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Hook A Velvety Fern

$9.95 US/$10.95 CAN














Celebrations all around

September/October 2017

Vol. XXIX No. 2


Graphic Designer CW Design Solutions, Inc.


n 2017, rug hookers all across Canada are celebrating their country’s sesquicentennial year. How are they celebrating? By hooking rugs and mats, of course! RHM wants to be part of the excitement, so we invite anyone—individual or group—who has hooked a piece in honor of Canada’s 150th birthday to send it to us so we can show it to the world. We know that there are many groups across Canada working on projects and we would love to see them all. We will collect photos of these rugs during the entire sesquicentennial year, so between now and June 30, 2018, show us what you are doing to memorialize this historic event. Upload your photos and a short paragraph describing your celebratory rug, mat, or project to our website and join the fun. We look forward to seeing how you are celebrating—and celebration with you! Speaking of celebrations, the entry period for Celebration 28 begins October 1. You will find the Call for Entries in this issue and also on our website, along with complete instructions. I hope you all are planning to enter your wonderful hookings created in 2016 or 2017; we look forward every year to seeing the masterpieces that you enter. We have some exciting Celebration news this year: we are awarding the three highest scoring rugs a cash prize! Look at the Call for Entries on page 10 for the details and start making plans now to enter this year’s Celebration. We celebrate the upcoming autumn with lots of great articles: a fanciful witchy pattern sure to please; Mary Jane Peabody’s excellent article on hit-ormiss rugs, one of our favorite styles of rug hooking; and a seasonal tip on how to make your wool dyeing portable by using, of all things, a turkey roaster! How’s that for some interesting autumn reading? Enjoy these last few days of summer and celebrate the upcoming fall. It’s time to get some wool ready for hooking on these cooler days and cozy evenings—I think I’ll go plan my next project!

Debra Smith Editor

Do you know a new rug hooker? Or do you teach beginners? Check out our handy 2-page “How to Hook Rugs” on our website, free for anyone to download and share with friends and students. Go to, look on the top bar for How to Rug Hook. And be sure to enjoy the free videos from Gene Shepherd, located in the same place.

»» L OG ON TO “FROM OUR READERS” Have you hooked a hit-or-miss rug? Show us your work! It’s easy: visit our website,, scroll down to the bottom bar, click on “From Our Readers,” and upload a photo. We can’t wait to see your hit-or-miss creations!


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Advertising Coordinator Jenny Latwesen Customer Service and Store Sales 1 (877) 297–0965

EDITORIAL BOARD Norma Batastini Linda Rae Coughlin Susan L. Feller

Jeanne Field Deanne Fitzpatrick Cynthia Norwood

EMERITUS BOARD Norma Batastini D. Marie Bresch Linda Rae Coughlin Jeanne Fallier Susan L. Feller

Jeanne Field Jane McGown Flynn Deanne Fitzpatrick Marion Ham Cynthia Norwood

RUG HOOKING (ISSN 1045-4373) is published five year in January/February, March/April/May, D.times Mariea Bresch Jane McGown Flynn June/July/August, September/October, Jeanne Fallier Marion Ham and November/December by AMPRY PUBLISHING, LLC, 3400 Dundee Road, Suite 220, Northbrook, IL 60062. Contents Copyright© 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without the written consent of the publisher is prohibited. Subscription rates: one year (5 issues), $34.95 in the U.S., Canada, $34.95 plus $5 S/H and applicable taxes (payable in US Funds only) (Canadian GST #R137954772), Foreign $72.95 (payable in US Funds only), $94.20 Overseas for express shipping (payable in US Funds only). Periodicals postage paid at Northbrook, IL, and additional mailing offices. INT’L C.P.C. Pub. Mail #0643289


Rug Hooking Magazine P.O. Box 388 Shermans Dale, PA 17090 Postmaster, send address changes to: Rug Hooking Magazine, PO Box 2263, Williamsport, PA 17703-2263 Customer Service and Store Sales: (877) 297-0965 (toll free) Canadian Customer Call Center: (866) 375-8626 Advertising: (847) 513–6054 Editorial: (847) 513-6056 Fax: (847) 513-6099 Member National Guild of Pearl K. McGown Rug Hook­rafters, Inc.; Association of Traditional Hooking Artists; Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia; Ontario Hooking Craft Guild; The International Guild of Hand­hooking Rugmakers; Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild, Inc. Printed in the U.S.A.

Volume XXIX, Number 2 September/October 2017





10  Celebration 28 Call for Entries

Enter your best hooking in Celebration 28!



Fiddleheads in Wool and Velvet Hooking ferns with shine and texture by Brigitta Phy

The Royal Couple

Hooking folds and drapes of the royal raiment by Sibyl Osicka


If the Shoes Fit . . .

A witchy Halloween project by Ellen Banker

28  The Sunflower Rug

A colorful collaboration for a cause by Summerland Traditional Rug Hooking Artists


Google Earth Rugs

Hooking the view from space by Linda Pietz


Geometric Doodling


Doors and Windows, Open and Closed

Play with fine cuts in a new way, part 1 by Sandra L. Brown

A rug hooking challenge by Lisanne Miller

52  Sun Kissed Field

 Hook movement into your landscapes by Rachelle LeBlanc


46  Quillie Sheep  by Gail Dufresne


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017



FIDDLEHEADS, designed and hooked by Brigitta Phy. To learn more about this rug, turn to page 12.



50 Creativity Breaking Rules on the Road to Creativity by Deanne Fitzpatrick


Readers’ Gallery

A Head Full of Colors: Lynn Goegan by Tamara Pavich


Dear Beginning Rug Hooker

Funky Scrappy by Janine Broscious

66 Canadian Connection Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show by Linda Alderdice


Ask the Experts

You Can’t Miss, with a Hit-Or-Miss by Mary Jane Peabody


From My Dye Pot

Let’s Talk Turkey—Roaster! by Karen Poetzinger


Editor’s Frame


Date Book

88 First Rug


Mail Box


Ad Index

Lorill’s Rug/Lorill Harding by Sara Judith | Rug Hooking



ORPHAN TRAIN I was delightfully surprised to see Hazel Amendinger’s Orphan Train rug in the June/July/ August issue. This is an important piece of history that so many people never knew about and I was glad to see this opportunity to educate. I am familiar with the history of the Orphan Train and its Riders and would like to build on Hazel’s story with a story of my own.

THE HISTORY: The story of the Orphan Train Riders may seem harsh by today’s morals and standards, but it was a different America in 1853-1929. Relocating children was not a new idea. Children in Europe were ‘put out’ to serve as apprentices. Almshouses were common for indigent children. In the US, many private charities were established to transport abandoned children from East Coast cities to rural Midwest families to serve as apprentices or indentured servants. All states and Canada received children. Children were usually not adopted by the farm families because they would then be entitled to inheritances. Instead, they were indentured to work on the farms in exchange for room and board, in some cases receiving religion and an education. Usually they were emancipated at age 18.

