Tatiana Knodel: Class of 2023
Name: Tatiana Knodel
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
My first hobby was photography, which helps me with making photographs of my rugs. I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry that helps with dying wool. I moved at age 40 to Canada, which has a completely different culture from Russia. For ten years, I was busy educating my daughter. I was lucky to find a rug hooking community in my fifties. My life would be boring and empty if I could not make rugs and not be able to connect with people with the same passion. I have done some work in needle felting and punch needle technique, but I prefer the rug hooking technique.
How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
My friend invited me to a rug hooking group in Sudbury. I had no idea what rug hooking meant, but it was a chance to leave home and meet local people. My friend gave me a piece of burlap, a hook, and wool strips, and told me to draw something and just pull the strips through the backing. And I learned that cut #8 is not mine to enjoy.
What was your first project?
The whole year I made one small wall hanging, 8” x 10”, using acrylic yarn. I did not know anything about rug hooking and did not enjoy it at all; I mainly came to the group for social entertainment. In 2009, two of my friends invited me to take a trip to the Fiber Festival in Nova Scotia. It was eye opening for me. I discovered that I could make rugs with #3 cut and put as many small details as wanted. When I came back, I could not stop hooking for two months. I cut all loops in the wall hangings. My hands were so sore that I could not hold the hook for a month.
Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
I fell in love with the pattern Geese in Flight, which was created by Canadian artist Thor Hansen. I admire the work of the Canadian Group of Seven artists, and this pattern reminded me of their work. I could not sleep well until I found and bought the pattern. I was drawn to this pattern because of its straight lines.
The original rug created by Hansen was hooked in black, brown, gray, yellow, and white—a color scheme that did not appeal to me. As soon as I saw the pattern, I had a mental picture of what I wanted the final rug to look like. This rug is now on permanent display in the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.
Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
Rug hooking has certainly changed my life. I was so happy that I found the world of rug hooking. I believe that there is no right way to hook, the same as handwriting. I developed my own individual style. Rug hooking became the passion that filled my life. I developed an interest in realistic details. I tried to capture the exactness of the image in the #2 and #3 cuts and at the same time, I was playing with color and texture. It was always exciting. And I was thrilled when I achieved a good result. For me, rug hooking is like painting. I consider myself a self-taught fiber artist.
Most of the time I design my own rugs, but I have hooked a few patterns also. I choose the pattern that speaks to me, and I have an image in my mind of how I will hook it.
What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
My favorite part about hooking a rug is when I succeed in putting colors together in a way that works.
What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Be bold and do wherever you think is right for your rug. You can consider the teacher’s advice, but, after all, it is your rug, and you are going to leave with it.
What do you love most about Celebration?
It is a good way to learn what other people do and at the same time, if you are lucky, to show your work.
Black and White
Black and White, 31 ½” x 31 ½”, #3-cut wool on rug warp. Designed and hooked by Tatiana Knodel, Sudbury, Ontario, 2020.
Geometric design has always appealed to me because I have made a lot of engineering drawings in my life. This is the way my mind works.
Baktyar Dozar, 26” x 42 ½”, #3-cut hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed by Jane McGown Flynn and hooked by Tatiana Knodel, Sudbury, Ontario, 2020.
Four Seasons, 32” x 32”, #3-cut hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Tatiana Knodel, Sudbury, Ontario, 2017.
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