The New Merit Award Program

The August/September 2009 Issue 178 of the ATHA NEWSLETTER arrived in my mailbox yesterday. To my delighted surprise in the center of the issue (pages 32-35) is a comprehensive description of a new educational hooking program. When I first read it, I thought that ATHA was sponsoring it, but when I contacted Phyllis Lindblade (who was the Educational Chair of ATHA and put this program together) about the program this morning, she said that ATHA has made a very recent decision not to sponsor it. So Phyllis is housing the program on the Rughookers Merit Program blog on WordPress and she has supported it with Yahoo Rughookers. So if you want to join, read about it on her blog.

I was VERY disappointed to hear that ATHA is not going to sponsor this program, given that a program like this is exactly what we have needed for a long time. It is what we have all been waiting for as an educational alternative to McGown certification. Finally here is an educational plan that any rug hooker can do from home without having to travel to expensive camps for several years running during times when most of us are working or have children to care for.

The plan is challenging but flexible. It is also CREATIVE! No more insistence that certain rug patterns have to be hooked, thank goodness. There are nine categories of proficiency.

  • Hooking with alternative materials
  • Color theory
  • Styles of hooking
  • Rug hooking history
  • Dyeing wool
  • Themes
  • Design
  • Finishing
  • Sharing and service
Each category has eight items listed, six of which must be accomplished to demonstrate proficiency in that area. Digitial pictures of each item are sent to a committee for review. Once passed, we will be sent a colored crystal (each category has its own crystal) to attach to a sheep pin. The categories are not successive, so we can work on any category we want and journey our own path of creative growth.

The cost of participation if we want the pin and the award crystals is $70. If we just want to participate but not receive the pin and award crystals, it's free!

For further information, contact Phyllis Lindblade at To enter, send your request to Rughookers Merit Program, P.O. Box 96, Hamburg, MI 48139.