Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

The Old Tyme Fiber Arts Festival of the Upper West Side

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Dear Ann,
There is no other way to say this except to just come right out with it: I’ve ditched knitting for rug hooking and quilting. Right now, right this very minute, I am having a very serious and perhaps life-changing debate with myself on these questions:
Should I get a rug hooking frame? Which I could also use for hand quilting? And I would put this thing where, exactly? (Perhaps next to the churn, and the washboard I tote down to the Hudson to do the laundry?) Have I gone too far? Is it too late to turn back?
Those who hook rugs and quilt, please weigh in with your recommendations. I’m not sure I’m ready to step up to this new level of Equipage, but I’m giving it deep and constant thought.
Introducing: My First Rug
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Trying to start out with good habits, I followed instructions in Wool Rug Hooking by Tara Darr, to finish this little rug (10 inches across) with a whipstitched edge all round. (You roll the trimmed edge of the base fabric around a piece of cotton cord and whip stitch it down. Then you cover the rolled-up edge with close whip stitches of wool yarn. This line cracked me up: “Many yarns can be found at your local rug hooking, needlepoint and knitting shops.” Or in my case, within arm’s reach of the bed.)
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I even labeled it for posterity. I like the way the back looks almost as well as the front.
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It has its flaws, but it’s mine. And it works. I use it as a big coaster.
The Joys of Hairlessness
You know how I love Big Hair. But as I was googling around about rug hooking, I kept seeing mentions of “hairless linen” for use as a foundation fabric. Tara Darr writes about the many possible foundations for rug hooking, including the burlap I was using from my Cat’s Paw kit, but she pretty much raves about the linen. “Hooking a 1/2 inch-wide strip of wool on linen is like pulling wool through butter…”
A kind, enabling reader sent me a generous sample of hairless linen. (Thanks, Camilla!) Longing for the Butter Experience, I “cast on” for a new rug immediately.
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It’s like BUTTAH! Totally different experience from pulling loops through hairy, splitty burlap! I’m kind of mad that I ever had to hook through burlap. (Those were hard times, the Burlap Times.)
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Once you go hairless linen, you never go back.
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Adding to the alternate crafts magic, I got to use my new Rhinebeck lucet to make a nice linen cord to finish this little rug.
Here’s how it’s done, to start with.
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You whip stitch the linen over the cord with a strong sewing thread, and then cover it with wool yarn whip stitches. I cannot properly convey to you how satisfying this is. Must hook more!
The Old Bergere She Ain’t What She Used To Be
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Another fun projeck. I’ve sent this dilapidated fake French chair (which almost got sent to the curb) to the upholsterer’s to redo it for Carrie. She thinks she ought to have a special chair for reading. I have in mind a fabric that’s screen-printed with handwriting. Carrie wants to paint the woodwork silver. This is going to be interesting.
Department of Co-Bloggette Affairs
I want to thank you for the last post. Once in a while–and I will admit that this is rare–something happens in the world that actually overshadows knitting for a minute. (It sounds crazy, but it’s true!) In a blabby blog like ours, where the line between knitting and life is pretty blurry to begin with, it would be unnatural not to share a point of view on such occasions. That anyone should feel so offended by this that they do not want to hear another word we have to say (even on bipartisan issues as applied i-cord and how to accessorize a Fair Isle sweater with a crinoline and Wellies) is a pretty sad commentary on the state of civility. I think we have more to gain by listening to each other even when we disagree, and keeping communication going on things we share (like knitting), but I don’t expect everyone to agree about that, either.
Moving on.
Love,
Kay

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84 Comments

84 Comments

  1. Your spectacular rugs are really really lovely. I think you missed your calling as a crack dealer. Are you trying to lead all of the knitters down the path of alternate crafts? Linen as butter is a beautiful temptation.
    I love a lot of people who feel differently about politics than I do. Whether I agree or not, the sentiment in Ann’s post yesterday was beautiful and moving.

