I've been mulling over how I'm going to show you my new hobby, which I am now admitting is.............................. 'matting'! Some call it 'rag rugging. And there are different types of matting, of which I'm going to show you one today, and one tomorrow.I was very impressed that some of you guessed! Sorry if you were hoping it was going to be quilting, or needlepoint, or tatting, or felting, or batik painting, it's none of those! Though there's time for those at a later date, isn't there?! That last sentence might tip Hugo over the edge, he's surrounded by my hobbies enough as it is, without me adding more. I must admit, it's taken a couple of years for me to finally succomb to the temptation of matting. That's how long I've really, reeeaally wanted to take it up. I refrained from starting a new hobby, because I already have a yarn stash the size of Everest, and am consumed with my knitting and crochet, and thought I wouldn't be able to fit something else in. Well I have. I juggle hobbies now.
I first came across Proddy matting and Hooky matting when Hugo and I visited a place called Beamish. The lady in the photo above is making a Proddy mat, some call them Clippy mats, it just depends where you're from, I'm going to call it a Proddy mat, because you 'prod' a hole in the hessian, and push one end of your fabric strip through, and then a small space along, you prod another hole, with your pointy prodder, and push the rest of your fabric strip through. You work from the wrong side of your mat. If you were to turn the lady's mat over, you'd see a 'pile' effect, like on the cushion cover I made below.
I was constantly being reminded of matting when I went to the Agricultural shows, in the Summer months. There would often be an area in one of the tents, with a group of ladies demonstrating matting. I just found it fascinating, and enchanting.
I was inspired by their wonderful creations, and their naive quality. I took my first tentative step towards finally committing to matting, by approaching the ladies, enquiring how I could learn to make my own mat.
The first two Sundays were spent learning how to do a Proddy mat, over the remaining two Sundays, we learnt how to do a Hooky mat. I prefer the Hooky mat technique, you can get more detail, and sort of 'draw' with the strips of fabric.
Here you go, the tools of the trade! You've got the hooking tool on the far left, in the photo above, and the prodder in the middle. The scissors are shaped specially for trimming the pile, on a proggy mat.
Actually, this is the worst part of the whole matting process, it's unbelieveably time consuming and dull, but very neccessary, unfortunately.
Hugo just asked me "when is it enough, a pile of rags?" I said, "when it reaches the ceiling". Hugo replied, "or fills two rooms, maybe?"
Well, dear readers, tomorrow I'll show you my Hooky cushion cover if you like? It's easily my favourite of the two cushions, and I prefer the hooking technique (such an unfortunate term for it, don't you think?).
Ta-ra then. Love Vanessa xxx