THE RUG: For my rug (above), I selected the year 1917—when the Concordia station was built—and took creative license to incorporate details spanning many years. I wasn’t sure what era the clothing, train, and truck should represent so they are stylized and may not be true renditions of any particular time. Sometimes only a handful of children were on the train, not carloads. The many faces represent the thousands that were transported over the years. Siblings are represented by the trio near the station; there was no guarantee they would stay together. Some farm families welcomed the children, others were a little less welcoming. Each child


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

came with a change of clothes in their little cardboard suitcases. The rug was hooked with #6-cut, new and reclaimed wool on monk’s cloth, measures 37"x 17".

THE RESEARCH: The National Orphan Train Complex, also known as the National Orphan Train Museum and Research Center, is located in Concordia, Kansas, and is dedicated to the preservation of the stories and artifacts of those who were part of the Orphan Train Movement. The Museum is located at the restored Union Pacific Railroad Depot in Concordia. The curator at the Museum shared some information and was happy that someone knew its history and was willing to share the Riders’ story. As I hooked, I spoke with several descendants of the Riders and learned that the descendants met annually to share their stories and update each other on how research into their own family histories was working out. Many descendants still don’t know their lineage since birth certificates and names of family members did not always go with the children. Sometimes their names were changed and young children did not know their parents. The Orphan Train rug has been exhibited locally to tell the story. Last year, it was flown to Little Falls, Minnesota, for the annual reunion of descendants and was gratefully received. I’d love to hear from anyone interested in continuing the conversation. Email me at Lucy Walsh Clinton, New Jersey



I was thrilled to read The Orphan Train article in the summer Rug Hooking magazine. The Chinook Guild of Fibre Arts in Calgary, Canada has just mounted “Women’s Hands Building a Nation” exhibition with 54 art pieces from 41 fibre artists. Our social conscience mats tell the amazing story of the contribution women have made to Canada’s development including votes and politics; dower rights; world wars; homesteading including a sod house; social and family life and much more. From 1869 to 1939 our “orphan train” saw 100,000 boys and girls (waifs and strays) sent to families across Canada to work in factories and on farms. While some children benefitted many suffered. Meant to be fostered and cared for within loving communities, they were often abused and made to feel shame for being a Home Child. The mat I made for the exhibition is shown above and depicts a young domestic hanging wash at a western ranch with young boys stooking wheat in the fields. There is much more in the “stories” woven into the fibre art pieces that are now fascinating visitors who are sharing their personal stories. Others are learning social history for the very first time. The exhibit is on display at the Western Development Museum, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, from September 4 to October 29, 2017, and then on to other venues. If your readers enjoyed The Orphan Train as much as members of our Guild, they will be very interested in the “social conscience” exhibition “Women’s Hands Building a Nation.” Sheralee Hancherow is the volunteer exhibit convenor and can be reached at sheralee. Elaine Proulx | Rug Hooking




ecently I received the latest Rug Hooking magazine, and was initially delighted to see an article on copyright by the talented ladies of Green Mountain Hooked Rugs. I always briefly cover copyright basics as pertains to rug hooking in my classes, as students need to be informed, and there is much confusion and erroneous information out there (as the article stated.) I began research back in the ’90s, to be legally informed myself, as a pattern business designer and owner, and therefore should know my rights, before I could begin to inform students. First, I asked my attorney if customers could reproduce my patterns without my knowledge. He said no, as copyright purpose is to protect the legal copyright owner. Illegal copying deprives the legal copyright owner of income. About that time, I was made aware of a known violator, who admitted to copying one of my designs. My attorney sent her a “cease and desist” letter. More recently, I had a judge in one of my classes, and I asked her to let me know openly, in class, if I erred in my copyright talk. She stated I was correct, and also informed the class there could be severe legal fees/penalties for violation. Secondly, I perused the US copyright office website for some time. As the RH article correctly stated, there is much information to sift through, and it seems each media has different laws. I was seeking specific information that would apply for rug hooking pattern copying. I emailed the Copyright Office, detailing what a rug hooking pattern business involves. I requested needing to know if any reproduction of my patterns was an infringement, explaining in particular that we use various backings, and a purchaser might think it legal to copy onto a different backing, without asking the copyright owner. Within 24 hours I had a very specific answer, and I quote directly from their letter “One of the basic rights of a copyright own is to authorize reproductions of his/her original materials. If someone is reproducing your material without your permission, then you should let them know they need your permission to do so.” As you can see, nothing was stated by the Office about copying once. It seems obvious to me that they have stated no copying of rug hooking patterns is allowed without permission (although this may be different for other media). Therefore, I see this conflicts with the “Can I copy a pattern I bought” question, with its incorrect response, in the article just printed in Rug Hooking. In order to abide with the Copyright office letter I have, and my attorney, I will continue to sell patterns labeled “one time use by purchaser only, no duplication or resizing without written permission only.” Jeanne Benjamin New Earth Designs There were many things to appreciate in the June/July/August issue: the orphan train history, how to design with templates, and the inspiring Reader’s Choice rugs. (I loved all of the choices, but I find Dana Psoinas’s Guardian such a creative and intriguing take on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood!) I was thrilled to see that Victoria Rudolph had used rug hooking to earn her MFA, demonstrating that this medium is as “fine” as any other art.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

I especially want to thank RHM and Green Mountain Hooked Rugs for the article on copyright and rug hooking. It’s a huge subject and difficult to cover fully in any single article. We all know of instances when copyright infringement has happened due to a lack of awareness. For instance, I once hooked a crude Picasso adaptation without realizing that his works were not in the public domain. It was only when I was attempting to write about rug hooking and copyright law that I realized I had violated it myself! So every now and then, I hope we’ll see a treatment of the subject in RHM to remind us all of the law and of the ethics of rug hooking and art in general. I found it interesting that Green Mountain has gone so far as to establish (and publish) their own set of expectations regarding copyright, and maybe all of our communities would do well to follow their example. Tamara Pavich Council Bluffs, Iowa  A Follow-up Letter from Green Mountain Hooked Rugs:  As we stated in the first paragraph of the article: “Our intention with this article is to raise awareness about this important issue and offer you our opinion—not to tell you what is right and wrong.”  As with any law, decisions are made on a caseby-case basis in a court of law, and each case will be evaluated based on its own set of facts. Therefore, what is true in one case may not be true in another. That said, our opinion on copyright is that when someone purchases our patterns, they are purchasing the license or “right” to use that pattern once, in whatever way they see fit.   As always, the copyright discussion continues... Lindsay Krauss Green Mountain Hooked Rugs | Rug Hooking




Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 28


alling all rug hookers! We invite you to enter your best hooked piece completed in 2016 or 2017 in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 28. We welcome all styles and sizes, from primitive to fine shading, from traditional to contemporary. The deadline for entries is November 30, 2017. Entries are impartially and anonymously evaluated by a panel of four qualified judges from the rug hooking community. Rugs are judged on technique, color plan, and interpretation of design. Each rug is judged on a numerical scale on its own merit, independent of all other entries. Finalists will be featured in Celebration 28, published in August 2018. For a primer on how to photograph your rug for Celebration, go to www. rughookingmagazine. com and click on Celebration.