  2. Amen.

  3. from your mouth to God’s ears.

  4. Are you the NY part of the blog? If so, there’s a great deal on Craig’s list yesterday in Yorktown to get a great frame AND lots of extras for $35!!! Look at it; I want it but I’m states away!!

  5. I love the rugs, but truly cannot wait to see the chair with the silver woodwork!!!!

  6. I appreciated the post about our nation and in general the compassionate advice to listen and be civil even if one doesn’t agree.
    I personally was moved by the events of this week but am surrounded by co-workers who were definitely not. It stretches your soul to choose to keep on liking someone when the disagreement is huge. Unfortunately, I have learned this lesson a little too late, as far as certain relationships go.
    With that said, I am hanging in there through this rug-making business. Hopefully the knitting will come back soon… :)

  7. As I said to your co-bloggette yesterday:
    Right on.
    And — I felt the pull of (rug)hooking when I saw those amazing examples at Rhinebeck. But I admired from a distance, and then I turned my head. And took the other path. (Which brings up a rather Robert Frost moment, but I suspect you are the one taking the path less traveled by! I *think*….)

  8. So, Kay you’re not going to cover the chair in denim? Nu? Are you feeling alright?

  9. Re: your last paragraph…Well said, Kay. (Not that the rest of it wasn’t well said. Your giant coaster-rug is beautiful! Even if it did take me three tries to spell “beautiful” just then! Oh, help.) Can’t wait to see Carrie’s chair – I think that’s going to be beautiful, too.

  10. That second rug of yours looks suspiciously like mitered square. I think we knitters still have our hooks in you. Or needles in you. Or something like that!

  11. You are really becoming quite a hooker! And it looks very mitery. Way to go.
    I have a little lap frame with gripper strips. It works great and I think it was under $50. You definitely need a strip cutter. I got a used one for about $100. Put them on your Christmas list.
    Have fun!

  12. rug hooking!!!
    It is so much fun and those who love fibers(yarn , cotton) and also cutting up big things and making new things with the little pieces(quilting,rug hooking) are naturally going to love all of it(knitting,hooking and quilting).Take it from one who has all those items: the quilting frame,lots of knitting needles and TWO different rug hooking frames!!!
    There are lots of places you can go in the area for rughooking .There is a weekend rughooking event in PA at an old mansion called The Highlands.I have been several times and you can take classes for the weekend with different teachers. My favorite teacher I have ever taken classes with is a lady named Julie Marie Smith and she is from NY state ,I think the Saratoga Springs area. She taught at both the Highlands and at the Shelburne Museum in VT.Her style of hooking is primitive,which is what you have started doing, but she has a great way of approaching design and seeing the beauty of patterns in all kinds of novel places,like you do.
    All of these places/teachers/ resources and many more are in Rughooking Magazine.
    If you don’t want to get in too deep though, delete this comment right away!
    Meredith

  13. remember, your last sentence will come in handy, when the kiddos are teenagers! i say “go for the gold” with ALL the projects. “life is short….art is long!”
    p.s. your mitered hanging towel looks like a xmas tree in the “vert chaud”….with other colors for the garter section. FUN!

  14. The rugs have such rugged beauty. (sorry, couldn’t resist.)
    Thanks for the last words, too.

  15. How about a lap frame? Easier to make room for, much easier to store and it will let you get your feet wet without having to relocate a child into the linen closet. ;^)
    Now I want a pretty giant coaster. I blame you for this.
    xo

  16. Note to Ann: My own co-blogger has become mesmerized by the siren song of some sort of no-sew BRAIDED rug fantasy. But she is a good person and I have faith she will return to the fold in her own time.

  17. Any excuse to buy a quilting frame is a good one! If it can multi-task and make rugs too, so much the better!
    And on my Margaret sweater, I am going with the immortal words of Tom Jones, from the song “Help Yourself”, or as many as will fit:
    Love is like candy on a shelf
    You want to taste and help yourself
    The sweetest things are there for you
    Help yourself, take a few
    That’s what I want you to do.

