We’re now posting information about our workshops so others, beyond Olde Forge, can know more about what we’re up to.
You’re more than welcome to participate if space is available, and following an initial registration by our members. We keep wait lists, and sometimes they can lead to a second class. To register, contact us at workshops@ottawarughooking.com.
Check back often as the workshop news will be updated as workshops are confirmed or opened to registration beyond Olde Forge members.

This section lists virtual workshops available as of April 2021

Sue Grant: 20 Ideas for Beautiful Backgrounds for Olde Forge — Sign-up deadline April 23, 2021

Tentative Dates: Thursday, May 13 and/or May 27; Saturday, June 5 and/or 12

Two hours (exact time to be confirmed), which includes a slide presentation, followed by Q&A
Min and max: 24 per session; we can repeat if enough interest
Cost: $10 per person

(I’ll follow up with people once we land the necessary numbers)

This two-hour presentation looks at different types of backgrounds, some involving particular hooking techniques, others a type of woven or dyed wool and others a design element: straight line hooking, meandering with spot dyed wool, the annagodlyn technique, the stained-glass technique, echoing, blocking, a geometric background, luminosity, luster and more. As well as the “how to”, the presentation touches on what is achieved through each approach. A question and answer/discussion period will follow the presentation.
There are approximately 120 slides, with 3-6 examples per background style. Included are rugs we’ve seen in Rug Hooking Magazine or Celebration, as well as pieces that Sue has done herself because she wanted to know more about the technique. Sue also has a handout, sent out in advance, including a bibliography, and the slides are curated brilliantly.

In her professional life, Susan taught high school and adult education for the Halton Board of Education and Sheridan College. She has taught rug hooking for the Martina Lesar Hooked Rug Studio and for a number of guilds in Ontario. Her rugs have won many awards and in 2018 Sue became a member of the Celebration Hall of Fame having 6 of her rugs selected for Celebration Magazine.

Cindi Gay: Virtual Online Workshop (VOW) for Ottawa Olde Forge — Sign up deadline: April 30, 2021

Eight Saturdays, Oct-mid-Dec 2021
Cost: $225 US (approx. $280 Cdn)
Minimum of 10 people (5 per class) required. If more are interested a second session can be offered

Please note that this workshop has only a few spots remaining.

These workshops are very limited in size, with only 5 people per workshop. You meet 4 times, roughly every two to three weeks, so you have time to work on a project between sessions. Each session is one hour in length and you can ask specific questions about your project – about 10-15 minutes of direct time each class; however, you also gain from the discussions between Cindi and fellow participants. In addition, there’s a ‘sister’ workshop that you can also attend. While you can’t ask questions, you’re privy to all the discussion with another 5 people, their projects and questions, and Cindi’s experience and expertise.

You can hook whatever you like – no specific pattern or style or technique. You may want to choose something that is special to you, perhaps a piece you find difficult to hook or one that could use the help of someone with a depth of knowledge and talent. That said, if you’re new to hooking, Cindi can help you as well (which you’ll see in the link below). Wherever you feel the support is best – composition of the design, colour planning and hooking – that’s where you can focus.

Even better than this explanation is Cindi’s during a recent show and tell of a couple of VOWs. You’ll see a range of works and hooking experience – and how you can make this workshop what you choose it to be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AABHaBjCbk. Some of our favourite pieces from the show are the sea landscape (about 13:20 into the video), the Wisconsin piece (17:35) and, of course, the two dogs (41:25). It’s a bit of a long video and it was tricky to orchestrate both seeing the pieces and the rug hookers, but it captures what people learned and valued from the workshop.

To provide more insight into Cindi’s style of teaching, here’s the description of her three-day retreat at Sauder Village’s Rug Hooking Week this year, in August: https://saudervillage.org/classes-events/special-events/rug-hooking-week/retreats/cindi-gay-retreat

All workshops listed below have been postponed due to Covid-19

Karen D. Miller: Bring Your Photos to Life: Rug Hooking with Yarn – Postponed!

Date: Saturday, March 28, 10:30 – 4:00

Location: Wool n Things, 1439 Youville Drive, Ottawa (Orleans)

Cost: $100.00, which includes yarn, linen and handouts.

(Note: this is basically the Nature and Landscapes class but with a different title so if anyone is interested in the Nature class this is the class you want to take.)

