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Hooking a Dynamic Duncan Workshop


Kathleen Harwood  Hadley, Massachusetts & 
Devin Ryder Greenfield, Massachusetts      

Dates:  2 days – Wednesday & Thursday, August 16 & 17, 2023 
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..
Class Fee: $250.00 / Sauder Village Member $230.00
Supply Fee: See Below
Location: Founder’s Hall – Stage Right 
Teacher’s Website: 


Rug-Hooking-Squares-Harwood-&-Ryder-ADo you love hooking geometrics, or do you think they are boring? Have you tried and been uninspired except as a way to use up worms? Or have you never made one but always thought you might? Are you intimidated by color planning a geometric? 

This DUNCAN workshop is for all of you! There is nothing boring about Duncan, as you know if you saw the September/October 2022 cover of Rug Hooking magazine which featured a Duncan rug, and inside an article on the Duncan Project by Devin and Kathleen. This dynamic pattern (approx. 25” x 37”), designed by Pearl McGown in the 1970’s, caught the attention of Devin & Kathleen quite independently, and was subsequently hooked by numerous members of their hooking groups, inspired by the endless possibilities for visual fireworks. And Duncan’s story goes on.

In this workshop, Devin and Kathleen will help you decide what sort of Duncan you want to hook:  You might decide to make the colors pop with intensity and contrasting outlines, or use no outlines at all; emphasize the lively motion in the pattern with directional hooking or beaded lines; alternate colors or arrange them randomly; maybe something completely different with a monochromatic palette; perhaps move the circles around, change their shape, or eliminate them altogether; or put all those worms to work in a unique color plan; mix traditional and modern together, with both colors and textured and dyed wool; add borders, or go in a different direction, incorporating felting, embroidery or braiding. 

There are no limits to the possibilities for bringing your Duncan to life, and the only guarantee is that you will make a playful geometric rug that you love and that resembles no other.

Rug-Hooking-Squares-Harwood-&-Ryder-BDay One will include introductions, a walk around the Duncan exhibit for inspiration, lots of rug hooking conversation, and color planning, as a group and individually. The key to a lively Duncan is in the use of color, and your teachers are uniquely positioned to help students make the most effective use of it. They will happily guide you through the fabulous range of color options available from the vendors for any wool or yarn you may need that you did not bring. With two teachers there will be lots of personal attention and on Day Two they will be sure that one or both of them is in the classroom all the time. On the second day you will be hooking, ensuring that you leave with decisions made and your project well underway. We would suggest hooking Duncan in a #6-8 cut. If you wish to use a smaller or larger cut, talk to the instructors. You will have a great workshop experience & go home knowing that there is nothing dull about Duncan!  

Devin & Kathleen will contact you with instructions on ordering your (approx.) 25”x37” pattern on the backing of your choice from W Cushing & Co, ranging in price from $49.50 - $54.50.  Please wait for these instructions before ordering. They will also send information well in advance, and a simple grid to print/copy and use to do your initial planning with colored pencils; they will be happy to do some pre-planning with you and discuss how your color choices might work in designing your Duncan. You can anticipate changing your mind on some colors during the workshop; this is inevitably part of the process of creating this rug. The instructors will not have wool or supplies for sale in class, so with that in mind, bring an assortment of your own wool, your wooly “stash” of worms, and/or plan to shop the Vendors with the teachers’ guidance during the 2-day class.


Teacher will contact students prior to class:  Yes

Level: Basic – Students must have basic rug hooking knowledge & experience.

Supply fee description: Please see the last paragraph of the Workshop Description for more info.

Students Need to Bring: Basic rug hooking supplies: a frame, scissors, cutter, cutter blades #6 - 8, & hook. Students should also bring a Sharpie marker, notebook, pencil/pen, colored pencils, and any wool or unique materials they may want to consider incorporating into their rug. 