  18. I use a rug hooking frame with the little “grippy teeth” strips. My frame was like $50, but I’m saving for the $200 model which is quite fabulous and keeps the linen delightfully taut.
    All the women in my rug hooking group caution against quilt-frame type frames for rug hooking. (Though it does bear mentioning that we are all “primitive” style hookers.) First, it is more time consuming to reposition the rug on the frame(in rug hooking, there is a lot of moving that baby around); second, it doesn’t keep the linen as tight; third, once you’ve finished large portions of your rug, you have to squeeze already hooked areas (which are at least 1/4″ thick) into a frame which seriously squishes the rug.
    Absolutely agree with the post on the wool cutter – quite necessary!

  19. Go for it—Rug Hooking Rocks. There are even rug hooking camps and hook-in’s to attend….Much fun!!!

  20. What – you’re not knitting upholstery for the chair??? I got so excitied for a moment………

  21. I loved this post so much.
    You are my Favorite Rug Hooker in the Whole Wide World.

  22. I enjoy reading your blog no matter what you’re talking about. Congratulations on the temporary
    love affair with rug hooking. You’ll be back to
    knitting soon enough. {through sickness and in health,knit on)
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  23. I enjoy reading your blog no matter what you’re talking about. Congratulations on the temporary
    love affair with rug hooking. You’ll be back to
    knitting soon enough. {through sickness and in health,knit on)
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  24. I enjoy reading your blog no matter what you’re talking about. Congratulations on the temporary
    love affair with rug hooking. You’ll be back to
    knitting soon enough. {through sickness and in health,knit on)
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  25. The rugs are beautiful and very knitty in some way….can’t put my finger on it.
    And thanks especially for your words on civility. Some of the comments on Ann’s last post were disturbing. I’m thinking that even if you write a bi-regional knitting blog, you are allowed to have opinions about other topics. Glad you have her back!

  26. It seems to me I sent out a warning at the first sign of a rug hook in your hand……you cannot escape once the first length of wool is pulled through. Now that you have experienced the beauty of linen – well – don’t worry! There are many of us knitters/rug hookers/quilters so don’t give it a second thought. And what about basket making, have you tried that? I almost purchased a lucet at the recent Southeast Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville, NC but but caved in to my longing for an Inkle loom. I just don’t know when to stop either. Best wishes on the rug hooking. I absolutely love it and love your lucet weave as well.
    My heart is filled with love, hope crazy happiness and a sense of peace over our election results. May we all come together to make this world a better place.

  27. Hear, hear, on your last paragraph! Although no one is obligated to read anyone’s blog, I have to wonder if those people who are upset at bloggers’ views have also stopped speaking to friends and family who disagree with them…
    Your little rug is beautiful — even though it’s not knit, it still looks very “Kay”!
    And I LOVE Carrie’s chair!!!! Can’t wait to see it fixed up!

  28. I’m a quilter – never used a frame – just do my handquilting with the quilt in my lap – easy!

  29. I’m so disappointed the blog went political. I have lost a 25-year friendship over this election. It’s been a heartbreaking few weeks. I read knitting blogs to escape the dissention in our world and the condescension that has been overwhelming from Obama supporters who, I suppose, believe that it’s their turn for comeuppance. It’s been an ugly period in our nation’s history and I read your blog to get away from it all. I hope that’s the end of the politics I find here.

  30. I’m so disappointed the blog went political. I have lost a 25-year friendship over this election. It’s been a heartbreaking few weeks. I read knitting blogs to escape the dissention in our world and the condescension that has been overwhelming from Obama supporters who, I suppose, believe that it’s their turn for comeuppance. It’s been an ugly period in our nation’s history and I read your blog to get away from it all. I hope that’s the end of the politics I find here.

