Hooking 101

This post if for Monika and anyone else interested in the whole rug hooking how to’s. Its a very simple concept really and I will try to portray it in pictures. Keep in mind these pictures were taken by me with the timer on so if I didn’t get a good enough shot and you aren’t understanding it all please let me know and I’ll try my best to capture it all again.

                                                                 First off we have the hook

                                                   

  Traditionally a nail was inserted into a piece of wood, then filed into a hook shape. Then a crochet hook inserted into wood. The ones used today are very similar to crochet hooks but come in many different thicknesses, the hook and the holder. Some holders are wider at the ends while some are very thin all the way through much like a pencil.

                                                                       Next you need the strips

                                                        

Some people use one wool yarn for their pieces while others prefer the wool strips. Wool strips is the more traditional method, in the olden days they used rags and whatever bits of material they had, cut them into strips and hooked. Today there is a fabulous machine the cuts the strips perfectly all the same size for you so you do not have to cut them by hand. The wool fabric itself can be purchased from a fabric or specialty shop or you could also go to a second hand store. There are always tons of old blazers, shirts, pants and blankets that you can cut up and dye if need be that only cost a dollar or two.

Now that you have the two main components all you need in a piece of burlap and your off to the races. Some people prefer to design their own mat, usually drawn on the burlap with a sharpie. Others buy pre stamped or pre drawn mats ready to be hooked. This is were my pictures become…. not so great.

                                 

You always start from the underside of your burlap. Put your hook through the front of your burlap and pick up one end of your strip and pull straight through to the front again. Pretty straight forward huh??? So you will have a little tail hanging around on the top of your piece. It will stay a tail until you have enough rows packed in around it so that its secured tightly. Then you can snip off the top. The picture above shows me holding the strip with one hand, the other is used to push the hook through the front of the burlap, catch the strip and pull it up through to the front. Its a little fiddley at first, you need to make sure your strip lays flat the whole time and doesn’t get twisted in the back.

                                  

So here is the loop being pulled up through the front. It is also important to try and make sure your loops are the same height all along. At first this was, and still is sometimes, annoying. When you pull the loop up, you also need to pull the loop back towards the loops you have already made. If you pull the other way, it will pull your previous loops out and is annoying as old heck!! When I watch the ladies at hooking do this it takes them less than a second. The hook goes in and out in and out. Me….. well it takes me long, I don’t have my height etc down pat yet so I have to really focus on making them all match. In time though it will come i’m sure. So that is basically it.

                                         

 You repeat the last step until you get to the end of the strip, then pull your end tail up to the front like you did at the beginning and wait until it is packed in before cutting the top off it. Then you begin all over again. A simple task creates a beautiful rug!!

Hopefully that helped you Monika, and anyone else. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have. If I don’t know the answer I can surely find out!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my progress on Cobblestone…..enjoy!

                                     

 

London-Wul

Saturday Deb and I head out for a fiber filled day. London-Wul was the destination, as Heidi was having her big “Out like a Lion” sale. We left earlier than we should have and decided to make a stop in at Reid’s. If you haven’t heard of Reid’s it translates into BIG OLE MAGAZINE STORE!!! WALL TO WALL!! I was in love the minute I walked in. Of course we both bee lined it for the knitting seciton :) My favourites were there which I quickly snapped up as well as a copy of Sandra. I’d never heard of this magazine before but its an Austrian knitting mag, very cheap but has TONS of really nice sweaters in it. Expect to see something cute from its pages in the near future. After that, not so quick stop, we headed on to London-Wul. We arrived opened the door and who would greet me but a familiar face. It was the lovely Jennifer in search of a yarny deal :) The chatting waited for later because there was yarn to be had! I was excited to see not only yarn and spinning material but some fibers and materials for rug hooking. Rug hooking is digging down deeper into my fiber soul. I know I said hooking wouldn’t take over my knitting, and it won’t, but I’m already thinking about my next rug and what it should be, thanks to this book.

                                           

Its Hook me a story by Deanne Fitzpatrick. Deanne’s book is all about the history of rug hooking in the maritime’s, what it was and what it now is. Her work has inspired me greatly and brought lots of fond memories to mind from home. I have several rug idea’s in my head right now, but I just need to get this first one done before I let my thoughts come to life.

Now where was I??? Ahhhh yes back to London-Wul. Need a visual??? Of course you do.

                               

This is London-Wul, or part of it anyway. That wall all along the back is Lopi heaven. Alot of rug hookers use only yarns and Lopi seems to be the favourite. Heidi also carries, Fleece Artist, Noro, Briggs and Little, Trekking… the list goes on. But there’s also Heidi’s handspun, or hand dyed, this girl is just living the dream I say. There was only a few things on my list I had brought with me because really I have some yummy yarns at home just waiting to be knit up so I wasn’t in the market for much but you know its always nice to browse. I did manage to some baby cotton for some cute little hats i’m planning and a few small roving packs for my rug.

Speaking of rugs, Heidi had several hanging up in the studio, they were massive and oh so gorgeous.

