Quality Patterns, Kits, and Supplies for Traditional and Contemporary Rug Hooking

When is a rug finished?

Everyone loves to hook or they wouldn't be reading this.  It is the best part of making a rug, at least for me.  I like to design, and color plan, and dye, but hooking is the reason I do all those things.  Then there are no more places to put a loop...alas, the rug is done.

Now the work starts....whipping, or somehow finishing the edges, and labelling the rug.  Title, Designed by Hooked by , year, and depending on you and how big the rug is, the size cut you used and any history you want to add such as: Inspired by our Christmas vacation to Hawaii, etc.

Still not done...I am going to try to be better at this, I am no saint, but these next things are very helpful as our memories fade.

File the photo- Start a 2018 folder and tuck it away.  Someday, someone will want to see what  you do, and you can show them.   Or ATHA newsletter may send out a call for Vacation or  Hawaii rugs and you'll be ready.  You also want a photo should the piece be purchased, get lost or, God forbid, stolen from a show or even a group meeting.  Many rugs have been rediscovered because the owner had a photo to post everywhere and someone recognized it.

If you are really interested in publishing your work, Start another file of rug descriptions.   Write down details like the size of the rug, year started and completed, wool dyed by, or recipes you used (in case the rug needs repair) and if you had been inspired by a work enough to credit an artist for the original piece, write it down with contact info.  Or better yet, ask permission from the artist before you start  the rug and file that here. 

Photo shop the rug if you plan to publish. Crop the photo and have it "Celebrations" ready by their guidelines.  That can go in either the photo file or your rug descriptions.

Then post it on Facebook(Pleeease on the Hooked, Line and Sinker FB page) Istagram, Pinterest, wherever you like.  You are best off if you have photoshop to watermark your name on it or at least add a bit of a margin to the rug to put in the title and your name. You deserve credit for what you do and that can get lost as people share things they like.

If it is one of our patterns, please send a copy here, and we will add it to the product page. Many folks can't imagine a finished rug by looking at the pattern alone. Consider it a good deed to help other hookers along.

So, now you thought you had all these rugs "finished" and put away.  On a day or in the evening, think about cataloging your work.  Even if it is just to help your family when you can't tell the stories behind each piece ... and may that be a LONG time from now.

                                                 "Chapel of Ease"




Color Planning Basics

How do you color plan your rugs? This is a question that I am often asked. I have a couple of guidelines I consider when I start thinking about a new rug. I usually do not plan a landscape too much as it is what I see in nature and I tend to just paint with my wool. Here are my guidelines for other rugs.

Think about the overall mood of your rug. Is it going to be vibrant or subdued?

What value of color do you want for the background? Light, medium or dark. You do not need to think about a specific color just the value. If you consider this first in your rug, you are less likely to hit a road block when hooking and picking colors for your rug.

Now let us talk about COLOR!

The color wheel is a great place to start. If you have a basic understanding of what colors work together you can feel comfortable that you will love your rug when you are done.

There are three “primary” colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow.

Then think about mixing the two colors together to get “secondary” colors. Violet, Green, and Orange.

Then think about mixing those colors together to get “tertiary” colors. Red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green, blue violet, or red violet.

Now with this information we can build our color plan. What colors go together?

Complimentary – Two colors opposite the wheel. Red green, blue violet, yellow orange, etc.

Triad – Three colors that are three spaces apart. Red-yellow-blue, orange-green-violet, etc.

Tetrad – Four colors together. Just keep the distance as a rectangle or square within the circle. Red-violet, orange, yellow-green and blue, for example.

Need more combinations?

Analogous – a series of color along the same side of the wheel. Blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet or yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green.

Now back to your rug. A couple of other items to consider. A rug should contain the following phrase ‘light, bright, dark, dull”. Make sure you have each of these conditions in the rug. Some teachers will refer to a “poison” in your rug. That is the bright or light in the rug. Another suggestion is to move the colors around the rug. Place the colors in more than one place to let the eye move from place to place.

I hope this alleviates some of your color planning anxiety. This is only the basics and you will develop and grow. This information is only to get you started. You will get more and more comfortable with your decisions and develop your eye for color.

Happy hooking!





Happy Thanksgiving's Eve

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and not a hook in the air.

The frame is put away. Tomorrow we'll need that chair.


We are all in the kitchen figuring what we forgot to buy

and how we can make biscuits without baking powder to fly.