  31. Oh the rugs are so cute! And Mitered! Nice to have your own private wool shop so handy.
    Thank you for your final paragraph. I loved Ann’s post and have been troubled by those who have felt offended. Perception is the essence of experience and clearly each of us perceives the world differently. Same way some people prefer knitting and others prefer crochet (or rug hooking).

  32. Check out this slide show and tell everybody who’s grousing about the election to grow up:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/gallery/2008/nov/05/pressandpublishing?picture=339348817
    We’ve lived with far worse for 7 plus years without a peep…

  33. First, I have a pilgrim rug frame and a strip cutter and a smallish hook that I will send you if you don’t mind second-hand goods.
    As to recent events, this is worth considering: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

  34. OMG! Will you people never stop leading me down the path of fabric and fiber obsession? Isn’t it enough that I am now being tempted to learn to crochet to put all sorts of nifty flowers on my fingerless gloves and gauntlets? Now Meredith is leading me astray with talk of rug-hooking weekends???? I’m a Buddhist…I should be saving some money for weekend retreats of a non-fiberous nature. Sigh.

  35. The Highlands in PA, huh? Gotta google it….

  36. Wow – they both turned out great. I was going to go for the burlap because I can get it at my shop here – but this “buttah” option sounds good. Where am I going to get the wool strips though? What do you think about denim strips?

  37. Cover the chair with writing, yes! But do it yourself. Buy some plain upholstery cloth and write your own words and/or quotes all over it. Bits of poetry, lyrics from songs, choose a theme or just go for all your favorites. Put Carrie on the internet or take her to the library and have at it! Draw some of those little birds you like so much this chair could really sing!

  38. Cover the chair with writing, yes! But do it yourself. Buy some plain upholstery cloth and write your own words and/or quotes all over it. Bits of poetry, lyrics from songs, choose a theme or just go for all your favorites. Put Carrie on the internet or take her to the library and have at it! Draw some of those little birds you like so much this chair could really sing!

  39. Rock on.
    I don’t care what y’all are doing – rug hooking, knitting, quilting, antique shopping, filming moving sculpture, celebrating a new President – I will ALWAYS love listening to you.

  40. From one recent knitting deserter to another – get the quilting hoop!! They really are so useful.

  41. That’s what I was saying at the time: Don’t let them harsh your mellow, whether it’s the world of politics or the applied i-cord referenda.

  42. Ann and Kay,
    I have never enjoyed a blog as much as I do this one…looking forward to everything you do in the future…

  43. Because of your first rug hooking post, I am also seriously considering ditching knitting & taking it up as well! My family is horrified.
    What about hooking a slipcover for the chair?

  44. It seems to me that in a craft that has a tradition of stitching and bitching, that it is never inappropriate to reflect on the events of one’s life and one’s nation.
    I loved the Bordhi quote and totally now want to knit a Moebius as a sermon illustration.
    I don’t think you’ll suck me in to the rug hooking (must. resist.) but I always love when one or both of you go off on a wild hare(or is that hairless linen) and take us along with you.

  45. It seems the beautiful poppy creation, could be tranformed into a crochet pattern somehow. I’m seeing a round baby blankie. Of course, I cannot do the work of writing the pattern, but I’ll bet you could! Seems to me you need another project! Hehhehehhhe

  46. It seems the beautiful poppy creation, could be tranformed into a crochet pattern somehow. I’m seeing a round baby blankie. Of course, I cannot do the work of writing the pattern, but I’ll bet you could! Seems to me you need another project! Hehhehehhhe

  47. Your rugs look great! I highly recommend linen as a backing, you won’t ever want to go back to burlap :)
    You _can_ get an inexpensive frame, check with your local rug hooking group (if you haven’t found one yet, check http://www.rughookingmagazine.com/events/ )to find somebody in your area who makes them. I love my Puritan frame best, though (my mother got it at an ATHA auction for less than half the regular price).
    You can hook with yarn, too, and roving. Here in the Maritimes (Atlantic Provinces of Canada) one tradition uses strong wool from local mills, such as Briggs and Little in NB (the other traditional rugs were made of recycled wool fabrics). Lopi is also a great yarn for rugs.
    If you’ve got more questions, give me holler.

