Ready to jump into rug hooking?
The first thing you should do is subscribe to Rug Hooking Magazine. Most major libraries have them in the magazine section. Some book stores and Michaelís craft store carry the magazine also. I always have trouble finding them at Michaelís so you may have to search. You can also go to www.rughookingonline.com for more information.
Most people start with hoops but progress to frames specifically designed for rug hooking after the first project or two. I made 3 chair pads and a 2 x 3 foot rug on wooden 14" quilting hoops. I broke 3 hoops on the rug. As I progressed, the loops filled up one side of the hoop while the other side had only the backing. I tightened it real tight to get it to hold. The uneven stress caused the hoops to crack. It was a wrestling match to get the hoop moved each time. I purchased a Puritan Frame and have not looked back since. The Puritan is the most popular and widely used frame.
There are some hooks out there with special handles to help people with arthritis or other problems. You will need to try each one to see if it is right for you. Ask other hookers to try their hooks, most people are more than happy to share their hook, particularly if it works well for them. One of my students took a crochet hook, cut the long handle off and molded a lump of polymer clay in her palm and pushed the hook into this customized handle and baked it. She has arthritis and her custom grip alows her to hook longer.
Some hookers use a rotary cutter. I tried it but I was a miserable failure. I do not have much experience with rotary cutters so I had my daughter, who is a quilter, give it a try. The wool is more spongy than cotton and she had problems also, but if you have the equipment you can give it a try. I know a hooker or two who use this method.
I used a pair of small bladed scissors for several months before I got a cutter. You need to rip wool whenever possible to keep it on the straight of grain. When you use a wool cutter (sometimes called a stripper) you will still rip the wool into 3" wide strips before running it through the cutter. Until you have this piece of equipment, cut it by hand like the pioneer women did. Snip 1" or slightly less from the edge and rip. Cut with small bladed scissors in half, then cut each strip in half again. You end up with strips about 1/4Ē wide. Most wools need to be at least 1" wide
Draw the pattern on paper. At most quilting stores and some fabric stores you can purchase a product called red dot. Itís with the interfacings and is very thin and see through. It has a red dot every inch all over the fabric. Place the red dot over your paper pattern and trace with a pencil or pen. Put the red dot centered over your backing and trace with a fabric pen such as a Rub a Dub or an industrial strength Sharpie marker. I avoid regular Sharpies because I have had some bleed later when I steam the piece.
Order a starter kit: You can order my starter to kit for a quick way to get up and running. Click here for more information. Add a hoop and you are ready to start. All the wool is already stripped in various sizes so you can get a feel for which size you prefer to hook.
Copyright © 2003 by Cindi Gay. All rights reserved.