Rules of the game.
The rules of baseball; I thought I knew them. Sometimes in my early twenties I would play mixed games at the Tidnish ball field. I was never a dedicated ball player. The obvious sign was that I sometimes wore a skirt and t-shirt when I played. But I liked to play. I just got bored in the outfield, and never really understood the importance of the pitcher. I was clearly cut out for other things.
Baseball is on the tv in this house every night. Last night my husband asked me if I knew the rules and I said yes. Then he told me some of them. It seems I only knew the obvious not the tiny, almost secret little rules. Just the guidelines of the game, that was all I knew.
And you know with those guidelines, I was able to easily play at the local field. All I needed was the basics. Though I have to say it was interesting to learn the finer points. I always loved my chance up at bat, though I am not sure my teammates ever felt the same. All I needed to know to play with them was how to bat, how to catch, and how to be bossed around and told when to do things.
It is all you ever need to begin. You cannot wait until you know everything about something to begin. We learn when we do, when we play, when we get lost in the making of a day. Trying to remember all the rules won't prepare you for something. In fact it might get in your way.
This is true in making anything, and in hooking rugs. If you want rules you can always find them. But if you want really good rules for hooking rugs you can make them for yourself. In this way hooking rugs differs from baseball.
When we hook rugs we learn what it is we like. We learn what certain wools or colours can do. We decide how we like our rugs finished, mounted or framed. We get to create our own rules about how we hold our hook, how high our loops are, whether or not we turn our work. There are all kinds of little things about which rules have been made but these are not really rules for everyone. You should hook how you like to hook. Hook in a way that feels easy and natural to you.
You can just jump in and hook rugs. You don't have to be picked for the team. There is no waiting on the sidelines hoping that this time you are not the last one picked. Oh I so remember this, being the runt of the litter and trailing off after the others. You already made the team. No wonder I like hooking rugs.
There is just one stitch. I learned it in five minutes. You can too. If you already know you can teach someone in five minutes. Art does not care if you wear a skirt to the game, because it isn't a game, it's a process. It never ends. There is no last inning. You just keep making. And you don't need to know a lot of rules to hook rugs. You can discover them as you go. You can even make them as you go. And as the great California Art teacher once said about rules in art, "There shall be new rules next week."
- Deanne Fitzpatrick