  48. Ann and Kay, thank you SO much for yesterday’s eloquent post. I’ve read through about half of the comments and I’m almost speechless. If I had a couple of hours I might write out what I’m feeling right now but I need to go buy cookies to take over to my friend’s house where three of us will be quilting this afternoon (Kay, I can’t speak to rug hooking but I can say Get.A.Quilt.Hoop.on.a.stand. I can’t remember the brand, will add that later. There’s ALWAYS room for another addiction!!!) While at my friend’s we’ll also be knitting and practicing on our drop spindles. I’d bring my new wheel but that would just be overkill!!
    Ann, please continue to write posts like the one you wrote yesterday. Last I checked we did have freedom of speech in this country, and that includes having political content in knitting blogs! There have been a number of knitting blogs I read that have been filled with pregnancy content, I’m feeling so boring right now what am I going to do content, food and recipes, geesh!!
    Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.
    Love the two of you, Cynthia

  49. I, for one, am totally offended by the rug hooking content on this so-called KNITTING blog,and will no longer be reading it.
    That is, until the next time you post. About anything. And I mean that. Politics, macrame, lawn care, anything. Okay, even rug hooking. Just keep writing, ladies!

  50. Love, love, love the beauty that is a hand hooked rug, even if it is a ruglet. I’ve been considering trying my hand at this for a few years now and your example is pushing me close to the precipice. Oh well, it could be worse!

  51. Love the giant coaster — the mismatched green edging makes it extra-special!
    Also: “I think we have more to gain by listening to each other even when we disagree…” — beautiful. I may not share all your views on things political, but I appreciate your fine blend of crafting and civility. Thank you for both.

  52. Hi, Kay,
    Kindly explain that gizmo that looks like a skimpy salad tong on a wooden barbeque fork that you called a “lucet.” It isn’t even remotely obvious how it could be used to turn out braid.
    Enlighten the dense, please.

  53. I, for one, enjoy listening to points of view both the same and different from my own, as long as they’re expressed with with grace and respect. Ann, your post yesterday couldn’t have been expressed with more eloquence. Thank you. And Kay, thank you for your last paragraph. You hit the nail on head. I would find life very boring if I surrounded myself with and respected only those who thought exactly the same as I. As much as I hate running and like knitting, the Beatles, the Pacific Northwest, photography, and yes, the results of this historic election, I’d miss out on so many wonderful relationshhips if I surrounded myself with only Beatles-loving Obama-supporting knitters with cameras who hate running and live within a 300 mile radius.

  54. My grandmother hooked rugs. Each of my two young daughters has a beautiful rug in her room now. One full of butterflies. The other full of roses (was made for my mother when she went away to college.) My girls will never meet their Great Grandmother (she passed when I was only 10) but they will have these beautiful pieces of her in their lives.
    I love knitting but I can’t see my latest hoodie getting passed down through the generations.

  55. My grandmother hooked rugs. Each of my two young daughters has a beautiful rug in her room now. One full of butterflies. The other full of roses (was made for my mother when she went away to college.) My girls will never meet their Great Grandmother (she passed when I was only 10) but they will have these beautiful pieces of her in their lives.
    I love knitting but I can’t see my latest hoodie getting passed down through the generations.

  56. My grandmother hooked rugs. Each of my two young daughters has a beautiful rug in her room now. One full of butterflies. The other full of roses (was made for my mother when she went away to college.) My girls will never meet their Great Grandmother (she passed when I was only 10) but they will have these beautiful pieces of her in their lives.
    I love knitting but I can’t see my latest hoodie getting passed down through the generations.

