For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Hooking (Insert Double Entendre Cliche Here)

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Dear Ann,
Raising my head after all that bookish kerfuffle, I find myself in a sea of WIPs in various stages of incompleteness, important school newsletters about events that have already occurred, mail both opened (containing tiny hats) and unopened (not containing tiny hats), and taxi receipts. Even more than usual. So how am I spending my afternoon?
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Hooking.
I am all about the hooking. My rug is only about 8 inches in diameter, but it is My First Rug. I am starting to suspect that I have cut my strips too wide. I don’t care. I have ordered a book about rug hooking to see if I can get some guidance, but I am content with my too-fat, slightly buckling rug. I really like the freeform nature of it, and can see how one would get better at it pretty quickly with practice. Don’t get me wrong–it’s not KNITTING, and it’s not quilting. But it’s fun.
For those who were nice enough to ask, I got my lovely Cat’s Paw (aka Kaffe’s Persian Poppies) kit from J. Conner Hooked Rugs. Janet, whom I met at Rhinebeck, hand-dyes the vintage and non-vintage wools for her kits. Some of the wools are quite felted and some seem not so felted, but I have liked every wool in my kit. One overdyed reddish pink has kid mohair in it, I’m sure; it glides through the burlap holes.
While I tremble at the thought of acquiring a Third Stash (knitting, quilting and now RUGGING stashes), I’d really like to make a full-size rug. Just the one. Thinking on it.
Love,
Kay

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Hey! My grandmother was a hooker! Oooh, that doesn’t sound right… people might start looking for skeletons in my closet.
    Hey! I always wanted to be a hooker, too! Um…
    I hear it’s satisfying work. ; )

  2. Yeah! I can’t wait – maybe I can live this through you.

  3. Mason Dixon Hookers, unite!

  4. That takes me back a few years. There were two sisters that lived over the road from my mother in a house that they had owned since it was built that was untouched by any modern conveniences. I can see them now, sitting next to the range (no central heating) making rugs out of old potato sacks and cut up clothes. I think “utilitarian” best describes the style.
    Thank you for the memory.

  5. I think that will be bright and cheery. And you’ll probably finish a full size rug before I finish Hubby’s sweater.

  6. Ummm, I thought it was normal to have multiple stashes for knitting, quilting, paper collage, needlepoint, cross stitch, pottery, painting….

  7. As long as you also start making some wool quilts and penny rugs, it isn’t really a third stash at all. Just quilting stash part B. :)

  8. You are continuing to inspire me, though oh! my husband would groan if I were to take up yet another craft. (I don’t think he’s even noticed the scraps of fabric that I’ve been collecting since before I met him, for that quilt I’ll make someday.)
    But the rug hooking looks very tempting.
    It was wonderful meeting you on Tuesday. I hope our paths cross again!

  9. Um, you seem to have crashed the J.Conner Hooked Rugs site from all of us having to go have a peek. It says their bandwidth has been exceeded. Oh, the power of blogging. See what your small rug sample can do? Imagine the power of a full-size rug!

  10. Um, you seem to have crashed the J.Conner Hooked Rugs site from all of us having to go have a peek. It says their bandwidth has been exceeded. Oh, the power of blogging. See what your small rug sample can do? Imagine the power of a full-size rug!

  11. Um, you seem to have crashed the J.Conner Hooked Rugs site from all of us having to go have a peek. It says their bandwidth has been exceeded. Oh, the power of blogging. See what your small rug sample can do? Imagine the power of a full-size rug!

  12. I keep looking at your hooking project, and thinking it is a plate of really colorful cookie press cookies. I think maybe I just need a beer.

  13. Not many people know this about me but I am a hooker too. I have the hooking frame, strip cutter,containers of washed (felted) wool fabric from Goodwill and a box of dyes to over dye the fabric. Alas, hooking is not portable like knitting so my hooking habit is in hibernation. But if (when) I were to hook another rug it would definitely be a great big mitered square rug!

  14. So, your desk looks like my bedroom..but I think your desk is neater..
    Love the rug, that looks like fun!

  15. Your rug is such a nice bouquet of wool!

  16. Ohhh, I have always thought rug hooking would be fun. I will not succumb, I will not succumb, I will not succumb….. no matter how cute your mini rug is. I will not succumb.

  17. as mae west would say
    i used to be snow white but then i drifted
    thank goodnes you have a work station
    that looks the way it does
    now we can all relax for the week end
    hope all tiny hats are there i had fun
    thank you ann and kay

  18. Along the lines of Jean’s comment, when I saw the opening shot of your computer and rug, I momentairly thought that your rug was a (snack)plate of fruit tarts and thought, “well, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one”…But after that moment passed, I just somehow knew it was something to do with making a rug.
    Hmmm…”tarts”, “hooking”–no pun intended… :)
    (Yeah, yeah).
    LoveDiane

  19. Love your desk….looks a lot like mine. Love your mac….it looks JUST like mine ;-)

  20. Do check out “hookingrugs.com”. It’s Deanne Fitzpatrick’s site, and she has created the most amazing hooked rugs. She’s located in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada. Somehow I don’t think you are going to stop at hooking just one rug……..