Min class size: 3

Using your own photos you will learn to look at the world differently in order to find inspiration for rug designs in unexpected places. In this workshop we will go through the entire design process in-depth: from finding and editing a composition, getting your design on backing, basic rules of art, colour planning, values and shading, choosing the best yarns to work with and how to rug hook, and ideas for finishing your piece. Students will apply what they have learned to their own small hooked work of art that can be based on anything from landscapes, close-ups, architecture or abstract design. This information packed class emphasizes fun, creativity and artistic freedom!

Contact: For more information or to register, you can contact Karen D. Miller directly (not the store) by email at marzipanroad@bell.net or by phone (613) 715-2676. A deposit of $25.00 will be required on registration with the balance due at the class. The deposit is non-refundable other than in the event of the instructor having to cancel the class.

About Karen D. Miller

Karen has been a hooked fibre artist for 13 years and has been teaching various rug hooking workshops to both adults and children for the past five years. Her work has been exhibited and won awards at a number of venues across Canada and the United States, and has been in publications in North America, Europe and Australia. Her first book, “Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool” was published by Ampry Publishing in November, 2019.

Loretta Moore:  Canadian Molas – Postponed!

Date: Saturday March 28, 9:30 am — 3 pm

Location: Maki House (Gravelle Room), 19 Leeming Drive, Ottawa

Cost: $35 plus HST ($39.55); linen backing and wool available and sold separately

Now open beyond Olde Forge! Max of 6 spots remaining

Min class size: 8
Max class size: 12

This class will cover the history of Molas, technique and symbology, as well as how to adapt this to a more Canadian theme and colours. With that base, we’ll then create designs and transfer them to linen. Loretta will bring pre-zigzagged linen in appropriate size and wool but suggests that everyone bring their own scraps as well because this style lends itself really well to using scraps. The small class size lends itself to lots of hands-on assistance with Loretta in the design of your pieces.   (As a side note, a mola is the intricate needlework designs and motifs that form the panels of blouses worn by the Kuna in Panama. Loretta has wonderfully Canadian-ized this art form.)

Karen D. Miller: Hand-Woven & Hand-Hooked – Postponed!

Date: Thursday, April 16, 2020, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

Location: TBC;  likely Karen’s home in Orleans

Cost: $65, which includes all materials

Min class size: 4

In this workshop you will take your creativity to the next level by learning the basics of yarn weaving on a small hand-held loom to create our own woven backing, and then rug hooking into it!

Creating your own hand-woven foundation allows you to experiment with the colour, texture and even the shape of your backing material, which in turn adds to the overall design of your hooked piece.

Prior weaving and/or rug hooking experience is not required.

For more information or to register you can email Karen at marzipanroad@bell.net.

About Karen D. Miller

Karen has been a hooked fibre artist for 13 years and has been teaching various rug hooking workshops to both adults and children for the past six years.  Her work has been exhibited and won awards at a number of venues across Canada and the United States, and has been in publications in North America, Europe and Australia.  Her first book, “Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool” was published by Ampry Publishing in November, 2019 and is available through Rug Hooking Magazine and on Amazon.com.

Karen D. Miller: Pointillism & Paint: Exploring New Techniques in Rug Hooking – Postponed!

Date: Thursday,  April 21, 2020 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Karen’s home in Orleans

Cost: $100, includes linen backing, yarn, paints and handouts

Min class size: 3

Working from your own photos (or your imagination!) you will design and create a 5″ x 7″ piece that combines various types of paint with yarn rug hooking.  The piece that you create can be abstract, realistic, or a combination of both.  This class emphasizes play and experimentation, and most of all having fun while you let your creativity soar!  Topics covered in this class will include the basic rules of art, colour planning, values, shading and shadowing, the possibilities and limitations of each medium and tips and tricks for hooking with yarn.
You should have some experience rug hooking but it is not necessary that you have previously hooked with yarn.
A $25.00 deposit will be required at registration.  This deposit will be non-refundable other than if the instructor needs to cancel the class.
For more information or to register you can message or email Karen at marzipanroad@bell.net.
About Karen D. Miller

Karen has been a hooked fibre artist for 13 years and has been teaching various rug hooking workshops to both adults and children for the past five years. Her work has been exhibited and won awards at a number of venues across Canada and the United States, and has been in publications in North America, Europe and Australia. Her first book, “Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool” was published by Ampry Publishing in November, 2019.

Molly Colegrove – Postponed!

