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All good things end

Last day of the 8th Triennial.  Excellent coordination by board, wonderful friendships formed by 182 members, more workshops, lecture about Emily Carr the rughooker/treasured artist, fibre demonstrations.

The Gala Dinner with featured speaker Robert Bateman whose message was “be authentic to yourself.. break the stereotype” and the Founder’s Cup was awarded to Susan Feller.

TIGHR Founders Cup
TIGHR Founders Cup
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Day 3 Triennial

The triennial continues with more workshops, a panel discussion “Approaching a Design”, luncheon speaker Vancouver textile artist Michelle Sirois-Silver, General Meeting, evening lecture “Colour” by Gene Shepherd, rug exhibit take down.

Village Ladies Matmaking by Heather Ritchie, Great Britain   Original design hooked recycled and dyed fabrics wooden hooks attached
Village Ladies Matmaking by Heather Ritchie, Great Britain Original design hooked recycled and dyed fabrics wooden hooks attached

Acceptance of new board headed by Heather Ritchie, based in the United Kingdom. The theme for 2016-2018 is “Returning to our Roots”.

Afternoon wanderings, dine out, develop friendships and plan for Day 4.

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Monday at Triennial

Breakfast for all was delightful, off we went to workshops, excursions including a  private viewing of select Emily Carr rugs and twined pieces and the Robert Bateman Gallery , panel discussions (videoed for our archives), lunch together and more of the same variety of fibre/art experiences for the afternoon.

The rug display opened in the early evening to members and invited guests in the region including Jan Ross from the Emily Carr House, dinner was on our own with new friends.

Sylvia Olsen presentation
Sylvia Olsen presentation

This day ended with a presentation by Sylvia Olsen: the Coast Salish Legacy including knitted sweaters and historical images as she wove the story of handwork supporting families.

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8th Triennial Begins in Victoria

180 of the nearly 300 members have converged in Victoria, BC. Sunny weather, beautiful Inn at Laurel Point, colorful welcoming committee and instant friendships abound.

Our Meet and Greet included the exchange of friendship mats resulting in new friendships. The rug display includes the mats, special theme Emily Carr and her influence and a wide variety of techniques, sizes and designs.

Monday will be filled with workshops, panels, guided museum tours, meals and friends.

Follow along on the Facebook page TIGHR the International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers and/or sign up on the right side here for more posts from the event.

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In Memory of Emily Carr

Emily Carr in Studio
Emily Carr in Studio

On March 2, 1945 Emily Carr died. Vancouver author, artist (fine and craft including rug hooking and pottery) she was born in Victoria, BC, the site of our Triennial in October. Her birth house is a heritage site at

During the Triennial we will celebrate Carr’s modernist style with hooked works inspired by her paintings and subjects of First Nations’ lifestyle, spiritual nature landscapes featuring the forests and lonely trees of the region in a members’ exhibit with details at Theme Exhibits.

Some pieces worked by members are:

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Triennial Registration Opens Jan 8

Emily Carr Red Tree by Sunny RunnellsRegistration begins this Thursday, January 8, 2015 for the 8th Triennial of TIGHR to be held in Victoria, BC October 4-7.  The Triennial will be upon us before you know it. Excited? Looking forward to face-to-face meeting with your online friends? Register beginning January 8.

Visit  2015 Victoria, BC the Triennial main page for links to panel and workshop descriptions, 8th Triennial Registration Form  and a full schedule of events to prepare your paperwork.

For those who can write a check in Canadian dollars or acquire a bank draft in Canadian funds complete the registration form and submit your payment and form with a postmark beginning JANUARY 8.

IF you will be paying using the online options of a Credit Card or PayPal account the payment process opens on January 30. BUT you are encouraged to still fill out the form with your choices of workshops (up to three), and any of the panels and/or excursions you are interested in and MAIL IT IN beginning January 8 also.  Circle the $400 member’s fee (and guest fee if applicable) and indicate on your form you will be paying online as of January 30.

The postmarks will be used to prioritize assignments of workshops.  You will be emailed when your form is received.

Questions, email the Registrar, Sheila Mitchell at

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December 4 Int’l Hook-In Day

Twenty years ago on December 4, 1994 the formation of The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers (TIGHR) was proclaimed in England.  In celebration of this anniversary and to further our mission statement “come together in friendship to share ideas, and to explore the different techniques of the art of rugmaking using a variety of fibres” we have declared DECEMBER 4, 2014 as the International Hook-In Day.