A Special Note about Copyright: If your entry is an adaptation of someone else’s design, include with your entry written permission from the original artist or publisher that permitted you to use the design in a hooked piece. Copying a design directly, even for your own use, is a violation of copyright.

Detail 1

Full Rug



Remember, the quality of your rug can be seen by the judges—and reproduced accurately in the magazine—only if you provide high-quality images of your work. Once your rug is completed, it deserves to be presented as well as possible. Please follow these guidelines carefully. 1. W  e strongly recommend having your rug professionally photographed by a photographer who is experienced in photographing textiles. 2. I f you take the photos yourself: 10

Detail 2

Questions? Email

• U  se at least an 8MP (megapixel) digital camera. • Set the camera to save images as JPEG files, at the highest resolution or quality (or lowest compression) settings. 3. Photographs to submit • One photo must be a full shot of the front of the rug. • Two photos must be close-ups of two different details. (No names or initials should be visible in the close-up shots.)

Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

• O  ne photo must be a close-up of the back of the rug, clearly showing the finished edge. (Those submitting framed pieces should still photograph the back as it is in the frame.) 4. If you are submitting on a CD, name each image file in the following format: Last Name + Rug Title + View (e.g., Smith Fox Front, Smith Fox Detail 1, Smith Fox Detail 2, Smith Fox Back). These names will be given to your photos automatically when you upload them online.


To enter your rug, follow these simple rules: 1. Limit of one (1) entry per person. 2. Visit and click “Celebration: Enter Your Rug!” at the top of the site. Follow the instructions for electronic submissions. 3. Or complete the entry form on this page. Send your check or money order for $45, made payable to Rug Hooking Magazine. All entries must be postmarked by November 30, 2017. 4. Clearly label the CD with your name, address, name of the rug, and category. Send the CD in a padded envelope. CDs will not be returned.

5. If you include an email address with your entry, you will receive an email confirmation when your entry is received. 6. The rug must have been completed in 2016 or 2017, regardless of when you started it. You may enter a rug that has been entered in other competitions, and group entries are not permissible. 7. Submission of an entry serves as a release that Rug Hooking and its publisher may publish photographs of the rug in the future, with proper credit given to the artist. This may include promotional materials, online or in print, including the Celebration book, in RHM, the RHM website, and on RHM products.


For the first time, RHM is awarding prizes for the three top rugs. Highest scored rug will be awarded $500; second highest will receive $250; third will receive $100


Online entries are $35; mail-in entries are $45.


Note: Some rugs may not fall neatly into one category. Use your judgment to select the category that best represents your rug. For more information about these categories, go to and click on Celebration.

Primitive: Primitive suggests simplicity in all areas: design, materials, and technique. It usually means wider cut, naive or simple design, with little or no shading, exaggerated scale or unrealistic proportion. Think folk art. In a pictorial rug, think Grandma Moses.


Commercial: If you purchased the pattern, enter the rug in the commercial category. Even if you adapted the pattern, if the rug is substantially based on a commercial pattern and design, it is a commercial design.


Adaptation: If your rug is inspired by someone else’s design in a different medium (for example, a painting, a postcard, a photograph, etc.) it is an adaptation. We require written documentation that you have permission to adapt someone else’s work in this way.

Original: If your rug is based on your original content and design idea, it is an original design. Carefully consider who owns the copyright for your design before you classify it as an original.

Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 28


Address _________________________________________________________________

Dimensions (width x height in inches) _______________________________________

City/State/Province _____________________________________________________

Name ___________________________________________________________________

Title of rug _______________________________________________________________

Year completed ___________________________________________________________

Zip/PC __________________________________________________________________

Materials used (# cut, fabric, backing) _______________________________________

Daytime telephone ________________________________________________________


Email ____________________________________________________________________

Category of Rug (Original, Adaptation, Commercial, Primitive)

❏ CD/DVD with four high-resolution professional-quality digital images

________________________________________________________________________ Photographer _____________________________________________________________


❏ Check or money order for $45 U.S. funds, payable to Rug Hooking Magazine (Online entry is $35)

Questions? Email

All entries must be postmarked by November 30, 2017. Mail to: Rug Hooking, 3400 Dundee Rd., Suite 220, Northbrook, IL 60062 ATTN: CELEBRATION ENTRY | Rug Hooking



in Wool and Velvet Hooking ferns with shine and texture STORY AND PROJECT BY BRIGITTA PHY


iddlehead ferns are young ferns just starting to uncurl from their winter sleep, and are named for their resemblance to the finial at the end of a fiddle. Growing up in Vermont, I have fond memories of foraging for fiddleheads in the early spring. Fiddleheads are edible and quite a delicacy after a long winter with no fresh greens! My mom would steam them and serve them with butter and salt. They were a delicious special treat and just thinking about them brings me back to our house on the hill in the middle of rural New England.

These memories from my youth about fiddleheads were triggered by a punch-hooking class that I took with Sara Judith at the TIGHR Triennial in Victoria, British Columbia, in the fall of 2015. Sara’s class featured recurring shapes in nature and for the class I chose the nautilus shell to punch-hook. As I was punch-hooking the nautilus, I was reminded of the spiral shape of the fiddleheads and an idea was born. I was signed up for Cambria Pines Rug Camp the following June and decided that Diane Stoffel would be the perfect teacher to help me develop my fiddleheads. I became enamored with velvet by seeing all the fun Gail Dufresne was having and wanted to try my hand at it. I thought the

whimsical shape of the uncurling ferns would be a perfect place to use the combination of wool and velvet. For the design, I started with two inspirations. The first was a framed dried botanical arrangement that my mom had given me years ago, featuring fiddleheads along with other Vermont flora. I also looked on the internet at ferns in all their stages of growth. My first design was complex, with lots of little leaflets and details. I soon realized that the pattern would have to be five feet square in order to fit in all that detail, so I started to simplify. I ended up with a bouquet of different sized ferns at various stages of growth. Once my design was ready, I needed a color plan. Blue is my favorite color and

Fiddleheads, 26” x 24”, #4- to 6-cut wool and hand-cut velvet on linen. Designed and hooked by Brigitta Phy, Sebastopol, California, 2016. BRUCE SHIPPEE


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017 | Rug Hooking


A single fern fiddlehead for you to hook. Pattern is on the facing page.

Start hooking in the center of the frond.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

The fronds are hooked. Now the question is what to do about the background?

Fiddleheads, ©2016, Brigitta Phy. Enlarge by 200% for a finished piece of approximately 14" x 14". For personal use only.

