Amidst the getting ready, I am hooking houses. T-shirt houses. This is a totally new medium for me. It has taken me a while to figure out the optimum width–and the general answer is that narrower is better–easier on the wrist and neater loops. But that said, each t-shirt has its own properties, its own heft and stretchiness, and needs to be tried out first. You can see that I have not made too much progress. That is because I have pulled lots out–to recut, to find a more suitable colour, to rethink. I actually really like t-shirts and am learning how to work with them. But they are not wool. They don’t come in subtle colours and interesting textures. They are for the most part bright and solid. And they don’t rip like wool. At all. Many have to be cut, painstakingly. If you are lucky they rip easily, and I have found the best t-shirts are the ones without side seams which rip around and around, like peeling an orange.
All this is because I am preparing to teach hooking in Kenya. Many thanks to all the local rug hookers who have donated burlap, hooks and t-shirts. We will have lots for our first project–and from there we will see how it goes. How wonderful it would be for the women to start a small business making mats and bags. Right now it is a dream…I will keep you posted.