A Tribute to Helen Brown

I have been so remiss this fall in recording the monthly tributes we have at Sunshine Rug Hookers Meetings. I have managed to be absent for every first Tuesday so far. Fortunately, another rug hooker took some photos of Helen Brown’s hooking and sent them to me so I can share her lovely work which was featured on the first Tuesday in December.

Helen hooked with a group in Toronto until moving to Orillia a few years ago, and we are so happy that they decided to move north. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She has a daughter living in Halifax, and travels frequently to the east coast, often taking classes with Deanne Fitzpatrick in Amhurst. She says much of her hooking reflects Deanne’s influence. These playful, colourful maritime houses and the treatment of the water all reflect the Fitzpatrick style. (as well as the high freeform hooking which I seem incapable of doing….although I have tried).

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This was Helen’s first rug. She told me she ordered the pattern ( by Ann Hallet) from Rittermere’s because she liked it so well, never realizing she would one day be hooking with Ann in the same group. I’m sure Ann was pleased to see this lovely interpretation of her pattern too.

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A striking wall hanging with the faceless people so characteristic of Deanne’s style, as well as the skillful use of so many colours and shades of green to create the grass. Helen is also a skilled knitter, and made the beautiful sweater she is wearing .

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The piece on the left is a closeup of a portion of a red trillium, inspired by another workshop with Deanne Fitzpatrick.

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Her ‘in progress’ abstract piece which at first glance seems to be in blue…..but…..

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On closer inspection, has a myriad of related colours.

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….even the youngest present was fascinated and needed a close up look.

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Regular readers will be familiar with this unique piece. Last June Helen travelled to Cornwall and took a week long course with Dianne Cox and Sue Dove. This is the result….a deconstructed version of a favourite recipe of her mother’s (I watch the Food Network, that’s how I know the term “deconstructed” ). The recipe itself is written in the bottom right. Her story of the creative process they went through during the course was fascinating.

Helen is always ready to try new and different techniques. This one for her milk weed pod combines her hooking and knitting/crocheting abilities.

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She started by crocheting the shape of the pod into the backing. She then picked up the crocheted loops with a circular knitting needle on one half, and knit the shape of the pod. This was then stuffed with “fluff” and then knit down to create a 3 dimensional milkweed. It was finished by hooking the top with “curly locks” yarn.  I wish I had another photo to show the full effect and the wonderful 3 D milkweed pod.

Our Christmas Pot Luck and Hook In will be on Tuesday, and we’re all going to experiment with hooking alternate fibers. I’ll make sure I take my camera!

2 thoughts on “A Tribute to Helen Brown

  1. Wonderful tribute to Helen Brown. I too aspire to hooking in the Deanne Fitzpatrick technique but am finding it quite difficult to “loosen up” . Thanks for lovely images.

  2. What amazing work! Your tribute is so lovely Elizabeth! Helen I hope I can see all this some day in person. I’m so sorry I was not able to be there for this meeting. Wow!

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