I use lots of it in my rugs, so my first rule for this piece was no blue! I used many hues of green and then I added raspberry, warm yellow, orange, red, and purple to the mix. Every time I leaned toward blue I stopped myself. However, my love for blue did win in the end with the background color. Hooking with velvet is wonderful because of its rich, soft feel and the shine and texture it adds. I handcut all the velvet, cutting each strip

about 3⁄4" wide. In the smallest of the fiddleheads, I cut the velvet narrower, to approximately 1⁄2" wide. Velvet can be cut quite narrow, but I wanted a bumpy texture, so I cut the velvet in wider strips to get that wrinkly look. Velvet can be cut using a rotary cutter with a mat, or you can cut it using a Townsend/Bee Line cutter. I recommend that you place the velvet with the fuzzy side down when using the Townsend/Bee Line. Velvet has a lot

of lint, so cut the velvet then shake the strips outside to remove the lint. For my fiddleheads, I used many different types of velvet. I buy velvet and over-dye it, and I also have a large collection of various velvets that my mother gave me. Some velvets have a higher percentage of silk and others have lots of cotton or rayon. The silkier velvets are my favorite, as they are softer than the cotton velvets and are easier to pull through linen backing. I | Rug Hooking


The fiddlehead shapes were so much fun to hook. Lots of colors and many textures add interest and surprise.

I used lots of colors in these fern leafs, from dark to light and dull to bright.

buy white 18% silk velvet from Dharma Trading ( and I overdye it using fiber reactive dyes to get rich dark colors. I find that when I use the wool dyes I get lighter, more pastel colors because the silk (only 18%) is the part of the material that actually takes up the acid dye while the rest of the fabric resists the dye. I started hooking in the center, outlining the little compartments, or

stems, with a #4 cut in wool. I then hooked the velvet into the little areas I had enclosed. As the stems became thicker areas, and not just lines, I used a wider cut of wool. I find it easier to hook the velvet when the area that I am filling in with velvet is already surrounded by a row of hooking. In the largest of the fiddleheads, I used a dark raspberry wool to contrast against the lighter green velvets. As the stems got larger than just a line, I switched

to a bright green to contrast against the pink and wine colors of the velvets I used for the rest of the fern. The next piece of the puzzle was what to use for the background. I settled on a dark mottled blue-green with flecks of red and yellow. I also chose to hook in a spiral direction, mimicking the wonderful shape of the ferns. The circular shape of the background hooking enhances the design and adds to the whimsy. A smaller version of this design is included as a free pattern in this issue and measures 14" square. I show you the smaller pattern hooked with a light pink background, hooked in a circular fashion. RHM

Brigitta Phy is a fourth-generation rug hooker and is an accredited McGown teacher. Her work has been published in Rug Hooking magazine and in Celebration XXIII. She owns Green Valley Rug Hooking, is a member of the Wine Country Rug Hookers, and is the current secretary of ATHA.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

RH ads spex:1/12


4:25 PM

Page | Rug Hooking



Royal Couple THE

Hooking folds and drapes of the royal raiment BY SIBYL OSICKA


always wanted to hook a King and Queen with sheep faces. And I’ve always wanted to hook the costumes and clothing worn by royalty during the era of Henry the 8th. So why not combine these two ideas? I asked Pris Buttler to design a pattern for me of sheep royalty wearing their fancy dress. I was thrilled with what she came up with and couldn’t wait to begin. TRANSITIONING BETWEEN SWATCHES Start with one value of a swatch. Let’s say you are starting with value #3 of swatch A. When you finish hooking that section, you progress to the next swatch, say swatch B, placing value #2, value #3, or value #4 of swatch B next to the last value used of swatch A. The value closest in intensity to value #3 of swatch A is what you should choose from swatch B. Once that section is done you can progress to a lighter value of swatch B, or you can choose to go darker. You can use this progression in hooking a white dress. The shadow swatch might be lavender or blue; this way the transition will be smooth. Try this method with hair, fur, flowers, or anywhere one color morphs into another color.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

I knew that hooking the clothing realistically would be tricky, needing many swatches, so I knew where I had to begin. This kind of dyeing takes a lot of pre-planning, but once you get what you need the wool is fun to hook up, progressing from one swatch to another. The swatches should be closely related, analogous on the color wheel. Introducing a complement is hard to incorporate, unless you reduce the intensity of the formula, making the dry dyes weaker. I studied the outfits of Henry the 8th: the colors, jewelry, and the many different styles he wore. I started by hooking Henry. Of course, the face came first, and I just followed the colors of a regular sheep. I selected a lighter brown than I would later use with the Queen because the King’s outfit would be dark. I learned that the trim on the King’s coats were usually fur, so my King would have fur trim as well. I dyed three different browns and I added red to the fur colors. This carried the red found in his skirt to the fur and the waistband. The darkest brown from the fur went into the puffy sleeves of his coat and the trim at the base of his coat. The bottom embroidered border is called cross-hatching and is very popular in Norwegian work. I like the color combination of teal and brown so I chose those two colors for his coat. Henry’s dress is a red brown;

King and Queen, 42” x 42”, #3-cut wool on rug warp. Designed by Pris Buttler, hooked by Sibyl Osicka, Parma, Ohio, 2016. | Rug Hooking


Drapery behind the King and Queen.

Oriental rug under the King.

Queen and the window.

Detail of the clothing.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

I added embroidery work to the skirt in a red that was in the formula. This gave the look of added stitches in the cloth. The swatch I dyed for the waistband transitioned from taupe to red. I also used this swatch for the trim on his stockings and for his slippers. This was a great way to move my colors around the design. On his blouse, I raised all of the white area to give it a silk look. My research showed that they wore this style of blouse quite often. The Queen is one of Henry’s many wives. I decided to hook her dress with many swatches—the dress was quite large, so I used two closely related gold colored swatches. The swatch with the most gold is the one I hooked next to Henry. He shadowed parts of the dress, so this section should be darker. The right side of her dress I hooked with the swatch with more yellow in it. The embroidery on the Queen’s dress is hooked with black wool and all of the jewels are hooked in teal—the same teal used in Henry’s coat. The collar was hooked to look like lace. The way to do this is to allow the background to show through the holes of the lace. The front part of the collar has her dress peeking through. The back of the collar has the wall showing through. Her purse is the same red brown as Henry’s skirt. The Queen’s cape and the drapery fabric on the wall is in the same red swatch. The flowers on her cape are a darker gold and grayed a little because I wanted her dress, not the cape, to be the focal point. The wall is brown. The window is opened and the view through that window is of trees, a castle, water, and land. I took the teal wool in Henry’s coat and grayed it. This allowed me to bring the teal to the opposite end of the design. The Oriental rug that they are standing on was tricky. It had to be darker and grayed under the figures. Henry was casting a shadow on the rug, but as the rug came forward out of the shadow, it became much brighter. More light is hitting the Oriental and therefore it must not be as grayed. A lot of thought went into hooking King and Queen. And that is what made it so much fun to plan and hook. RHM

Sibyl Osicka began rug hooking in 1982. She is McGown accredited and has been teaching in the US and Canada since 1989. She writes frequently for Rug Hooking magazine, ATHA newsletter, and McGown newsletter. Since 2005 she has been the treasurer and financial consultant for ATHA.






Types of folds, shown two ways: A: tubular; B: interlocking; C: coil; D: inert; E: drape.

