Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tin Pedlars

I've been away from my crafts and my blog for a few weeks, although not by choice. I had a bit of an accident one day after kayaking. I was putting my kayak on the roof of my car and it attacked me! I ended up with severly pulled thumb and wrist muscles, and was wearing a half cast for 2 weeks. No rug hooking! It's better now but will be awhile until it has it's strength. I'm back to rug hooking and stitching for short periods of time though...just not opening jars!

I attended the Tin Pedlars (ATHA) meeting last Saturday and met a wonderful group of women. There are male members but they were hiding that day! The guest lecturer was Mildred Cole Peladeau who recently wrote "Rug Hooking in Maine 1838-1940". She is a wealth of information about the history of rugs in this area, and provided us with a slide show full of wonderful old, old rugs. She spoke of the beginning of rug hooking in Maine and the maritime Provinces of Canada. The first publication that acknowledged rug hooking was from the Mechanic Association Exhibition in Portland, Maine in 1838. The first rug ever to be awarded first prize in this country was a rug made of homespun yarn on a handwoven linen base at that fair. She also spoke of the Waldoboro Maine area and it's influence in sculpted designs. That pleased Jackie Hanson, who is a member of Tin Pedlars and a master at the Waldoboro sculpted technique. Marilyn also spoke of the tin patterns created by Edward Sands Frost, who lived in this area and peddled his patterns door to door in the late 1860's. Our home was built in 1762 and I can envision him coming to the door to sell his patterns. It's possible...he wasn't very far from here! Marilyn was asked why she stopped her book at 1940, and she said that when the war began, rug hooking stopped for a few years as women were needed for the war effort..."Rosie the Riveter" didn't have time or material for crafting. She is researching the history of rugs after 1940, and loves the thrill of the hunt for information. But she said she doesn't like to write, and she's not a "spring chicken" so I don't know if we will see her publish another book. I can only hope, as I am a history buff. By the way, marilyn doesn't rug hook and has no interest in it! Here are some photo's from the meeting. They include the original (one of a kind) shuttle with attached spool used by E.S. Frost, as well as some wonderful hand crafted hooks. There are also a few pictures of rugs completed by the members.