Bio: Kathleen Harwood is best known as a long-time appraiser of paintings and drawings on PBS’s popular Antiques Roadshow, and she has enjoyed a successful career in the arts as a curator, auctioneer, appraiser, critic, writer, antiques dealer and teacher. Less well known is her love of and passion for making hooked rugs. Raised by a mother who excelled at most of the fiber arts except rug hooking, Kathleen fell in love with antique rugs through her professional exposure to them, and began hooking herself in 2002. A 6-time Celebrations finalist (Hall of Fame, class of 2018), she hooks mainly original designs and is especially inspired by quilts, has a particular affinity for geometrics, rugs with words and contemporary relevance, and is increasingly drawn to abstraction in the textile arts. If she had to choose one word to sum up the most important thing about rugs it would be COLOR. Easy to see how Duncan caught her attention! An ATHA member, she has belonged to a number of ATHA and McGown guilds as she has lived around the East Coast and has enjoyed belonging to the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild (VT) for many years and exhibiting in their wonderful rug shows. Attending conferences and workshops around the US with teachers as varied as Elizabeth Black, Polly Minick, Gail Dufresne, Nancy McClellan, Susan Feller, and Molly Colgrove has been a privilege and a delight, & has helped her to become the hooking artist and teacher she is today. 

She loves teaching rug hooking and enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for making rugs almost as much as the process itself. The depth of her unique background in the arts provides a foundation for her ability to encourage students along their individual creative paths & to encourage their imaginations to guide their hooks (no holding back, you can always reverse hook later!). Color and composition come first and second, but she enjoys integrating unusual textures and materials into her rugs, loves graphic stitches (she has been called ‘the beading queen’) and recently has begun incorporating elements of embroidery into mats. She firmly believes that one of the most wonderful things about rug hooking is that anyone can do it, do it well, & have a beautiful result that pleases them.

Raised in coastal Connecticut, educated in Boston, decades a New Yorker, now happily settled in Western Massachusetts, Kathleen has a supportive handsome husband, 2 talented stepsons, 5 brilliant grandsons, several lovable dogs and beautiful gardens. Family and friends near and far, cooking, volunteering, reading (including a crime fiction book club), weeding, embroidery and crocheting (when not hooking) keep her more than busy.

Devin Ryder
is a self-taught rug maker, having begun in the early 1970s (ahem, long before the internet or google, so nearly impossible to find a teacher). After gathering burlap, wool roving (yes, roving!), a hoop, and a crochet-type hook with no idea about whether she had the right tools, she designed a large circular rug and worked away on it—clueless but happy. Then an unexpected series of house moves happened and that rug was lost. All hooking stopped. Fast forward to the 1980s: With life a bit more stable, she discovered a hooking supply store on Cape Cod and bought a pattern, some off-the-bolt-wool, and an actual rug hook and frame. Still without a teacher, she muddled through to the finish, producing a truly hideous rug but falling in love with the process. And she kept right on hooking from there. Fortunately, she’s had a chance to study with a wide variety of teachers and at many workshops and rug schools in the intervening years. Needless to say, she has improved. Greatly.

Devin hooks wide cuts in 6 to 8, and her particular interest is in geometrics and patterns adapted from unusual sources, with an emphasis on non-figurative, symbolic designs.

Her rugs have been exhibited frequently at Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild Shows, and she created and maintained an active rug hooking group—the Wooly Bullies, in the Boston, MA area for twenty years before moving to Western Massachusetts. She has long been interested in punched rugs and became an Oxford Certified Punch Needle Instructor in 2016.  Currently she belongs to the Quabbin Rug Hookers in Western MA, the Rug Social group in Vermont, ATHA, and the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild. One of her rugs toured internationally as part of the Tarot Rug Project, an invitational exhibit curated by Michele Micarelli and Loretta Scena.  (In addition, she read tarot for guests at the opening of the tour.)

Over the past decades, she has explored many of the textile arts:  embroidery, hand spinning, woven rugs, beadwork, quilting, dyeing (both wool yardage and yarn), and punch needle embroidery--which is still a favorite way to “test out” ideas for rugs. But it’s her love for traditionally hooked and punched rugs that has been her constant practice. She and Kathleen Harwood recently co-authored an article on McGown’s Duncan pattern for Rug Hooking magazine (Autumn 2022). In her spare time, she regularly teaches mindfulness meditation, keeps a visual journal with writings, drawings and Zentangle® art, and shamelessly devours trashy mysteries.



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