silk stockings. The roses at the corner were done in deep pinks or reds. I imagine they were reminiscent of the English rose.”
Eva Mae and Lois were taught to hook rugs by their mother and grandmother, respectively. “Nanny Parsons hooked beautiful rugs and drew the patterns on brin for her friends,” Lois wrote.
“ The fabrics used are almost all from my family, and the colours chosen were those my mother loved. She is dressed in red for her warmth and vitality, the sea is over her shoulder and, as always, her hands are busy.”
Second, in Heart’s Content, Jean Boland crafted a heartwarming tale into her rug.
“The Great Eastern, a massive ship, almost 700 feet in length and five times larger than any other ship afloat when it was launched in 1858,” Jean wrote, “ was involved in a couple of attempts to lay a communications cable from Valentia, Ireland, to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland …
“On the evening of July 28, 1866, the cable was successfully brought ashore at Heart’s Content.”
Mary Piercey of Scilly Cove (now Winterton) traveled the six miles to Heart’s Content to “see” the Great Eastern. Mary was blind.
“ Why did you make the journey?” she was asked.
“ While I will not be able to see the ship,” she responded, “I would like to be able to say to people in years to come that I touched the greatest ship ever built.”
The Great Eastern forms the backdrop for Jean’s rug.
“ When I think of the communications that routed through Heart’s Content in the years to follow, it is likely there were many other radiant smiles and, no doubt, tears as well, from those who received sad news.”
The book, Hooking Our Heritage: Irish Connections Rug-Hooking Group, is an amalgam of text and pictures. All trace the progress of the individual rugs, telling the story behind each one. Together they display the words, traditions, landscapes, songs and history shared between the province and Ireland. There are, for example, rugs depicting Irish blessings, a farrier and his horse, women picking herts, fairies playing in a garden and Celtic symbols.
On Sept. 16, the rug-hookers will be traveling to New Ross, Ireland, where the Hooking Our Heritage exhibit will share space with the New Ross Tapestries, in conjunction with the Festival of the Sea celebrations.
This book is a visual treat. It brings together in one venue a collection of original hooked rugs. The creations use textile art as a unique way of sharing and preserving stories about ancestral and cultural connections. A perusal will help the reader/viewer appreciate on a deeper level than ever before the cultural backgrounds shared by so many people.