  21. Oh my, it’s my desk! (sort of) I thought it was only me with a creatively cluttered desk. Must be a sign of genius.
    So your rug is clearly different than the latch hook thing I learned as a kid. My mom took to latch hook for about 4-5 years with an obsession equal to my current one with knitting. My dad ran the yarn through a cutter for her…sometimes even wool! Think of all that perfectly good wool getting cut up into 2 inch increments instead of being knit up! Anyway, how is your rug hooking technique different? Can you post some demo pics? I’m just curious.
    Amy

  22. I swear, until I went to my first fiber festival last weekend (not Rhinebeck, but a fiber-filled experience nonetheless), I only knew about rug hooking from those kits you can buy in craft stores, with the tiny short pieces of acrylic yarn. I think your rug is a vast improvement!

  23. I assume you’ve seen this article in the Nov/Dec issue of Piecework:
    “Zigzagging Rags into Shirred Rugs
    Jane H. Delcarson explains the technique and presents some of the more than 100 rag rugs that her aunt Katharine Rattray made using a technique called shirring or zigzagging.”
    I just skimmed it while watching Countdown, since I got the issue today…and then got online to read your blog…what a coincidence!

  24. Hi
    Your strips are not too wide- you are just packing them in too tight- common for new hookers- being too tight:) My rule of thumb is that my strips just touch hips not rub ! When you finish hooking make sure that you steam your rug. PM me and I will give you detailed information. We have a great rug hooking camp every year – it is a great week. Margo White teaches and she does wonderful primitive designs. She is an Early American Life-American Craftsman, she has sold and exhibited rugs in the Folk Art Museum NYC. Feel free to contact me and I will send you info. My boys 26, 23 &21 love to tell people that their mom is a hooker.

  25. One time, at hooker camp…
    Oh, and have you hooked on the hairless linen? Totally fabulous, and virtually indestructable. I can hook you up. You’ll be a changed hooker forever. It is so good. And do try to avoid the dreaded ‘monk’s cloth’. Contrary to the name, it is of the devil, and maketh the hooker to curse loudly and often. I may have to drag my lap frame into the shop with me tomorrow. Thanks for yet another tantilizing bit of fibery-goodness… will this madness never end? C

  26. Your rug is gorgeous! I’m also a hooker and love love love it and understand exactly how you feel. It doesn’t take away from the knitting, but boy is it fun.

  27. Your rug is gorgeous! I’m also a hooker and love love love it and understand exactly how you feel. It doesn’t take away from the knitting, but boy is it fun.

  28. Hooking is great — but also take a peek at using wool yarn instead of wool fabric strips (easier on the hands in my book). Recommendation: McAdoo Rugs in Vermont; the website will make you drool.

  29. Here you go, Kay:
    http://www.rughookingmagazine.com/events/
    My grandmother made all the rugs that were in our house when I was growing up, and I loved them. Miles and miles of skinny woolen strips! A cousin’s wife took all her tools after my grandmother died; we’ve lost touch, but I sure hope she’s using it.
    Also, if you ever get a chance to see any of Dahlov Ipcar’s hooked rugs, take it — they will take your breath away.

  30. Here you go, Kay:
    http://www.rughookingmagazine.com/events/
    My grandmother made all the rugs that were in our house when I was growing up, and I loved them. Miles and miles of skinny woolen strips! A cousin’s wife took all her tools after my grandmother died; we’ve lost touch, but I sure hope she’s using it.
    Also, if you ever get a chance to see any of Dahlov Ipcar’s hooked rugs, take it — they will take your breath away.

  31. I was at Rhinebeck with a hooker and we visited Janet’s booth. I have to say that it was the first time I have been tempted to become a hooker myself. I loved the freeform style of her designs, so may have to bite the bullet and start hooking. I’m excited about the possibility of dyeing the wool too.

  32. I was at Rhinebeck too and also didn’t buy any yarn (too, too overwhelming) but also picked up a new rug hooking kit. I hooked a couple of rugs a few years ago and they do look beautiful. I couldn’t bear to walk on one though–I have mine hanging on the wall.

  33. If you can get into rug hooking, I could totally justify buying one of those little rigid heddle looms, right?

  34. Love your free form rug. I’ve always wanted to do rug hooking but I think my husband would have a stroke if I took up one more “hobby”.

  35. When I had the “hooking” bug, I went to thrift stores and bought old pure wool skirts or other items that could be cut. You could wash them before cutting but I didn’t do that.(they sell a cutter for those strips or your hands will die of aches from cutting!) I did a sunflower free hand and it was lovely!! Don’t know where it is right now or I would show you a picture. Have fun!!

  36. That’s going to be a wee gem, isn’t it?

  37. Pretty! If you do a full-size rug, it’s not really a third stash. It’s home decor. Just think how fabulous the frame would look in the living room while you are working on it…
    (plus you’ve seen my apartment, if I’ve squeezed in three stashes–you can too!)
    I’m so sorry I missed the NYC book signings. I make a very pathetic stalker!

  38. I love the rug colors! And all the trip memories.

  39. HA HA HA!!! Welcome to the dark side of the wooly arts! I love it when I go to a rug hooking show and all these 70 to 90 year old women are giggling at being called hookers!

  40. Hi- Nice hooking. I started a year ago and I love it. You get better with practice. You might look at Gene Shepard’s blog or cds. also I have a notion that you would like anything by Karen Kahle. she is the K. Fassett of primitive rug hooking.

  41. Great to see your mini-rug. I got into knitting through hooking– the hooking shop was just starting to add more knitting stuff, and well, I got hooked! Sadly, I haven’t gotten back to hooking after the knitting bug settled in my fingers. Thanks for sharing!