Monday, March 31, 2008

Small is Beautiful

In the same way that people need to follow a “War and Peace” type read with something light and frothy, I have always punctuated my large hooking projects with something quick and small. I need that “instant gratification” as much as I need the “time-you-spend-is-worth-it” projects.

From the time I started hooking, I was also dreaming up the small things to put between the large ones. It satisfied me in more ways than I originally thought. Not only was it the quick hit I needed to design, hook and finish something in a short period of time, it usually turned out to be something that didn’t need to stay on the floor. And every time I took a hooked project out into the public, be it a purse or a pin, people reacted.

For example, a couple of years ago I hooked a belt, created entirely out of leftovers. It was inspired by a long piece of backing that was too narrow for anything else. (In case you haven’t noticed, I am a frugal hooker - I hate to waste anything.) This led to another belt, shaped this time, which was a gift for my favourite niece. And these two projects seemed to open a part of my brain that realized there were just as many hook-able small things are there are knit-able, paint-able or anything else-able. So, a hat followed which used leftover yarn and wool and had a knit top. Then came the Jeanius purses, which have taken on a life of their own.

Next came my baby signs which I have featured on the blog earlier. They are now my official baby gift and have replaced the hand-knit sweaters, which were lovely, but also outgrown in less than a minute. Unless the baby changes its name, these signs are forever. These are also perfect for pampered pooches.

Coasters were always on the radar screen. Or, as some people call them, mug rugs. They can be custom designed, or just hooked on a regular basis to create a stash for gift giving. They are truly beautiful, and one friend I gave a set to put them on her wall in a collage, which looked amazing. Who knew! The picture of the cottage icons in silhouette is a bit blurry - my apologies.

The other picture above is of my latest little creation - hooked belt buckles. These were inspired by my friend Karen’s buckles, also featured in an earlier entry. Her buckles are definitely unique and a fabulous gift, but they got me thinking that I could do some hooked ones as gifts for my pals as well. So I sourced a supplier and hooked a few to see how they looked. These are only 1 5/8 x 2 ¾, so you can whip up a bunch in no time. I’m pretty darn pleased with the results. I'll post them again, once they are on the buckles.

In the hooking community, there are many of us who are fond of these little projects. In fact, I will be doing a showcase at Trent School of Rug Hooking in June - following up on my one from last year on my Jeanius Bags. I’m presenting an array of things that are “not rugs”. The idea is to allow people to choose a couple of small items they can design and hook in a week and take with them when they leave. I also think it’s a great way to promote the idea of hooking as more than just mats.

I have several other ideas that I’m going to create prototypes for, which I will feature when they are real. I think the possibilities are endless. And lots of fun.

Which supports the theory that good things really do come in small packages.

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