Quality Patterns, Kits, and Supplies for Traditional and Contemporary Rug Hooking
In the blog post "Waste not" last year I showed this "hit or miss" rug made from selvedge edges. Thought I'd try to explain how it was done.
Wen I dye it is usually in quarter or half yard pieces, so most of my selvedges are about 16 inches long.
I started in the middle hooking one strip vertically, it came out about 6 or 7 inches..it will depend how high you pull the loops. That is then the length of that square. I hooked another strip next to it, not too close, leaving probably 3 rows of linen between. I kept hooking one strip next to each other til I had the length and the width the same for that square. It usually took 6 strips across.
Then I went under that square and hooked a strip perpendicular to square, that is horizontally. Surprise, it came out the to the edge of the square above it. So I kept hooking strips across below the first strip til it matched the width.
That is basically it. I kept hooking 5 or 6 strips across to make the squares. If I didn't get it perfect, I'd either space out the strips a little or cut them off if they were too long.
It was fun to put the colors together for each square. Like a little package. Sometimes I used all shades of one color, or I'd alternate complementary colors, or whatever. I don't think anybody ever does a real hit or miss rug by just pulling the next strip out of the bag. They may not color plan it, but some strips go back in the bag and they try again, I am sure. Even if they won't admit it.
When to stop? When there isn't enough room for another square. That's what I did. No fancy finishing, I just turned over the linen and sewed it down. After all this was just a fun rug to use up some scraps (the selvedge box didn't get any emptier though..). And the rug was a gift to my cat... She thought it was purr-ty.
Take advantage of the last few warm sunny days and hope to see you in Cleveland (bring a jacket) in October. Stop at the booth so we can visit. We will be the two sisters in blue aprons rearranging all the wool and patterns after each other until someone wins.
I am looking forward to meeting people instead of names on a computer screen!
Will you be taking a class or workshop? Thought I'd write to you this month about how to make the most of it and be the perfect student. These are not the express opinion of Seaside Rug Hooking Company (Laura hasn't read this yet.)
Think about a workshop or class in something new to you. These are great ways to have someone show you how, correct your errors, give you hints, that you won't find on YouTube or in a book. Classes are all about stretching and growing. Learning.
If you are just breezing though a rug with no problem spots or questions, you are basically spending a lot of money to be at a hook-in. You should choose to challenge yourself-and still have fun. Never done a fine-cut? a nine-cut? Hook with yarn or silk or embellishments? Never hooked an animal or portrait? Never tried? This is time to jump out of your comfort zone.
Find a teacher who is teaching something you want to learn. Nothing is more frustrating to a student is to have a teacher who doesn't want to teach what she wants to learn and the teacher feels the same way. Don't choose based on her reputation, or the location of the class. Don't take from the same teacher all the time because you like him or her.
To choose a teacher, look at the ATHA newsletter or Rug Hooking Magazine, and see who is doing what you would like to do. Read the ads and look at the articles. Find a book -Rug Hooking Magazine has published so many books on specific areas of hooking. Then ask around and find out when and where the teacher will be. Read the bios on the literature from the workshop. Call or email the teacher ahead of time. She should be willing to discuss what you want to get out of the class and what your project might be. Ask how many are in a class and length of the class. More than 3 days is plenty for me. If you are like me, after that the learning curve falls right to the floor.
If you enjoy the concept of painting with wool,
consider doing a pictorial rug. Pictorials are perfect for workshops since there are so many little tricks and details. It doesn't have to be a big masterpiece. You don't have to work with a fine cut or even fine shading with a good teacher who enjoys landscapes, seascapes, or other pictorials.
To prepare for the class, bring your pattern, with some ideas of what you are imagining it to be. Bring some wool if you know the palette you want but don't color plan the piece - keep an open mind. And remember there will be more wool where you are going than what have at home. Your teacher should be glad to dye wool that might work in your piece. Just remember, selling wool is an important part of her income, but don't pressured to buy everything she brought if it doesn't suit you.
Bring your cutter and a couple size wheels, you never know what inspiration may come.
As the time goes on, emulate others in the class if you see something you like, watch what the teacher is showing others. And avoid the temptation to teach others unless your teacher encourages it. Ask questions, but don't take more than your share of the teacher's time. Make mistakes. That is why you are there. Try something the teacher suggests but don't feel like you have to always keep it in the rug. This is your piece, not hers.
And when it's over, say thank you. Sometimes a class will sign a greeting card to give to the teacher as a thank you - it's a nice touch if you have enjoyed your time.
Enjoy your summer. Put your hook down on the beautiful days!
Thank you friends! We have been listed as #8 on the Top Rug Hooking blogs and Websites by Feedspot. I guess someone must be reading my ramblings....