  57. My mom hooked rugs, and in those olden days of the 1990s would buy fine wool sweaters in the thrift stores and cut them into strips. And of course, Kaffe had a wee phase when he hooked rugs, too, didn’t he? Very colourful, but, jeez, it’s not knitting…
    Politics is not knitting either, but I’m happy to listen to you rattle on about it. Just, please, don’t go on about the First Puppy, okay?

  58. Ack! You’re killing me, Kay!! Just as I’m taking a break this morning from weeding through wool & spindles & felting yarn & paints & stamps…all remnants of past dalliances in various crafts which are taking up space I need for my primary fiber obsessions (quilting & *the mittens*), you tempt me with probably the only textile craft that I haven’t tried, yet has been calling my name for years. (Fingers planted firmly in ears…lalalala) For now, I’ll be trying to maintain my status as drooling onlooker.
    Can’t wait to see how Carrie’s chair turns out.

  59. I knew it was brave of Ann to write yesterday’s post, I just forgot for a second how vehement folks can be when they believe they own your blog.
    Sigh.
    You might also push me into rug hooking, too–a friend of mine introduced me last year and it’s only the lack of materials (and fear of suddenly wanting to tear every woolly fabric object I see up into strips) that’s holding me back.

  60. I forgot to throw my 2 cents in about a frame. I started with a nice firm wooden frame because I was taking a class at a fiber fair and they were available for purchase. I found the quilting frame I took with me to be too flimsy. After becoming obsessed with the craft however, I ended up with a lap frame that has the teeth on all 4 sides to grip the linen. It is fabulous and good for any sized rug you may want to make. I also invested in a Bliss Model A fabric cutter and have never regretted that for a minute. One of my favorite finds of all, since I love the primitive style of rug hooking best, was the Wool Street Journal, which can be found on the internet. You will find treasures in rug hooking at every turn. Let me know if you want me to keep going. I feel as if I’m leading you astray or something. My only problem now is work cutting into too much of my play time.

  61. Just to clarify, I am not the Dana who is disappointed in you. I am the Dana who worships at your feet in a semi-unhealthy way. (JK.)
    I have NOT lost any friends during this election (and I’m so sad to hear friends would give each other up over politics).
    I like to see the alterna-crafts. It’s all one big craft continuum. Which reminds me: gotta go work on my daughter’s quilt while she’s napping.

  62. we have had a very long year
    full of storms and elections
    and now a melt down that will
    last for some time and into
    the year so quilt make rugs
    what ever helps and listen carefully
    one may be quitly happy
    walk out the door and hear
    “whats the matter you? can’t you
    ever be happy” i am “sure don’t
    look that to me you never smile’
    blog on we admire you both

  63. The second rug is very Gee’s-Bendy. I like the asymetry (sp?)

  64. Congratulations on your First Ever, completed and gorgeous Hooked rug. Am totally loving your second work of art. Very jealous that you are hooking with the buttery Linen.
    I’ve only ever hooked with Nasty burlap. i found the burlap to be Such a turn-off.
    Opinion: Rug hooking frame: Yes. Do it. Go for it. You won’t look back.

  65. –Denim, Nu?–Ah, Gwyneth, you’re so right! (but that WOULD look nice with silver, nu?)
    –Meredith, Sshhhh to Kay about the weekends in PA, already! Oy. (maybe she didn’t hear?…)
    –twinsetellen: “rugged beauty” (ya made me laugh!)
    –Kristy: Kay missed her calling as a crack dealer? Nah, never. (The ‘happy hooker’, perhaps…)
    –Nance: Kay should cover the chair in her own writing? (how about like grade school, writing 100x “I will not hook a rug, I will not hook a rug…”?) Actually, it’s a fine idea, Nance, and Kay can make one of those pillows from the ‘Knit-alongs’ book to go with it…
    –Rev. Emily, knit a Moebius as a sermon? What a sweet souding sentiment that is! I hope you can print it somewhere for us to read…
    –Quinn: ditto
    …To EVERYONE who comments, you make it special for me. I love this blog–bloggers and blogees–you make the most difficult day like buttah…
    And about the politics, well it’s OUR country, blue, red, or otherwise. Elections trigger deep feeligs, to be sure. I look back at all the elections of my lifetime, sometimes “my” candidate won, sometimes, no. Still and all, it was MY country. I lived, I thrived, I grew, no matter who was in office. This country is more than the President, more than the Senate, more than the Congress (all of whom are elected by The People), it is US (yeah, like the U.S. is US). That is the common thread that knits “us” together.
    LoveDiane

