I made my mom proud… I’m a hooker! Way back in February, when I was snow-bound at my parent’s house on the Wallace River, I wrote a list – thirty six before thirty six. I completed 32 out of 36 items and #14 was: Learn how to rug hook.
It may seem like a random goal for a gal who’s not even 40 but when you’re snow bound and your mother is a rock star hooker, why not add it to your list? After all, on occasion I still like to dabble in the arts – I have to put that BFA to good use!
My first project was a throw pillow – and here’s how it went down:
Step 1: Iron the piece of burlap so it is super flat. If you are making a 16 x 16 inch pillow (like I did), make sure your piece of burlap is at least 1-2 inches wider on all sides. Step 2: Roughly sew along the edge of all four sides to keep your burlap from fraying.
Step 3: For framing purposes, add a few more inches of scrap material to all four sides of the burlap. This can be done quickly. Step 4: Once the burlap is ready, draw with a ruler your artwork frame (mine was 16 x 16 inch square) Step 5: Draw on tracing paper a design the same size as your frame. My mom suggested keeping things simple – meaning more curves and less small details and hard angles. The fun part was coming up with a design – I drew a folkish flower arrangement in a pot because it felt like the right thing to do for my first rug hooking adventure.Step 6: Pin the tracing paper over the piece of burlap, match the frames and trace your drawing – when you trace it hard, the drawing shows up on the burlap.Step 7: Now you are finally ready to hook! Step 8: Secure the piece of burlap to a hoop frame and start hooking away with your hook and yarn. I started with the flowers and jumped around, making sure to use lots of different colours. The yarn should be long enough that you can happily hook without running out too often. When doing small items (like petals, you may only need 6-12 inches). Once you get the hang of it, you will get better at judging how much yarn you’ll need. As you move around your design, you can adjust the hooking frame to keep the working area in the center. Step 9: Once the flowers were done, I did the flower pot and background. These two sections were a lot less exciting but yet mindless and easy to work through. Step 10: When everything within the frame was covered, I was finally able to pull it out of the hooking frame, remove the scrap material and make a finishing edge around the 16 x 16 inch artwork with yarn. To do so, fold under the edges of the burlap outside of frame and pin in place. Lay your artwork face down on an ironing board and cover it with a piece of cotton or a towel and iron. Then you can finish sew along the four sides and remove the pins. Step 11: (This is when I handed-off the project to my mom) *cheater. I had scrap material which she used to make the backing of the pillow. We stuffed it and sewed’er shut. Step 12: Voila! Hooking is fun and easy. Sure, the better you are, they better it will look but what I love most about it is you can hook-away almost anywhere. The majority of my hooking was in the car (on our trip to Sunday River) or in front of the TV.I plan to start a new project this winter – for me, it really is a seasonal sport – I have a design and am excited to show you what’s next. Spoiler: I am going to try type.
psst. For those who want to hook but are not keen on drawing, there are kits you can buy. You can also hook fabric instead of yarn. There is an awesome hooking store in Amherst, Nova Scotia for all of your hooking supply needs – and even better, you can order online.
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