DRAPERY FOLDS The drapery behind the King and Queen is a combination of pipe or drop folds, diaper folds, and inert folds. • P  ipe or drop or tubular folds descend downward and divide into two or three cords. As these cords diverge from each other, the original cord may make room

for two or more tucked within, then these may again divide, making two or more until they flatten out. • A  diaper fold forms when two corners of fabric are pinned up and the remainder of the fabric is allowed to sag in the center.

• A  n inert fold forms when a piece of fabric is thrown or dropped on a table. It remains crumpled up to take on a character distinct from any other form. The fabric is a mass of folds with highlights and shadows. An inert fold is the most fun to hook because the values change all the time. | Rug Hooking


A witchy Halloween hooking



ello, my lovelies,” she cackled. Gabriella the Good Witch, nicknamed “Gabby” by her friends and customers, was opening her shop for the day. It was bright and sunny with just a hint of a chill in the air. But, of course, chill was to be expected. Halloween was just a few weeks away, and the leaves had been falling for several days. This was Gabby’s busiest time of the year. Everyone wanted the latest in fashionable, functional shoes.

When Gabby had first opened her shoe store back in ’04, she had had some difficulty finding suppliers. Shoes must fit perfectly for those in Gabby’s profession. They need to be sturdy enough to withstand a pretty good wind shear, or even rain or hail. (You just don’t know what conditions you might find out on an evening ride on your broom.) It is critical that the pumps be solid and rugged, and the buckles had to be perfect, superbly crafted in silver or gold and flawlessly affixed to each leather shoe. Back in the day, finding just the right selection of black pumps from her suppliers proved to be a little more difficult than Gabby had anticipated. However, with a little potion here and the proper spell there, Gabby managed to get all of the suppliers in line— very quickly. Her selection was outstanding and business was good. Gabby sighed contentedly to herself as she opened each brown paper shoe box (recycled paper, of course). Right now, the number of shoe boxes seemed countless on the hand-hewn wooden shelves that lined her shop. But by the end of this day, there would be far fewer boxes in the store. Each box was stamped with Gabby’s favorite saying, If the Shoes Fit . . . She was ready for another day. You can share Gabby’s favorite saying on a hooked rug complete with knobby knees and perfect


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

(or not) buckles. Enlarge this pattern, draw it out on linen, and you will be ready to fly.

YOUR COLORS First, determine your palette. Should a proper witch wear rust and black stockings? Or maybe they should be dark gray and deep orange, as I hooked in the sample? There are so many possibilities. Perhaps, dark purple and an eerie green? Maybe no stripes at all—just a solid rust? The stockings will set the tone of your rug, so the color of your stockings should be your first consideration. Of course, witches always wear shoes that are black . . . or do they? You could be a renegade and hook the shoes in a deep purple or a dark brown. No matter what color you choose, you will want to hook accent colors into your shoes. In the sample rug, I hooked the shoes in black with bits of purple accents—actually, several shades of purple. These accents are not meant to shout out their color, but they could. It is up to you. Next, a select color for the buckles. Depending on the palette you have chosen, silver may be more appropriate than gold. Of course, you could go completely off Gabby’s page and choose a lime green. Introduce bits of contrasting noodles to make the buckles shine.

If the Shoes Fit . . . , 28" x 29", #4-, 6-, and 8-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Ellen Banker, Williamsburg, Virginia, 2016.

Bats, spiders, and spider webs are usually black. The spider web in this rug was hooked in a dark gray with a deep black spider and surrounding bats. Again, a bit of contrast is useful, especially in the bats. I used a deep gray, but it could be an eerie green. Now, the words. Of course, the words will sing out with the color you choose. I hooked the letters in a deeper rust than I used for the stockings just to make sure the words could not be missed. Subtle, eh?

BACKGROUND Ah, the background! When color is the background, it is really important to get it right. I’m a graphic designer, so I tend toward a lot of contrast in my rugs—foreground to background. The witch rug is no exception. Choose a background color that will allow the elements on your rug to speak to the viewer. Again, think contrast. When the background is a solid color, you will need to develop its personality with the manner in which you hook the wool | Rug Hooking


This background has personality. Notice the different colors of wool throughtout. Directional hooking added a lot of movement around the shoes, the legs, and the bat. Use your background to add pizzazz to your design.

into your rug. Here I hooked a “linen” like background: I used a darker and lighter version of the same wool that was dyed in the abrash method, which creates a mottled effect. And, I added a noodle here and there of a darker solid wool that was in the same family of color. Remember, color alone will not carry a large background. The character of your rug will depend on how you hook it. Large simple backgrounds have a lot to offer. They can make the elements you have hooked in the foreground stand out or they can create a subtle backdrop. Once you have chosen the color(s) you will hook in the background, you must decide how you will hook them. You can create a static effect or develop lots of


movement—or do a little of both. Here, directional hooking was key. I hooked in a vertical, linear direction between the knobby knees to make sure the witch’s legs visually dominate the rug. Then, for background near the border, I created lots of movement, first by ghosting the shapes of the shoes, legs, bats, and letters; then, by creating rounded swirls to follow while hooking to the edges of the rug.

LETTERS A note about hooking the letters: I always use multiple cut sizes when hooking letters. Once you’ve picked your text color, cut the wool into thinner and thicker cuts. Then, follow the outlines of

Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

the letters using the appropriate cut. You can hook a single #6-cut piece of wool for the ascender of a letter or hook the same letter with two lengths of #3-cut wool. Hooking a letter as you would any object in the design makes hooking letters far less intimidating.

FINISHING Steam both the front and the back of your rug to flatten out uneven spots. On a flat surface, lay out several towels placing your rug face down. Press the rug on a hot cotton or linen setting. I sometimes steam my rugs as I hook because I have a tendency to tightly hook within images and objects (sometimes called “packing”). Once you’ve steamed the rug, wait about

ENLARGE AND TRANSFER THE PATTERN The pattern provided is 8" x 81⁄2". Have the pattern copied at 350% and your final rug will be approximately 28” x 30”. If you add 4" around all sides of your rug, you will need a piece of backing material that is at least 36" x 38". Serge the edges or secure them with Fray Check, Elmer’s Glue, or duct tape. (If you choose Elmer’s Glue, water it down a bit and apply it with a paint brush so it will dry quickly.) Next, transfer your pattern. Once the pattern is printed to size at the copy shop, you can attach it to the back of your linen with that handy green painter’s tape. Make sure the pattern does not move around on the backing. For tracing, use a permanent marker that will not bleed (a Sharpie industrial marker is a good choice). A light table or a window is efficient for transferring. Red dot tracing material is ideal when no light source is available. Personal use only. | Rug Hooking


THE WITCH’S WOOL I don’t dye my own wool. Well, maybe I do once in a while. But, if you would like to hook the witch’s rug exactly as we did the sample with a final rug size of 28" x 30", we have a package of wool available for you from Marian Hall of Wooly Dye Works. All the wool in the sample rug, including the mottled background (called “Linen” in both light and dark shades), is from Marian’s dye kitchen. The package of wool to complete the witch’s rug at 28" x 30" is $145 plus shipping, and is available in Marian’s Etsy shop at WoolyDyeWork. (Remember, this package includes only the wool for your rug since Rug Hooking Magazine has provided the pattern.) If you have any questions at all, email Ellen Banker at ellen