Too hot to hook? Definitely not too hot to think about your next rug, though.
If you can't get inspired by Tamara Pavich's new book published by Rug Hooking Magazine (Ambry) you must have fallen asleep right after you opened it.
One of the most requested topics at workshops is color planning. We all know what goes together- we dress ourselves every day. But we get all worked up when it comes to plannning a rug. What is often forgotten is that we need to plan values with a rug as well as color to get the contrast that makes a rug work. Here's a quick "snippet" on values and contrast ... using up your worms and scraps. Meet Mr. Moose-
He is so easy.
1. Pull out greens, browns, roses, and blues from your stash.
2. Make 3 piles: light, dark, and I don't know.
3. Hook the moose from the dark pile.
4. Hook the border from the dark pile,the light pile, and the occasional I don't know.
5. Fill in the background from the light pile.
6. Sit back and admire your work.
There are times when we have to walk away from hooking for a while. Have to…for good reasons like a trip to the Bahamas, or moving to your perfect house, or the kids and grandkids taking over the place. Or reasons that are not so good like a crazy deadline at work, or a sick someone who needs care.
Then there are times when you choose to not hook. It’s been too long since you hooked. Can’t get into it. Can’t bother. Can’t get motivated. When the muse ain’t there. Then what…. Just give up on something that used to make you happy? Feel guilty that you have a piece half done? Put it all on eBay? Take a minute and see if you know why.
Maybe I can give you some help coming back into the joy of hooking…
Are you putting off diving back in because you are hooking a difficult part of a rug and you just can’t figure it out?? Then just start somewhere else on the piece. There are always areas that are kind of mindless hooking like a border or a background or a sky. Just start pulling loops and get back into the rhythm.
Are you just unable to focus for whatever reason that life threw at you? Are you are between projects with no inspiration? Or you just don’t want to pull out the project from the closet. Pull out a few magazines or catalogs or just start browsing on the web. Look at others’ work on Facebook or Rug Hooking Daily. You might get a little spark to plan a new piece.
Another tactic is to go back in that room and start organizing. Pull out your wool and play with it. One reason we love hooking that we love color. Start making piles and then putting piles next to each other. Before long you’ll be putting together great colors for something, even if you don’t know what.
If the thought of pulling out all that wool is too much, pull out your box, bag, pile of worms (cut strips). Organize them by width or by value or by color. So what do you think about just starting a hit-or-miss rug? You must have a piece of backing big enough for a pillow or table top – start small. Think of it as cleaning, not hooking. You will be accomplishing something worthwhile. You are not “wasting time hooking” you are using up worms and scraps and remembering the rugs they came from.
Consider looking for a workshop or hook-in that would be convenient. It doesn’t have to be for next week or next month, but just put something on the calendar that you might want to attend by that time.
Get back in the flow without thinking that you have to.Take the pressure off that you need to finish the project you are working on. And don’t feel guilty that you have to hook because you have invested your equipment, supplies, and stash. Do not name it procrastination if you don’t jump right back in. To everything there is a season. Remember that there are days that you don’t feel like cooking and other times you love it!
To everything there is a season….
I just got an email that Tamara Pavich's new book about designing rugs will be shipped soon in the Rug hooking Magazine Book Club. What a lift to my day, since I'm honored to have one of my rugs to be included. She had asked me over a year ago if she could use a piece I hooked called "Praise House".
So, I was walking a little lighter when I went to pick up a piece I had framed. I couldn't wait to see how it turned out since it was my husband's 3 month late Christmas gift. It was ready on time, and we opened it up at the counter enough to be sure that it was my piece.
John wasn't home, so I rushed to get it hung on the wall. Then I looked at it a little closer. Gee, there were a lot of "holidays"-spots of linen showing between the rows. And the eyes of the dogs, just didn't look right.
Well, Dang! Someone actually framed it with the back side out. Are you kidding me? It really looked horrible. Is that what someone thought that this was the good side???
I left the receipt with the store name in the photo because I am still mad.
I went flying back to the store and the Framing Expert (that's what it said on his name tag, he looked 14 years old) just couldn't understand what the problem was, it looked ok to him, "We'll give you 25% off," he said.
After a short discussion with the manager, who took it completely out of the frame, the piece was reframed in less than a day. And I still got it on the wall when John was out of the house.
Well, my pride really took a hit. I know it wasn't my best effort. Fine shading is not my thing. I did it because it was the only gift John wanted for Christmas. You can bet I won't be hooking realistic fine shading for quite a while since you can't even tell which side is the front....
If we ever get another dog, I'm calling Judy Carter!
We had such a great time at the Hilton Head Hook-In several weeks ago. It's long past when I should have posted these photos but time gets away.