/4 inch t-shirt material. I sarted with the orange and attempted to fill every hole, however the material was a bit larger and created pulled surface. Ms. Gaulton instructed me to skip lines, not filling every hole and to think about cutting my material a little bit smaller. She re-enforced the importance of cutting a tester piece to ensure a smoother hooking process.I completed the border and realized that I needed to cut many strips to fill the outside triangles. Using the cutting tool and mat, I sat cutting all sorts of colours and styles of material to complete the “hit or miss” part of the process.

On Wednesday night, prior to my last  class the power (electricity) went out. I was working diligently on

Completing the outside border

my rug prior and waiting for Jeopardy to start. I did not let the lack of light stop me, nor would it  have in the past. I found my trusted camping lantern that goes by battery light, emitting quite the ray. I should have opted for the old oil lanterns that would have used seal oil, which sit on a table in the basement. It definitely would have taken me back to a different place in time.

This past weekend I dedicated to working on my rug. I have filled the outside triangles and have a completed hooked rug. I need to complete the edging, iron on my handmade signature tag and prepare it for wall art.


This has been quite the learning process that has taken me back to actively learning an art form that has been practised on the great Northern Peninsula for more than 100 years. I will post photos to show

I'm hooking

you my completed rug and look forward to making more traditional hooked rugs in the future. Maybe some of you will take it upon yourself to learn a past art form as well…

Live Rural Newfoundland -
Christopher Mitchelmore

A Happy Hooker – As I learn the traditional skills of rug hooking.

Sir Doctor Wilfred Grenfell, a visionary for the Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador instilled in others the opportunity for greater economic development. A visit to the Grenfell Interpretation Centre in St. Anthony illustrates many hand hooked rugs on the walls, as well as available at the gift shop. A video played notes that women should send their stockings to Labrador. This would allow the material to be recycled and hooked into rugs.

I enrolled four weeks ago into the basic mat hooking course, offered by the College of the North Atlantic, St. Anthony Campus at my local high school, which is 10 minutes from where I lived. I have a love for life-long learning, especially skills that stemmed from necessity.

The class has eleven people registered. Most are nearing retirement or are retired, some are even senior citizens. It is quite safe to say, all are older than myself with the exception of our instructor. Ms. Gaulton, a graduate of the CNA Textile studies program learnt the rug hooking process and continues to create her own unique designs. Youth like Ms. Gaulton will continue to inspire others to learn, be creative and retain elements of local culture.

Rug hooking is no longer a necessity, as it was in the past. I was told by a co-worker, women would hook rugs out of potato sacks to place by bedside to protect their feet from the chilling cold of winter. They did not have a choice not to have these skills.  Those with a high skill-level were also able to sell to the International Grenfell Association, a specialty designed rug. A visit to a Personal Care Home in Flower’s Cove brought back memories for some residents who proudly say they hooked mats for Grenfell Handicrafts. Today the definite loss to preserve our culture is more and more evident. I am curious as to why did our parent’s generation not continue to practise such a useful skill? Most did not have large families, what consumed their time? Did our parents just become victims of mass consumerism and not producers? This inability to pass on tradition has a domino effect on the future generations. Typically, one learns from a parent, guardian or close relative various skills during childhood. These generational gaps, without proper bridging will see many skills lost in the near future.

There is interest in the revival of this tradition as I continue to tell people of my enrollment, which to my excitement,  includes youth. The interest grows knowing that the course is offered in their own community. General interest courses offered at satellite locations can create an environment to learn and continue on an individual or group setting after the last class is over.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore


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