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TitleConcord, New Hampshire, Temperature in 2020Designed byPeg IrishHooked byPeg IrishDimensions30" x 22"Materialsyarn on cotton Monks clothStart to Finish2021Share

Concord Temperature Rug

COVID was not kind to my creative juices. I dabbled with improving my knitting skills and played around with paper quilling but didn’t accomplish anything of interest. But while poking around on the internet, I discovered Temperature Blankets, mostly knit or crocheted. These items document temperatures for whatever location and time frame are desired. It seemed like an interesting way to create an abstract design. I decided to try it with rug hooking using squares of color. I chose 2020 high and low temperatures for Concord, NH. I obtained official weather records from NOAA. My temperatures ranged from -7 degrees to 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

I chose a color of yarn to represent every ten-degree range (90’s, 80’s, 70’s, etc.). I did not select a smooth gradation of color because I thought that would not be so dynamic, but I did stick with the notion of warm colors for warm temperatures, etc.

On my temperature rug, the months begin with January at the top with the days proceeding from left to right. In months with fewer than 31 days I have placed a gray square at the end to fill out the grid. High temperatures are above low temperatures.

I drew squares on my Monks Cloth backing with 31 squares across and 24 squares down (a high and a low for each month of the year). I identified by number what color each square would be, based on the records. Then I began hooking. It was fun to see the project develop. Unlike other “random” geometric designs, the location of each color was predetermined by “Mother Nature.”

Of course, there is a serious side to this piece, since it is documenting the warming of our climate. My piece, by itself, does not illustrate change, but a series does. If you are interested, check out The Tempestry Project on the internet for a more rigorous approach. And you might also enjoy seeing how others have approached the temperature blanket by searching Facebook or the internet.

More rugs by this artist

About the artist

I grew up in California and enjoyed dabbling in a variety of crafts. I was unaware of rug hooking until I moved to Madbury, NH in 1979. My husband’s aunt visited us there and thought I needed hooked rugs in our old farmhouse. I took a one-day workshop with Joyce Crabtree and in 1980 I began taking rug hooking classes with an amazing teacher, Lois Dugal of Dover, NH.

Since I had no art training, I was thrilled to be able to produce such lovely things. The technique of rug hooking came easily for me. It was the first craft where I thought I could excel. I was attracted to the notion that it is simple to make changes – love that reverse hooking! I was also captivated by the textures and colors possible in rug hooking.

After working with a few patterns, I knew that I needed to create my own designs. Without a facility for drawing, I depend heavily on the use of my own photography, as well as on basic geometric designs.

I am fascinated by the various processes that comprise rug hooking: the kinds of tools, the array of fabrics, and methods for dyeing these fabrics. I have enjoyed experimenting with these new techniques and materials. I have also been keen on combining rug hooking with other techniques such as felting and embroidery for a mixed-media approach.

I am pleased to be a member of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild over the years. I have given talks, attended workshops and generally have appreciated being a part of such a talented community of rug hookers. I was delighted to be chosen as one of the featured artists for the 2014 Hooked in the Mountains exhibit.

In 2012 my husband and I moved to an apartment in a retirement complex, which required some major downsizing and a shift in how to use our space. One of the consequences was the need to limit my ability to dye materials. I have expanded my use of ready-made materials, especially yarns, which have so many different colors and textures. This is aided by the lovely yarn shop not far from my home!