Stylistic rug hooking: Hooking for effect / Building of a barn or architecture in landscape

3 days : Friday, May 22 – Sunday, May 24

Now open beyond Olde Forge! Max class size is 15; only 4 spots left

Approximate Cost: $300-350 (depends on class size and accommodation costs)
Deposit: A deposit of $150 to hold your spot will be required once your registration is confirmed; balance will be due by April 1. First come, first served. A wait list will be created.
Location: Britannia United Church, 985 Pinecrest Rd, Ottawa

The above two titles were used to describe Molly’s sessions at Sauder Village and Green Mountain. Molly combines a variety of techniques to achieve interesting effects in her work, regardless of the subject. She likes using a variety of cuts and also a large variety of mixed materials including various yarns and fibres.  Most of the time she never sticks to a single cut of wool, but prefers to mix everything up.  She’s happy with any choice you make as regards cut of wool and preference of fibre though.

The following description is from the Green Mountain class info and applies to Molly’s session with us:

This workshop will introduce new techniques and materials to create different effects. Molly has been experimenting for the last few years with quilted skies, felted animals and rocks, and beaded sparkle so the sky’s the limit. Students will explore different techniques that may compliment their design, such as adding mixed media, yarn and quilting to offer dimension and interest. At the end of the workshop, students will feel comfortable with new techniques for use on future rugs.

Students can bring their own design, or use one of Molly’s. Students are welcome to select one of many photos of barns Molly has taken over the years, or bring their own pattern to work on, or both. Molly will offer a variety of fibers including handspun yarn of many types, roving, and mixed media pieces from wood and porcelain. Feel free to bring along any and all supplies that will make a rug come to life.

This is an Intermediate class. Students must have basic rug hooking knowledge and experience. Students should bring a frame, scissors, cutter, and any wool or yarn they find interesting.

For more or scroll below for Molly’s bio and some examples of her work:



Susan Feller: Appliqué, Embroidery and Hooking – Postponed!

3 days: Friday, Oct 2 – Sunday, Oct 4

Location: Britannia United Church, 985 Pinecrest Rd, Ottawa

Approximate cost: $300-350 (depends on class size and accommodation costs)

During this three-day workshop, participants will learn about new techniques to enhance traditional rug hooking, including the use of appliqué and embroidery. From the illustrations (refer to upcoming workshops on our website for more), you’ll see how Susan uses the appliqué in a less typical style, such as splicing hand-dyed wool appliqué to incorporate hooking, and embellishing with hand embroidery. Susan will take us through her design process and once we’ve created our own designs, we’ll then see which techniques work best in the execution.

This workshop is less about hooking a pattern; instead, it’s more about designing and determining techniques and materials to achieve our vision. Note that this is a workshop for those with some hooking experience; however, you don’t need to be advanced, only keen to stretch the possibilities.

For more about Susan and to view some of her work: https://artwools.com/susan-feller/. Also, Susan was featured in the recent 2019 Nov/Dec edition of Rug Hooking Magazine. You’ll see examples of her appliqué, embroidery and hooking there, as well as on the workshop info our website.

Examples of Susan’s work:

Summer Bouquet, pattern available through Green Mountain Hooked Rugs (Ruckman Mill Farm design)  Note the basket is made with a continuous plait (see detail at right), all else is hooked.

Snowy road, yarns in foreground, embroidery on trees, appliqué roadway, painted sky (whiter than image)

Seneca Rocks #3 applique, hooked, embroidery, painted linen … this appears in the Nov/Dec Rug Hooking Magazine article along with many other dimensional tree pieces

Example of appliqué, embroidery and hooking. These were made to document the work of the McDonald sisters of Gilmer County. The back of their work has stitches outlining the motifs. Susan mimicked this in the mate to floral design.

12 x 18 stuffed flowers with embroidered details, hooked background.

Mountaintop Removal, the hooked section has silver wire and is able to be detached from the stuffed cotton batik “mountain” and used as a necklace. This can be brought to the workshop. Framed 17 x 12

Sue Perry: Flips, Slides and Turns: A Tessellation Workshop – Postponed!

Date and location: November, 2020 – exact date and location to be confirmed once Maki House dates are secured with the City

Cost: $40-60, depending on class size and assuming Maki House is available

Min Class Size: 10
Max Class Size: 15

Come and explore the world of tessellation! We’ll begin by using one of three basic shapes to design a tile. Using the tile, we’ll experiment with different ways it can be moved to create a pattern for a rug. We’ll then look at different ways to design more complex tiles and how to move those. Finally, we’ll prepare a template for your rug.

Note: This is a workshop about design and how to create tessellations; not a lot of hooking will be done, but you’ll have your pattern and at a minimum, be ready to hook. Sue has provided a few examples of tessellations – just some of the possibilities!