Wednesday, January 11, 2006

These books are not reviewed in any sensible order, just by which book seems to jump out at me when I go to the bookcase. Today's book is a book and a box - a book that is encyclopedic on all kinds of needlework and a box that is full of patterns for all of those kinds of needlework. Despite the inferior placement of the chapter on hooking (I, of course, think it should be listed first), I think the seventeen pages devoted to hooking are some of the best pages about hooking available anywhere.

The book is the Woman's Day Book of American Needlework by one of the foremost female authors throughout American history, Rose Wilder Lane. Rose was the only daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who authored the Little House series of books about her pioneer childhood (Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, etc.) Rose offers the most interesting history of rug hooking I have ever read, and it's flavor, wording, and information seem to show up over and over again in every newer history that has been published since 1963 when this book was published.

There are some wonderful pictures of antique rugs that don't seem to appear in too many other books (other than the Kopp book), but in addition to those pictures there are paper patterns of some wonderful rugs. There is one pattern right in the book with instructions for hooking it - its the marvelous old tiger that was once on the cover of Rug Hooking Magazine, hooked by Margo White (who is an outstanding hooker and designer and advocate of primitive rugs from Indiana).

The book is usually sold without the box of patterns, and vice versa, the patterns are usually found without the book. I was very fortunate some years ago when a very kind member of Yahoo Rughookers sent the hooking patterns to me. The book shows up on eBay every so often, but sells more reasonably when it is not identified with rug hooking - look for it and the patterns under needlework. If I was compiling a rug hooking library for my own enjoyment, not for instructing others, this would be the next book I would purchase - after the books I've already reviewed. If the Deanne Fitzpatrick book hasn't changed you into a designer-of-your-own-patterns, I would search for this book of patterns - hooking the rugs in the box could keep me busy for quite a while.

1 comment:

Carol in Pa said...

I really enjoy reading your recommendations! Keep 'em coming!