Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rug hooked by S.M.Morse

Here is an old photo of the hooked rug made by Sadie May Morse for my parents' first house at 120 Nichols St, Danvers. My mother gave Sadie many images and ideas to incorporate into the design. Sadie patterned the rug after a much smaller Swedish "Tree of Life" rug; note the branching structure in center. Above that, you can see a couple dancing – my parents swinging in a square dance, no doubt.

Click on image to enlarge 
Look closely, and you'll find many other representations of my parents and what they loved: my mother's horse, my father's sailboat, someone playing ice hockey, a horse jumping. The symbol for the Putney Ski Club (a duck on skis) is even included. My parents were skiers and had met in Putney, VT, though I don't know if they ever skied there. My mother, Janet Cutler, worked two summers in the late 1930's as a camp counsellor with the horses at the Putney Work Camp, while my father, Nick Nichols, sometimes stayed in a youth hostel there when he came to visit his good friend Al Green, who worked in Putney.

Nick and "Cut" married June 1940. Her initials JCN and his initials NPN can be seen in corners of the rug. Another corner shows the date 1940, and in fourth corner (not visible in the photo above) is the date this rug was made, 1942.  Sadie's last name is also included in the rug, but cleverly hidden.

The geometric patterns around the border of the rug and the big zig-zag lines inside provided structure to childhood games my sister and I invented. The lines were at times "roads" or tracks for little vehicles. Various shapes and spaces on the rug became "pastures" for our farm animals, and so forth. It was a very rich landscape for our play.

See my previous post for more memories of this rug and our little house, especially my father's Tiddlywink golf course using circles and other shapes in this rug as putting greens or "holes." I am writing my next column about that Tiddlywink golf game we so loved.

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