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

24 hours before beginning the finishing, so that you are sure the rug is completely dry. By doing this, you will avoid distorting the shape of your rug. Most hookers have a preferred finishing technique. For a review of lots of different techniques, look at RHM’s publication, Finishing Hooked Rugs: Favorite Techniques from the Experts. You may decide to add a braided finish or even a knitted finish. Be creative! This rug was bound with rug binding tape and whipped with a contrasting wool yarn to match the rust color of the hooked words. I felt this approach would be appropriate since this design does not have an actual hooked border—it is hooked to the edge in its background color. The whipped yarn makes a final anchor for the piece. For sure, Gabby would be delighted

Order Finishing Hooked Rugs: Favorite Techniques from the Experts at www. rughooking or from Amazon.

that you have chosen her rug to hook! And when you’re finished binding your rug, Gabby will toast you with her favorite concoction. It’s appropriately called Witch’s Revenge and is served at Chowning’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. You can just imagine Gabriella seated at a candlelit table in the dim light of the tavern, especially after the evening’s last ghost tour on a dark and windy October night. Gabby takes a sip, softly cackles, and whispers the words, “If the shoes fit. . .” RHM

Ellen Banker is a graphic designer and rug hooker who is known for her whimsical designs and love of Colonial Williamsburg.

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A colorful collaboration for a cause SUMMERLAND TRADITIONAL RUG HOOKING ARTISTS


ow does the story of any hooked piece begin? It can be part of an art project which lies dormant in the subconscious as many of us make the career journey. It can be a chance contact at a show, in a magazine, or even glimpsed on television in the story of the White House furnishings. Inspiration comes from many places. In the case of the Summerland Traditional Rug Artists, it was a 100-year anniversary of the Summerland Ornamental Gardens, a 15-acre heritage garden and the revelation of the 1930s experiment of hybridizing ornamental sunflowers to grow in the arid 0kanagan Valley of British Columbia. Twelve members of our group—the Summerland Traditional Rug Hooking Artists—tackled a group project as a fundraiser for the purpose of raising money for the Summerland Ornamental Gardens. Our group ranged in experience from a second-project hooker to many more experienced hookers. In late summer 2014, the rug wrought its magic even before we began to plan. We found so many beautiful sunflower heads in art, print, fabric, and photography to use as visual aids that we were excited to begin. We decided the rug would be 48" x 36" divided into 12" blocks. We would hook on linen, surrounding each block with one row of #6-cut strips. By January, 2015 we were ready to start hooking. To meet the anniversary date of July, 2016, a time frame was set up to complete all twelve squares, with each individual allowed five weeks to complete her square. Two weeks before we began, our “control hooker” outlined each square in two rows of black. And she had six weeks allotted at the end of the hooking period for finishing. We used the existing logo of the heritage gardens for the signature: this is the sunflower in the lower right-hand corner. The hooked rug provided a lot of publicity for the 100th anniversary as it travelled from venue to venue for display until the celebration occurred. When it was raffled off it raised a goodly sum of money for the heritage gardens. RHM


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

The Sunflower Rug, 48” x 36”, #4-, 5-, and 6-cut wool on linen. Designed by the Summerland Traditional Rug Hooking Artists, British Columbia, 2016. | Rug Hooking


Sunflower Silhouette © 2016, Liza Dore. Enlarge by 150% for a 12” x 12” block. For one time, personal use only.

Editor’s note: The Summerland Traditional Rug Artists have generously allowed two of the squares to be printed in RHM for your use. Each block was originally hooked at 12" x 12". If you hook either of these sunflower blocks, please send us a photo. The group would love to see how you interpret the design and so would we!


A project like this takes a lot of preparation and preplanning. With careful attention to detail, you too can have a successful group project. Here is some advice for groups contemplating a similar project. • Plan around your participants’ schedules in order to meet the time frame. • Make art resources available as references. • Review the project as a group: consider the placement of each design and background colors. • Consider integrating a number of background colors in each of the squares, such as in the lower left design. • Pull the loops to the same height as the border outline. • Work the rug from the center. This will offset the weight of hooking as it progresses. • Protect each square as it is hooked using a padded frame, and cover each completed square with a cotton cover pinned over the surface. • Plan the signature or signature block early so it can be incorporated into the design. • To ensure consistency and uniformity, have a “control hooker” outline the squares and the finish the edge.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Sunflower Harmony Š2016, Joan Critchlow. Enlarge by 150% for a 12" x 12" block. For one time, personal use only. | Rug Hooking




Nola’s Studio a la Google Earth, 29” x 22”, #8-cut wool, sari silk, and other alternative fibers. Designed by Linda Pietz and hooked by Nola Heidbreder, 2016.


e all have special places here on terra firma that hold special memories. Perhaps it is your childhood hometown, a vacation cottage, a tropical beach resort or rugged wilderness area. Why not memorialize one of these cherished places in a hooked rug from a different perspective—from outer space?


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

This is the screen shot from Google Earth that started it all. Its is the view from space of my sister Nola’s studio in St. Louis. Now the question is how this complex photograph can be simplified to transform it into a hooked rug design.

Left: This is the line drawing derived from the Google Maps photo. Bottom Left: Color planning for the final rug.

I have always had a fondness for maps, from ancient ones with menacing sea serpents adorning the edges to modern maps available at the local gas station or auto club. For those of you who share my passion, what could be better than viewing our planet using Google Earth? In an instant, we can view any location on earth we wish with just a click of our mouse. Just like flying in a commercial airline, the view from above is both amazing and surprising. I spend a great deal of time flying over our vast country, and I never tire of the view from forty thousand feet, when the ground looks like a patchwork quilt and towns are just tiny specks. To use this unique design idea, install the Google Earth app on your computer or tablet, if you don’t already have it. Then the fun begins: select a place that you think you might wish to make into a rug design. Have several ideas in mind, as not all places look as wonderful as we had hoped. A case in point is my own home here in northern California. The view from Google Earth only shows our solar water heater and trees surrounding our home. Needless to say, this would not be a very interesting design. Once you have selected the place you wish to turn into a hooked rug, | Rug Hooking


TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL GOOGLE EARTH RUG DESIGN Cut out two “L” shaped pieces of cardboard to create a frame around your design area. Just move them together or apart to increase or decrease the size. This simple technique will help you select the best design area for your rug. Remember: Less is more. This is certainly true with Google Earth rugs. With my first design, I initially started tracing too wide an area with too much detail. That is when, through using color photocopy enlargements, I realized the importance of narrowing my focus to a small area. As you view different areas of Earth on your computer, you will notice that there are cast shadows. It is a judgment call on whether these shadows will enhance your piece or not. It is all right not to include some or all of them. With Google Earth photos, some locations were shot in the winter with trees bare of leaves, and in some cases some unnamed techie has gone back in to draw in missing foliage. Again, you can determine how best to draw these plants.

print it out in color. I don’t have a color printer, so I found a friend willing to print out my selected locations. When I began designing the Google Earth rug of my sister Nola Heidbreder’s studio, I found that what I had printed out was way too detailed. After several trips to the local copy store to enlarge the original, I finally focused on a small area immediately surrounding the studio. You will notice that when making color copies of your original, there is some color distortion with each successive copy. I embraced this, finding that the colors became more interesting. For my next step, I laid tracing paper on the photo and traced all of the pertinent lines. This is where a lot of judgement on your part comes in: which lines and shapes to include and which are not important to what you are trying to represent visually.