Will the turkey be cooked in time for the meal?

Looks way to frozen tonight to make the feast real.


When the family is together and grace has been said,

We'll be thankful it's over and Friday we'll be dyeing red.

Thanksgiving meal






Back to school - Time to share

As everyone heads back to school we are reminded of the opportunities the world has to offer. For some it is the chance to share the love of Rughooking with new students and for others it is the chance to learn how to rughook. I had the amazing opportunity of sharing Rughooking with a small group of ladies at our first Guild meeting a couple of weeks ago. They picked up the basic skill within an hour and some will quickly become experts. I challenge everyone to share and explore their talents with the world. 

Selvedge Salvage

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! 

Squarely Seaside,







How to Get the Most out of a Class or Workshop

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!



We're #8

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....

A Great Summer Read


Designed by You book

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.

Tamara Pavich writes regularly in rug hooking magazine. Now, I am not prejudiced at all just because I happen have a rug included, I have to say that she has written a terrific book.
There is plenty of meaty text to go along with the photos to explain her point. It has something for everyone who hooks in every style. She has contributions from the most contemporary artists like Roslyn Logsdon and Diane Cox, primitive specialists like Cathy Stephan, and lots of other talents whose works can't be categorized.
At first it is a little confusing how she has it organized, but once you get started, it makes sense the way the book is laid out. The chapters begin with an idea of how to get started.  Then she goes on with ideas to get you there.  She has chosen great examples and throws in little hints to help you along.
It was a very roundabout way that Tamara  and I connected.  She wrote an article for RHM about Van Gogh's works as inspiration for rugs.  Janet Conner teaches a fabulous class on the subject, She even draws the patterns - which is no easy feat to duplicate Van Gogh. Needless to say, when Tamara was looking for source material she went to Janet.
My sister, Laura, and I took one of Janet's classes during the week of the  Green Mountain Guild show several years ago.  Janet reached out to her students for rugs for Tamara's article which lead to my texting back and forth to Tamara.  Next thing I know, she asked if I had any rugs that I had designed. Well, what she meant was a rug that I didn't design for a commercial pattern.
  I sent a photo of Praise House. For those not familiar with the Southeastern coast's history of the Gullah/Geechee culture, these folks are a community that continue today, descendants of the first freed slaves.  They lived on the coast and on the barrier islands from South Carolina to Florida, and the first town, Mitchellville, is on Hilton Head Island.
Their spirituality started as a combination of their African roots, including voodoo, and Christianity from the missions mostly from the Methodist Church.  The Praise house was a rudimentary building where slaves and freedmen met to worship. Sometimes it was actually on a plantation.  Unlike the rug, there was no steeple or cross, it was usually just four walls with benches. The worship was enthusiastic and full of music and shouting. That feeling was what I was trying to convey with the rug.
Praise house sketch
This was the original sketch to show inclusiveness by the open double doors and the energy coming from inside.  The tree was to a live oak covered with Spanish moss to give a sense of place, but I decided that it didn't add to the message and left it out.
      This is the final piece.  I decided that the energy would blow the roof off and the outstretched hands extended the movement from inside to out.  The background is a batik print instead of the tree.  It still accomplished the sense of place by bringing a sense of the African ethnicity.
So, now you know the rest of the story about my piece.  I hope it will entice you to pick up Tamara's book and take it to the beach with you this summer.




A Hunk a Chunk of Hooking Love

I got a lot of hooking done this weekend. I love to have a big chunk of time to really get into hooking. Holidays like Memorial Day are the best when there is no big meal to prepare, no big parties, no  gifts, no expectations. 
 I think I mentioned that I am doing a table runner 128 inches (!) long as a gift - for Christmas the way it is going. (Sorry can't show it, the giftee will see it)
I found it interesting that all three mornings, when I looked at the piece with fresh eyes, I saw something I didn't like. It just reminds me of one of the first lessons I learned--to step back from the rug to really see it.
Because the rug is so long, taking it off the frame and looking at it is a real drag, so I only looked at the whole thing in the mornings to see where I wanted to start. Funny how I could tell where was getting tired- the hooking showed it. And I could see where some of the colors weren't quite where they belonged. I was obviously grabbing a color because it was nearby rather than rummage to find the "right" one.
Well, back to work. The floor frame is put away until next weekend. Small catch up projects and still more whipping these next few evenings. Best news is that Friday will come early this week.

A Question of Values

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.