I realized today, as I sat down to start typing this post, that my trip to Vermont on the weekend marked my 10th visit to see the "Hooked in the Mountains Show" mounted by the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild, at the Shelburne Museum. Beginning with my very first trip, with AJ, my mum, and my cousin's wife Shellie to see Patty Yoder's Alphabet of Sheep in 2001, I haven't missed a single annual show. I also haven't regretted a single minute of the 9+ hour drive each way -- it's totally worth it, to me. Whether I have taken a class, or two, taught, or simply taken in the show itself, it's always time well spent, and I consider it to be an 'annual pilgrimage' of sorts.
For me, it's a rare opportunity to see so many wonderful rugs up close and personal, that are mounted in a professional, attractive and thoughtful way. And, it's a time when I can chat with acquaintances and my fellow rug hooking peeps, most of whom I really only get to see during the show each year. I realized this weekend that I also appear to track and follow individuals' progress over the years -- and am amazed that I can recall so many past rugs and works that the same people have hooked. I really like it when I can identify the artist without looking at the description on the card.....and it makes me want to have a recognizable style, too.
One of the highlights of this year's trip to see the Show was the new program of Guest Speakers. On Sunday, we were able to take in a presentation by Ann Winterling and Peg Irish -- two rug hookers I've only known about for many years. It was wonderful to hear more about their supportive, collaborative relationship, and its influence on each other's rug hooking. Later in the day, Kris McDermet was on hand to share what she knows about hooking and braiding with silk, along with demonstrations of rug braiding in general. It was very informative -- and a lot of information was shared in a very short amount of time. Kris coauthored a recent book on combining rug hooking and braiding....and I'm looking forward to pouring over it come Christmas (thanks Mum! :-) )
It's not too late to plan a little trip to see the show -- it's still on through Sunday November 20th, and you can find out more about the planned speakers and scheduled events here.
Upon seeing the show each year, I always feel so energized and excited to start hooking when I get home. And, this year is no exception -- I will start working on Jumbo again tonight.....and get back to serious hooking for the first time in months.
This year, my mum and I took along two 'virgins': Wendie and Elaine, and it was fun to see it all again for the first time, through their eyes. Along with many of our old haunts, we also squeezed in some new places, too. It was a great girls' getaway weekend, for sure.