When you are satisfied with your line drawing, ink the lines with a fine point permanent ink pen, such as a Sharpie, and take it down to your local copy center to enlarge to the desired size. Once you have your enlarged copy, trace it onto linen or other backing. This is an opportunity to edit out any unnecessary lines or shapes. For color planning, I use a photocopy of my line drawing. Although colors may not be exact to colors of wool I wish to use, I will color this copy in with markers, colored pencils, or watercolors. I can make as many copies as I need and experiment with different color harmonies. Remember, you do not need to be faithful to the colors you see. Have fun with the colors—you can create an abstract and somewhat geometric rug in which you will be the only one that knows what it is. RHM

Linda Pietz, a St. Louis native, grew up in a family of artists, and she followed in the footsteps of her relatives. What sets her apart is her love of math and how it can be incorporated into her designs. Linda designs rug hooking patterns for her sister, Nola Heidbreder, and they have co-authored several books. She teaches several workshops: Kaleidoscope Rugs, Snowflake Mandala Rugs, Color Theory, Tessellation Rugs, and Google Earth Rugs. Linda welcomes custom rug design work.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

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Geometric Doodling Play with fine cuts in a new way PART ONE OF A TWO PART STORY BY SANDRA L. BROWN

The beginnings of my doodle rug, CIRCLES, SQUARED, GEO.


lthough geometric patterns have been with us since the beginning of rug hooking, when rug hookers would draw grid lines using the warp and weft of the fabric to create repetitive patterns or single out certain squares to highlight with different colors, the idea of hooking a more free-form style of geometric has come into its own. Taking a basic shape—usually a square—and throwing down a random “set line” to then add pattern to, intentionally as a sub-conscious exercise, creates patterns within patterns that can be added to, elaborated upon, and then— voila!—a geometric rug pattern emerges just waiting to be filled with woolen loops.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

DECISIONS Deciding whether to use a #3 or #4 cut has to do with the weave of the wool and the value (lightness or darkness) of the wool. Tighter wool can be cut more narrowly, and darker wools can be cut a bit larger since the loops don’t show as easily. Often when doing backgrounds to fine-cut florals, the hooker will do the individual flowers in #3 to achieve detail and shading, but hook the darker background in #4, because, essentially, the loops don’t show as much and it hooks faster.

This square-within-a-square pattern in the rug I hooked has the basic four diagonal leaves one sees in the traditional Wedding Ring quilt pattern, with the addition of a central circle and amoeba-like shapes inside the leaves. Jewel tone colors are my métier, but the idea of working this pattern in NARROW CUT with SHADING seemed the only choice when SCALE was considered. Why narrow cut (#3, #4) when wider cuts (#5 upward) would go so much faster? The scale and viewing distance requires it. Had it been a much larger piece and the viewing distance further away, a #7 or #8 cut might work fine. But since the overall dimension was only 3’ with the viewer standing much closer, the cut needed to be finer if the shading were to remain subtle and not so easily discerned. Finer cuts also allow more attention to be paid to detail, such as altering the thickness of the border lines surrounding each motif. This was not meant to be a “strict,” tight-to-the border geometric, but rather something that more loosely held to vertical and horizontal lines. There is also a tapestry effect one gets hooking with #3 and #4 cut, where the loops become less distinctive and the eye is drawn more to the color and overall design than to the rows of hooking. This effect of tapestry (smooth surface, lush complexity) is strengthened by hooking in the “meandering path” method, where straight lines need to be avoided. Meandering path hooking is also better for hooking spot-dyed wool, since a color patch that is suddenly pulled up can be “neighbored” by pulling up

MEANDERING PATH Colors in spot dye strips are “zoned” by keeping loops circling until color disappears.

loops around that patch until the color changes again. This means that every strand of spot-dyed wool can be used to create larger patches of color than if it was simply being hooked along a straight line. (Some hookers solve this problem by hooking the straight lines exactly as the strands come off the cutter and, although it helps zone the colors a bit more, it still has the problem of looking like straight lines.) My Circles, Squared, Geo still has straight lines of hooking, but primarily in longer border areas where the surface treatment can contrast with meander pattern hooking and shading was desired. (It’s more difficult to shade a motif with Meander Path.) I have created a Youtube video on this meandering technique for spot-dyed wools. You can find it at: http://www.rug

This chart from David Briggs’ “Hue, Value & Chroma” helps to explain the concept. A high intensity or highly saturated color has the characteristic of being both “bright” (reflective of light) and packed with as much colorant as

it can hold before it starts to get darker and goes to a darker value on the gray scale. Munsell’s Color Wheel, with its leaves of specific hues (#5 Blue, #10 Yellow-Red, etc.) is based on the notion that any color can be arranged according to value on an 8-value scale, with white at the top and black at the bottom. As a color moves away from this grey scale center pole with the addition of more “colorant,” its saturation or intensity (chroma) is increasing. (See David Brigg’s: “Hue Value and Chroma”: http://www.huevaluechroma. com/011.php) Once that color-value has reached its outer limit before jumping down another value in darkness, it has also reached maximum chroma/saturation, or what we call intensity. Typically, these highly saturated colors constitute the outside of a primary color wheel and have no complementaries added to them. Why is that? We know that adding the complement to a color dulls and darkens it, pulling back toward the gray scale. And a perfect complement will bring a color back to perfect gray. These highly saturated colors on the outside of the color wheel can be primaries or secondaries, but not tertiaries (according to the definition of tertiary, which means | Rug Hooking


Munsell chart

all three primaries are contained in the color). Rarely in rug hooking do we work with primaries and secondaries on this color wheel—generally our formulas have a touch of complementary color in them from across the color wheel to mute and tone them. The more complementary color added to the primary, the more subtle and dark it becomes. Even spot-dyed wools used in this rug weren’t just two primaries and all the secondaries in between. Some slight amount of the third primary was always added. Visualize a color wheel with Yellow at the top, Red on the right, and Blue on the left, each a third of the way around. A formula with only Yellow and Red may give you a hundred different colors, but still containing only two primaries. Once you go on the other side of either primary— Yellow/Green or Red/Purple and add them to your formula, you have added Blue and created a formula with three


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

primaries. This “3-component color” is a tertiary and always less intense, with lower chroma, than a two-component color. The key in planning colors that are interesting and still in the higher intensity range is to not add too much of the third primary to your formula. The dominant jewel tone (high intensity) colors used here were gold, red, chartreuse, jade green, and blue. Dividing them up between small and large motifs would have helped balance them against each other, but heavier black lines were also going to be necessary to contain them. And although these dark lines may read as black, most are navy with a single line of black as the first line of shading. The smaller the motif where a high intensity wool is used, the less obvious it is, but it still needs to be used in at least three other places on your piece (the “rule of triangulating colors”) to provide balance and keep the viewer’s eye moving around instead of zeroing in on that one bright spot.

