Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Experience With Barb

In all honesty I felt a little intimidated going to my very first Barb Carroll rug camp, well  maybe even the second and third class too, lol. After all she was this icon who had worked side by side with Emma Lou Lais, designed several rugs, had been published numerous times and had a dye book.  But I've always found Barb to be this very down to earth and classy woman with a great sense of humor and with loads of talent.

I remember my first class like it was yesterday, yet it has been 8 or so years ago.  The pattern I chose for that first class was Kinderhook Basket, a design of the original antique which Barb owns.

Her new students had been forwarned that she would use only textures in the pattern so took colors which are me....earthy and old looking. Barb used most all the wool I took.
While at the color planning station (she works with one student at a time) she asked me what I thought of the color purple.  Told her I wasn't fond of the color.  She said that purple was a neutral ~  and guess what..... purple went into my rug.  Still makes me chuckle today and now take purple wool with me because I know it will go in my rug. My thoughts on purple have certainly changed and now the color is endearing as it brings back fond memories of my first class with her.

If there is a lesson to be learned by someone else's rug she will call the other students up to share the learning experience.  The classes held on Woolley Fox Lane are small, only 5 or 6 people so there is a lot of individual attention.

For you folks attending your first class with Barb you are in for a wonderful surprise.  Ya know how one forgets what color goes where when you get home?  Doesn't happen with a Barb Carroll class.  Barb has a special way of providing your color plan by using colored pens which are indicated with a snippet of the color which goes there. Magnificent technique, wouldn't you say?
Just a remember before you go to your first class with Barb.... she will use only textured wool.  That means plaids, checked, herringbone, stripes, etc.  Those overdyed mottled (but still flat) wool is NOT considered a textured and she will not put that in your rug so don't bother taking any.

Until taking classes with Barb didn't really know how to use textures; but boy does it really make for a better rug.  With each of the rugs I've hooked from a Barb class I can see the lessons.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll post pictures of all the others rugs I've hooked with Barb.  

Those of you going to a class with Barb next month will have an awesome time and I'm envious that I won't be there too.



  1. Kinderhook is a beautiful rug. Because of Alice Fraizer, I've used purple in a couple of my rugs and I am NOT a purple person.
    The Barb experience sounds wonderful. Too bad I was uninvited to attend a workshop.
    I'd love to see all the rugs you've hooked with her.
    Hugs :)

  2. I look forward to seeing your other rugs.

  3. Such an awesome experience! Can't believe how fortunate you've been to take from her so many times! Emma Lou came to Utah once when I was a very new hooker - I'm so glad I got to meet her!

  4. It sounds like a wonderful class and I do like using prim purples.


  5. What great experiences you have had with barb,,,, great memories, ,,, love the first rug you did,,, take care,,,

  6. Pearls of wisdom from a great teacher.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Love those textures !

  7. I that rug and now I will us purple more.

  8. I am the same as Lauren. I use purple because of Alice Fraizer. All of my birds have purple feet

  9. I've had the pleasure of learning from both Emma Lou and've perfectly described her as down to earth and classy...truly a delight! and always just a bit of purple...

  10. I do love this rug and the colors are awesome. Thanks for allowing us to share in your experiences.

  11. I like purple: the color of witchcraft and royalty, which historically are pretty closely entwined. It looks great in your rug. I never thought of it as a neutral though so find that intriguing. It certainly works so don't doubt she's right.


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