Let’s spread the word to fellow rugmakers and plan a local event to publicize our traditions in the 21st Century.  Comment below on your plans.  Create a display at a local library and demonstrate at a community center.  Take your project to work for lunch break, bring a mat to be whipped while watching your child play a game after school, go out to tea with a friend and talk about a new project.

Rug Hooking Magazine will be featuring this event during November on their blog and on Facebook December 4.  We are looking for people to post images from Sydney, Australia across that continent to Perth on to Tokyo, Japan to the United Kingdom and Spain then across the Atlantic to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, the Eastern United States all the way to  California and  Victoria, British Columbia the site of our 8th Triennial October 4, 2015.

Comment below if you are willing to upload an image on December 4 or before.

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New Season, New Events

September brings changes in family routines. The rughooking community is gearing up too with exhibits, celebrations, shows, and gatherings around the world.  Check out our Calendar on TIGHR.NET

Narwilly Ruggers of New South Wales, Australia
Narwilly Ruggers of New South Wales, Australia

Australia will be entering Spring on September 5 celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Narrawilly Proggy Rugmakers with a tea and reunion at the Rug Room in Milton, NSW.


The Strathalbyn RugHooking EXPO October 11-12 will be the third time workshops and exhibits fill the town in South Australia.


Village Ladies Matmaking by Heather Ritchie, Great Britain   Original design hooked recycled and dyed fabrics wooden hooks attached
Village Ladies Matmaking by Heather Ritchie, Great Britain Original design hooked recycled and dyed fabrics wooden hooks attached

The United Kingdom can be a destination all Fall with the Knitting and Stitching Shows popping up around the Kingdom.  The largest is October 8-12 in Alexandra Palace, London where Jenni Stuart-Anderson will demonstrate rag rugging, recycling into mats.

Wool Festivals are in a variety of communities in Great Britian, Cilla Cameron can be found at a few and co-coordinating the Reeth Retreat with Heather Ritchie in the Yorkshires mid September.


In the United States October 15- 18 Hooked in the Mountains, Essex Junction Fairgrounds, Vermont  exhibits hundreds of hooked art pieces, special features of Rachelle LeBlanc and Peg Irish’s work

October 25- November 29 Hooked Art 2014 at The Gallery, UConn, Stamford, CT will be the largest collection of contemporary hooked art curated by Liz Alpert Fay and sponsored by Newtown Hooked Art Shows Fumiyo and Mr. Kangaroo 


October 24-30 24th Annual Rug Hooking Exhibit, Chinzanso Hotel, Tokyo, Japan coordinated by Fumiyo Hachisuka


web-size.jpg  Culminating the excitement is December 4 The International Hook-In Day celebrating TIGHR’s 20th Anniversary.  Call up a fellow fiber friend and go out for lunch, tea or a chat with your rughooking.  Demonstrate at a local library or community center.  Set up an exhibit of hooked work in a gallery.  Promote rug making around the world.  Use our site for background information and links.  TIGHR.NET

Forty friends off to eat
Forty friends off to eat

It is not too early to make financial and calendar plans for the 8th Tri-Ennial of The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers to be held October 4-7, 2015 in Victoria, BC Canada.


Rug hooking Canadians in all provinces hold exhibits, guild meetings, and workshops search Canadian Rug Hooking.

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8th Tri-Ennial details coming together

The Inn at Laurel Point, Laurel Wing and pond
The Inn at Laurel Point, Laurel Wing and pond

New details for the 8th Tri-Ennial of TIGHR, October 4-7, 2015 have been posted on this site Tri-Ennials/ 2015 Victoria

Daily events and the international session leaders are listed along with the host hotel site : The Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria, BC.  Return to this page and the others which will be added describing sessions in detail along with the registration process.

Members receive the first notices describing the session projects and opportunity to register through our newsletters.  We hope you review this information and decide to JOIN The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers for the long term.  This triennial event is only one of many benefits of joining.

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What’s in a Name? a lifestyle? hobby? traditions? Contemporary?

Words influence the attitude one assumes when discussing their craft. Is it a profession, hobby, social/psychological/creative outlet? We are educating in casual conversation even with an initial title……. rugger, fiber artist, rug hooker, matter, hooker, textile artist, traditional rug hooker. Recently our international membership responded, many describing their mindset for the terminology:

Susan Sutherland, Ontario, Canada
“If someone asks me what I do, I generally say I’m a fibre artist and I use traditional rug hooking as my preferred method of creating my art. If I want to have someone ‘stop in their tracks’ I tell them first I’m a “hooker”, and then I qualify it and say I’m a fibre artist and I use traditional rug hooking methods that our pioneer mothers did.