  66. Your rugs are so beautiful, I love the colors and the patterns. It’s so tempting… but there are so many things still to knit… have to resist that beautiful rug hooking.
    Anyway, I have never understood those who profess to love our country, but hate any opinions differing from there own. I believe our marketplace of ideas is one of the greatest parts of our country. We are free to express our own opinions. What a boring and dangerous place this would be without our ability to freely express and debate new ideas.

  67. I’m inspired by and enjoy everything I read on YOUR blog Ann’n’Kay.
    But I do have one word of accusation today, and that is: Temptress! Here I am with a house stuffed with yarn and quilting fabric and now you go and enthrall me with your lovely examples of rug-hooking (not to mention re-upholstery and lucetting).
    I once did a rug-hooking workshop, and it was fun but I just couldn’t stand the smell of the hessian backing (I think it’s the same as burlap) so I thought I’d escaped. But now you tell me about a linen backing and linen in practically any form is irresistable. Oh-h-h dear, here I go again.
    Haven’t got any woollen fabric but I seem to remember we used cotton jersey dyed in fabulous colours and cut into strips – maybe I could turn this into a t-shirt recycling exercise and make a virtue of it. And we used the back of big old picture frames to tack the hessian on while we practised if that’s any help.

  68. You’re finished now……….rug hooking is almost as addictive as knitting (not as addictive because it isn’t as portable). I would totally recommend a frame but get a Puritan frame or what used to be called a Pittsburgh lap frame (they have little wire teeth that hold the rug foundation). You can’t use them for quilting, but they are much better than the frames that are like a quilt frame. Take up less space (you can get a floor stand to attach to the Puritan frame)if you don’t want to use it as a lap stand, and work better. I’ve hooked for years and everyone prefers them. I also quilt and wouldn’t recommend a Puritan frame if I didn’t think it made more sense than a multipurpose frame. You’ll be sorry if you go the multipurpose route IMHO. Wait until you start dying your own fabric…..then it really starts getting addictive. I’ve been knitting more than hooking since my cats with claws (the other two were declawed and once I learned what happens I’d never do it to new ones I adopted) have come into my life. They pull out my loops when they rip around the house and I’m too lazy to periodically go around and rehook them. You might also want to consider trying using rug binding for edging. I love the look of the whip stitch, but I found it wore down and the fibers parted (i.e. the yarn fell apart) with wear. You can also use yarn to hook with you know!!! Another use for the stash. Some people use a punch hook for this…no need. I just use my regular rug hook on a fairly fine (not primitive) mesh linen or cotton rug warp material (both available at Halcyon yarn on line). There is regular rug yarn available, but I just use what’s around, of course it gives you the excuse to buy more but….you can mix the yarn and cut wool strips too for a different look. I usually prefer just using the fabric strips…oh yes, and you need a cutter for those strips! They make some great ones with blades you can change from thin to thicker strips. Enjoy!

  69. Kay,
    Glad for the inner strength that prevents me today from starting a fun new project like you have. Rugs=amazing and quirky new home accessory!
    Now, I have to admit that I was totally against your guy. He has a lot to earn and prove to change his stripes for me. But I am enjoying the differences in people as much as the similarities. How dull it would be if everyone thought the same thing and there was only one way to do things!
    Post on. I’m not going anywhere.

  70. When I was growing up, my Mom was a (rug) hooker! I was happy to help cut the strips of wool. I remember that she had a cutter machine that clamped onto the edge of the table and you’d feed the wool through and it would cut it into skinny strips. Thanks for sharing your knew work!

