Inside the hooking room: hidden treasure

It’s probably one of the least-known perks of any Annual. And yet it has a special role…

I’m talking about the ‘Hooking room,’ somewhere I have yet to visit but am adding to my must-check-out list for next May.

“We have seen how our members will find a space somewhere and create a small hooking area so they can visit,” explains Jayne Nevins, the OHCG Annual Advisor, when I ask. She confirms that a hooking room – or designated open area – is provided at most OHCG annuals, and has become a popular tradition among attendees.

“Friends and acquaintances get to catch up, as sometimes they only see each other at each Annual,” she explains in an email. “It is also a place for hookers to rest their weary bones during the weekend!”

Joan Shouldice, the lead for this aspect of the 2018 Annual in Ottawa, agrees. She notes: “It’s … good to have a place for people who can’t walk a lot” but want to share in the Annual’s buzz and creativity. She also thinks it’s an opportunity for those who favour traditional rug hooking to gather “in fellowship”, since some of the 2018 workshop sessions lean to more contemporary approaches.

Here are some great reasons to visit the hooking room:

  • Peer learning — The room is often full of experienced rug hookers who are happy to share their knowledge in a friendly, informal way. I’m told it’s a great way to ‘see what’s going on out there in the rug hooking world.’ And there’s nothing like seeing what others are working on, and hearing tips/advice firsthand, to boost your own craft knowledge.
  • Quiet refuge — It can be a peaceful place to park your bag(s), sit and sip a quiet cup of tea and take a break from the noisy bustle of workshops, vendor booths, displays and hallway chatter. You can work on a piece you’ve brought along or newly acquired, or try out something you’ve just learned about. On the other hand, the room can be lively, the laughs a bit raucous and the pleasure of gathering totally infectious!
  • Be inspired — As well as admiring the work of fellow visitors, you can gaze in wonder at the digital images of 100 amazing rugs and hooked items from past annual gatherings, courtesy of OHCG. See the craft’s traditional roots and more contemporary approaches.
  • The not-another-project solution — If you’ve been hooking for a while and have more than a few unfinished projects tucked away, the hooking room is a guilt-free zone. You can work on what you please, compare shopping finds, discuss new trends/techniques or just chat. No need to start yet another new project, and no pressure.
  • Designated meeting spot — Notify friends that you’ll meet them in the hooking room, much easier than making your way through halls, exhibit space and lobby trying to find them in the crowds…

See you in the loop,
Marla, Content creator

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About ottawarughooking

Olde Forge Rug Hooking Branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada will, together with other branches in Area 1, co-host the 2018 Annual of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild.
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