There is so much misconception about rug hooking with strips of fabric that I find I’m always clarifying what I do. I sometimes say ‘I don’t knot nor do I use short pieces of wool yarn’, especially if someone says ‘Oh yes, I did that when I was a child or in school’. Most of those who say this in Canada are remembering latch hooking.”
Fritz Mitnick, Pennsylvania, USA
“I imagine most Americans say “I am a rug hooker“. I do proddy also. I also thought about our guild name. I never say the full name. I say the international guild or the international guild of rug hookers. Maybe I should start doing it right!
Of course my husband always introduces me saying, “This is Fritz. She is a hooker.”

Judi Tompkins, Australia
“Obviously I’m a “hooker”….and I usually explain that to be a great hooker means that I am a good stripper…..ah how I luv the ashen looked faces I see!  Clearly I am the crazed, white-haired ol’ lady…. Sometimes – when I’m trying to be “nice” or “professional” I’ll ID myself as a “traditional fibre artist”….which means I don’t fall into an immediate category of “hooker” (many think of latch hooking) and opens the dialog about the spectrum of how these 3 words might be defined/applied.”

Heide Brown, British Columbia, Canada
“I say “I’m a Hooker.” Which always gets giggles or weird looks till someone, me if I’m alone, qualifies the term to — “Rug-hooker.”
I like “Rugger”  — my friend here calls herself a “Matter” and our weekly hook group “Monday Matters”. (NOTE: TIGHR’s newsletter is called “Hooking Matters”)

Jenni Stuart-Anderson, Herefordshire, UK
“I call myself a rag rug maker or designer/maker depending on where it is.
I have not heard the term “rugger” here in UK, maybe rug maker but that could be a weaver. Of course everyone sniggers when I say hooker, even if the term is American.”

Lynne Hunt, British Columbia, Canada
“I think we all struggle with the term hooker. I find here on the Coast most folks think of latch hooking and the shag rugs of the seventies. I tell people I am a fibre artist (gulp). It is a fine art practised at many levels. Whether you design your own work or work with the designs of others, there is so much more in what we do. I tell people I make mats, for the wall, the floor, chairs, tables- only limited by your imagination. I explain that I use a backing of burlap or linen, strips of fibre, mostly wool, new and recycled and a hook similar to one used centuries ago. I explain that the process involves colour planning, maybe some dyeing and choosing textures and materials for your work.
So I am a mat maker in the tradition of our pioneer sisters, creating something functional and beautiful.”

Elizabeth Soderholm, Virginia, USA
“My husband loves that I call myself a hooker and it always grabs folks’ attention.  Gives me a chance to talk about this wonderful fibre/fiber art.  My boss (who is from Mississippi) will ask me on a Friday, in his lovely Southern drawl, “You goin’ hookin’ this weekend?”  It’s probably the best way to bring attention to our craft outside of schlepping our rugs and other projects around with us.”

Liz Alpert Fay, Connecticut, USA
“I call myself : a textile artist or sometimes just an artist.
I make: hand hooked rugs and mixed media sculpture.”

Sarah Province, Maryland, USA
“I call myself a “fiber artist” and our medium “hooked fiber art”.

Jane LeBaron, British Columbia, Canada
“I variously call myself a hooker and braider, a quilter and bookbinder and general fibre freak. I am fully confident that upon one brief look at me people understand my intended context in use of the term “hooker”…

Rachelle Leblanc, Alberta, Canada
“I tell them that I am a fiber artist and I make fiber hookings.”

Mary Watson, Washington,USA
“I say, “I’m a fibre artist and paint with wool”.

Dianne Tobias, California, USA
“Since I came to hooking through braiding I introduce myself as a fiber artist then say I am a braider and a rug hooker. That seems to somewhat limit the usual jokes!”

Sheila Stewart, British Columbia, Canada
“I use the term fibre artist and then say I am a rug hooker.”

Linda Rae Coughlin, New Jersey, USA
“I tend to work with this statement, the response changes depending on who I am speaking with, i.e. fellow artist vs. a layperson.
I am an artist whose medium is textile. I create with the technique of rug hooking/stitching using recycled clothing and materials.”

During the 2009 Tri-Ennial held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA we asked attendees the terminology they used to describe favorite fiber techniques. Miriam Miller, an Australian is a rugger and spinner; Susan Feller West Virginia, USA a fiber artist specializing in rugmaking techniques; Kim Dubay, Maine USA fiber artist; Jacqui Thomson, Australia a rugger and spinner; Iris Simpson, Ontario Canada a Hooker; Yvonne Muntwyler, Ontario Canada a Fiber Artist in rughooking medium.