Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scrapping it with rug hooking

One craft I did a lot of before I started blogging was rug hooking.

What is rug hooking? Everyone thinks "latch hook" when you say rug hooking. Rug hooking is not latch hook with acrylic yarn and great big holes in the canvas.

Rug hooking is a very old craft. I can't remember the exact history, but it probably started on poor farms in the early American frontier. Poor little ladies had burlap sacks and old pieces of wool clothing in which to make rugs from. They cut the clothing or scraps into long, thin strips and hooked them into designs on the burlap.

No doubt they just designed their own patterns and made pretty shapes and figures from whatever they had on hand. It was probably the first "green" craft form that required no "new" materials.

So, here is how to hook. You place the long strip into your left hand, which is underneath the project. The hook starts on the top side of the project in your right hand. (this if for right handed people)

So, let's review. Hook in Right hand on top. Fabric strip in left hand underneath. Got it?
The tip of the hook plunges through the burlap to the back side.
Now here is what is happening on the back. (You don't actually turn and look at it when you are doing it) The left hand makes sure the fabric gets hooked on by a wrapping action.
Now the right hand pulls the strip through to the front side.
The left hand tugs a little from the underneath side to even out the loop. If this is the first loop, the end of it will just hang out on top. See all of those little wild strips around the orange leaf? Those are ends (starter and finisher ends). They eventually get cut off.
And then you start the thing again. Plunge, wrap, pull/ Plunge wrap pull. When you get the end of a strip, pull the end up to the front.
When you are finished with a section, you can trim off the little bits hanging off the front. The mere tightness of the wool in the burlap and all the stitches close together hold the thing taut. So, there is no tying off of the ends and such.

Lo and behold the rug so far.
I've been working on this piece for a couple of years on and off. When fall hits, I feel urge to get it out again.
Who knows? Maybe this year, I'll actually finish it. At the rate that I am not getting a hard wood floor, I think I'll be finished with it in no time...
The lighting is kind of off for these pics, but you get the idea. It actually goes pretty fast once you get motivated to get the project out again.
So, using old things (especially wool old things) is what is making my home sing this week.
Moms the Word: make my home sing Monday.


Becky said...

Oh, that is absolutely beautiful. I've never heard of rug hooking before. It looks like something I'd like to try out one day.

Kathryn said...

Wow. This is gorgeous. I'm so allergic to wool, i wouldn't be able to manage that, however.

I've done latch hook before, & knew about this that you're doing, but i've never known someone who does. (To Kill a Mockingbird comes to mind when Scout said her Aunt hooked rugs on hot summer nights & couldn't understand why.)

This is so very beautiful and creative. :)

momstheword said...

Oh wow, it is gorgeous! Just motivate yourself by saying that you want your kids to enjoy it before they ALL leave the nest, lol!

Or, you can wait for them all to leave and then surprise them. My sis-in-law started knitting me something over 25 years ago and I still haven't got it yet, lol!

So you are more on track than she is, haha! Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

Ruby said...

Wow! That is gorgeous!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh I'd forgotten! My mom had a big round (probably latch-) hooked rug that was a sunflower! (Very 70s.)

But this is beautiful! Did you draw the design yourself or is that some kind of kit? Are you "making up" the colors yourself (where to put shading and all)?

Very beautiful!

Jenny P. said...

That is BEAUTIFUL! I remember seeing some of your finished projects -- they were really neat. I'm adding this to muy (incredibly long) list of skills I want to learn once I'm home full-time :)

Mrs. Parunak said...

Another gorgeous and inspiring craft, and this is one I'd never even heard of before. Great work so far. Your rug is going to be beautiful! said...

That is so beautiful! I wonder how long it would last. Would you actually let people step on it? I think you would, but all that work!

Gail S said...

Nice info here. Keep us these great posts!

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing said...

That is gorgeous! Wow! I really admire your skill. Thank you for sharing your lovely project and the instruction and your progress on it. Wow! It will be so worth all the work when you are finished...gorgeous!


Mary Joy

The dB family said...

It's beautiful! Looks like another fun crafty thing that I could get excited about. For now I will enjoy yours.


Unknown said...

Also incredible, it is beautiful! Merely make yourself do something simply by saying that you want young kids to savor that just before each will abandon the actual nest, : )!
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