  71. Ah yes, the lure of a new craft… Been there, done that.
    Love the lucet, got one too. I got here from The Lucet Company http://www.thelucet.co.uk/, along with a little bobbin for the yarn/thread.

  72. Rug hooking? We need one for Jamie’s room. Just curious: how does the big guy stand on the hooking so to speak?
    OBAMA is my president AND your president. And everyone else in between. GOBAMA!! Felt good to get that out of my system.

  73. When we have a hooked warshrag, then I’ll know the knitting world has come to an end.

  74. I have an idea! Another commenter suggested covering the chair with writing, but doing it yourself… why not cover it with blank canvas and encourage Carrie to use it to write down memorable quotes from her reading as she finds them? What a fantastic heirloom that chair would become! In HS and college I had a wall covered with scraps of paper on which I had written my favorite lines of poetry, and I miss it today.

  75. This has been so interesting, and heartening, mostly. Notice that of all the commenters yesterday and today there was actually only one who declared she would swear off MDK out of political disagreement. That’s a shame, but not a trend–and not the worst ratio, either. The state of civility may not be so bad, Kay. It may even be improving.
    And many, many outposts in the craft blogosphere made unexpected forays into politics. Just another sign of how big a deal this was for everyone. Fascinating, really.

  76. Ooooh Kay,
    Too bad you were’t wandering aimlessly around Western Massachusetts a couple of weekends ago. FiberTwist was held in Greenfield and one room was all rug hooking. Frames, supplies…I got quite an education. I’m fighting the urge as I’m already doing the knitting, quilting and jewelry thang. It’s a yearly event. There were some very inspirational pieces.

  77. The rug hooking is pretty cool looking. What do you think the start up costs on this craft is (speaking as a knitter who has a ton of yarn at least)? Is there a cheap gateway project? Should everyone suffer through the burlap at least once?

  78. Amen. I love what you guys have to say, I feel I have seen more of the world through reading blogs. Thank you both for sharing and inviting us into your lives. onward!

  79. Rug Hooking looks particularly satisfying. I can see why it’s got you ‘hooked’!

  80. Rug Hooking looks particularly satisfying. I can see why it’s got you ‘hooked’!

  81. Recently found your books and love your philosophy. You gals are a class act.
    Linda

  82. I began as a quilter and moved right into rug hooking after seeing a display of glorious hand-dyed wool fabric at a quilt show, that’s the next mania that will grip you, dyeing your own wool. I also spent much time in thrift shops buying old woollen shirts and skirts, cutting them apart and washing them to use in my rugs. There’s a wealth of info out there, and in the beginning I didn’t want to spend too much so I used a 14″ quilt hoop and cut my strips with a rotary cutter. Now I have the more expensive equipment, and it’s money well spent. Lots of great deals on eBay, too. Next year you can go to Sauder Village in Archbold, OH for their rug week in August…highly recommend!

  83. Having read the comments from the last few posts, one thing struck me! We are all passionate about our country whether we are conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, white or black, Bush-hater or not. What a wonderful thing that we care so much about our country! Let’s not be frightened to share our opinions or to listen to someone else’s opinion, especially if we disagree! We can be better if we love each other and listen to each other without fear. And who says we have to all agree anyway? Diversity is one of the hallmarks of our country. Our founding fathers designed the Constitution so that people with differing beliefs could live and work together. What a blessing!

  84. Your rugs look wonderful! I have a kit that I haven’t started yet, because I need to get (or find) something to stretch it with. (I suspect that I might have something in my pile of craft supplies that will do the trick, which is why I haven’t gone out and bought something.)
    The little rugs will make great trivets too. :)
    I’ve heard that linen is better for long-term survival, but I hadn’t heard about hairless linen! I’ll have to keep my eyes open for it! (If you find good sources, I hope you’ll blog them!)