                                    

She is working on one right now of Angus, her big ole doggie. Sadly he wasn’t at the studio that day, he’s been recovering from surgeries and hospitalization, poor guy, so next time I’ll hoping to see him. There were also tons of bunnies and the famous “BAABY” one of Heidi’s sheep. I will be back at London-Wul soon I’m sure for another adventure.

                                         

                                                                              Jen and Deb

Last stop was the new Cricket Cove shop in Moncton. Once again I was VERY good, and came out with nothing. A nice little shop which I’m sure the Moncton knitters are happy to have.

                                                    

               I have fo’s and i’m terribly behind in the ABC along but that will have to wait for another day.

Hooking and an FO

Well alot of you were questioning what I was doing with the wool fabric I dyed, AND since my comments are only coming to my email one here and there I’ll fill you all in here. If you remember just before christmas I talked about starting Rug Hooking. I found Deb on Ravelry, begged her to teach me, started going to the thursday night meeting and volia i’m Hooked. *pardon the pun* Just before christmas there was a Hook In, like a big ole get together with hookers from all over the province. The local supplier of hooking goodies was there and I searched for my very first project. When my eyes fell upon some cute sheep, I KNEW this was the one. Not too big, not to small and cute enough to keep my attention, here is my first hooking piece.

                                                 

I’m thinking its going to be a small mat possible for a babies room, but I may change my mind by the time i’m done. So that beautiful green fabric I dyed is now cut into tiny stripes ready to be hooked. The green will be the meadow/background of the rug. Now is it making sense??? Last night at hooking I met some new to me folks. I’m quite excited because I learned that two of the ladies have spinning wheel. SCORE!!! So I told about the wheel I bought a few years back in the buyer flyer and how I didn’t know if there were pieces missing, if it would works etc. So next week, i’m bringing my wheel and they are going to have a look eeeeeee!! One lady also is into weaving. I’m blown away by the amount of fibery people who were practically in my own back yard and I had no idea. OHHHHH the excitement!! Deb is also going to be starting a knitting night, ohhhhhh people to knit with!!! YIPPEE!!! I’m soooo glad I found Deb.

Now back to the knitting:

I believe I have another FO for you…..

                                                                 Seed stitch Baby Slippers

                                           

                                        

 

Pattern: Moss Stitch Mary Jane Slippers from Adorable Knits for Tots

Yarn: left over Cascade 220 from the Moss stitch hoodie

Needles: US 2

Start Date: 11th October 2007

End Date: 11th January 2007

I started these when I was frustrated with the arms of the hoodie and finished them  on October 20th. I couldn’t get them sewn up to my liking so into the basket they went with the hoodie. I still don’t like how they sew up and probably won’t be knitting them again anytime soon. Wednesday I finally got the buttons to complete them.

Its supposed to rain all day today but would you guess that its SNOWING AGAIN!!!! ACK if only I didn’t have to work tonight.

 

 

                                                                                        

Dyed in the Wool

I took advantage of the snow day yesterday while Moose was sleeping and dyed the piece of wool fabric I bought at the hook in before christmas for my first project. I’ve been learning some tips from Deb regarding how I want my finished project to look. Instead of buying some plain ole green fabric I went with a plaid version that I could dye myself that would give my project a more interesting look.

This is the piece of Dorr wool in Glen Plaid that I bought.

                                               

Plopped that into my big ole pot I scored at Salvation Army for a whooping $2.99!!! Added some Cushings Dye in Bright green and let the magic work.

                                           

I had a shade of green in mind, not too bright but not too dark, just that lovely shade of green I drool over. With fingers crossed I let it *cook* if you will and…..

                                                                                 VOILA!!!

                                                      

How’s that for a perfect green?? Its exactly what I was wanting! Can’t wait to cut the strips thursday and begin.

Anger and Frustration

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! Thats all I have to say. Ok so its a little more than that but GRRRRRRRRRRRRR is very appropriate.

Soooo my boss quite work last week, in the midst of peak season……… high and dry…………. grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

Work SUCKS right now. We have two newbies (management) who don’t know what they are doing, no communication, and the whole team is just GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Alot of things are happening that shouldn’t be, and on top of that the Zone VP is coming to visit on tuesday…… ggggggggggrrrrrreat timing.

I’m sooo frustrated and angry and mad at everything, and its not a nice way to be. Sooooo i’m looking for another job….. wish me luck.

In other news, more brighter news I have taken up a new hobby, Rug Hooking.  I found Deb on Ravelry and asked if she’d be so kind as to show me the ropes of hooking. She did and now I’m off to the races. Although I’ve only been able to go to a few nights of hooking I attended their annual Hook In this past saturday. I was able to make it for a few hours and oogle over all the fantastic mats and art work going on. I did manage to get a few pictures of what was going on and some finished mats.

A picture of the hall and the Hookers that came from all over to Hook.

This rug was hooking by a lady in the group that I hook with…. I don’t know everyones names yet but I think this might be Clara’s.

This rug was my favourite, and just amazing. You can see the picture, albeit blurred a bit, underneath and the top piece is the actual rug that was hooked to look just like it. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!!

I purchased my first pattern at the Hook in and can’t wait to cut some wool and get stuck in!!!

 Boston Loves his Timmies!!!

~ uhhh can I have another double double mum????~