A bit of “poison” in a rug is well named—a touch of this in very small amounts may add oomph, but too much poison will “kill” the rug.

Pearl McGown suggested that a little bit of “poison”—the term she used to describe high intensity colors—should be included in every piece to give it sparkle. Although the colors in this piece were already pretty intense and blue was already present in the piece in a more muted form, the moment a more intense, highly saturated blue was introduced to the center, the entire rug looked dull by comparison. There are only two solutions for dealing with high intensity colors: balance them against each other by upping the intensity of the other colors, or keep their presence quite small and spread them around. If I intended to keep this high intensity

Hooking “over the top”

Detail of the inner square.

blue in the middle, I had to increase the intensity of the other wools, or spread it around, both which helped solve the problem. In the case of chartreuse corners, the solution included spreading it around but also using single lines of it here and there throughout. This concept of decreasing the colored patch into smaller and smaller areas will have the effect of blending them in the viewer’s eye, not only toning down the high intensity of the color, but running the risk of losing it altogether. A larger patch of high intensity color will stand out much more than a series of smaller patches spread around. In fact, it is possible to mix patches so small that they themselves blend into a new color, a concept used to create iridescence or, conversely, to mute colors by hooking complementaries in very small amounts next to each other, which creates the same effect as if the two colors were blended in the dye solution: each one dulls and darkens the other. Another side note to intensity—these colors actually trump value under normal lighting but lose their impact under low lighting situations. With low lighting, value starts to take over, with the lightest values showing up more prominently than the highest intensity colors. Essentially, high intensity colors need good illumination to be seen.

TECHNIQUE Specific techniques need to be kept in mind when hooking fine cut, as they are different than when hooking wider cuts. 1. Hooking with the right side of wool UP helps create a tapestry effect, so it’s important to position the strippette with the backside down when pulling up loops. Often when coming to the end of a row and switching back to the other direction we simply end that row right side up and make the first loop of the next row wrong side up to keep from twisting the strippette underneath. It’s better to walk that strip around by making the last loop on the first row a sideways loop (“allamand right”) and continuing with the right side up for the next row. If desired, the rug hooker can take tweezers or her hook to twist it around after the row is completely hooked. Not only does this keep the smoother side of the wool on the top, it maintains color consistency, since the backside of wool fabric usually takes the dye differently than the front. 2. Hooking #3 and #4 cuts can easily result in packing your loops—the hook just seems to find a space right next to the row above, sometimes even the same hole as a previous loop, so take care to leave enough space (depending on the thickness of the wool, hole size of backing, etc.) to keep from distort-

Hooking below the previous hooking

ing motifs by packing loops too tight. One technique suggests hooking from the bottom up, not the top down, so that by reaching OVER the hooking done previously one is automatically prevented from packing loops too tight. 3. A  rug hooker can influence the shape of any motif by how close she hooks the first outside row, so it is especially important not to crowd the loops with fine-cut hooking. Most backings nowadays are wider-holed than they were 20 years ago, making it even easier to pull up a second loop in the same hole as the first when outlining motifs, so take care to keep the hook perpendicular to the loop (to prevent angling of the loop) and to give each loop its own hole. RHM … to be continued!


Sandra Brown is a McGown certified teacher who has been hooking for 35 years. Her rugs have been featured 6 times in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs and include the Readers’ Choice award for House at Night in 2001, plus two “Best of Show” awards at Sauder Village. She gives workshops around the country, helping fellow hookers get to the place they want to be in their finished piece. | Rug Hooking


Doors and Windows, Open and Closed A rug hooking challenge CURATED BY LISANNE MILLER

My inspiration was a life changing event. The Nubble Lighthouse in York has long been a part of my life—many decisions were made sitting on the bench gazing at the lighthouse. While looking through material from Joan Moshimer after I purchased her company, W. Cushing, I came across a sketch of just the pump house and notes on this scene, showing the rocks, no water, the Nubble as it is today. Joan did not finish the sketch or pattern, so I did. What you see here is just the beginning; this is what Joan drew and I hooked. The entire completed piece will appear in a later issue of Rug Hooking magazine.


s a door closes, a window opens.” We all have heard this expression. There’s a beautiful scene in “The Sound of Music” when a distraught Maria has just returned to her abbey after falling in love with the father of the children to whom she was a governess. Trying to make sense of her situation, she cries to her mother superior, “When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” It’s a variation of a famous proverb that goes: “When God closes a door, He opens another.” It refers to the natural ebb and flow of life that when one thing ends, another begins. How can those words be illustrated in wool? Take a look at some hooked pieces inspired by that phrase. The parameters for this curated show were minimal: simply the phrase, and a minimum and maximum size. The fiber artists interpreted this either literally or symbolically—I hope you enjoy these clever reflections. RHM


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

As a Door Closes, a Window Opens, 12" x 17", #3-, #4-, and #5-cut wool on linen with some mixed media, roving and hand painted pieces. Designed and hooked by Sarasue Walker, Lexington, North Carolina, 2017. I chose this pattern because it illustrates a new chapter in my life. I was given an opportunity to go back to work part time in an area that I had never worked before, retail; and in a craft I knew nothing about, pottery. I had not worked in over 12 years and thought that part of my life was over. I frequent a local pottery shop in a small town near where I live in Lexington. I went in one day to pick up some pottery I had ordered and the owner was working. He asked me if I wanted a job—and I went through that open window. My challenge with this project was trying not to visualize it as if I were painting it. There is no way to shade and highlight the features other than with the colors of the wool. Many times I would hook a part of it and see that I wasn’t satisfied with the look, unhook it, and rehook it until I was satisfied. I don’t normally hook this type of project so I had to think outside the box.

Joy Ride, 24" x 18", #6- and #8-cut dyed and textured wool on linen, with sculpting and mixed media. Designed and hooked by Sheila Arbogast, Wentzville, Missouri, 2017. When a door closes, a window opens . . . on the world, giving a four-legged companion a joyfilled opportunity to catch sights and sounds of a cool, crisp autumn breeze along her wild and wooly well-traveled way down a country road. Traveling with my dog Patches was my inspiration. I sculpted Patches to lift her out of the car. For the ear, I needle felted the spots then sewed two pieces together with a wire in between so it would look like it was blowing in the wind, then I whip stitched the ear in place. For the scarf, I rolled some wool just to stiffen it a little so it would look as if it was blowing in the breeze. The scarf and tongue were whipped stitched in place. | Rug Hooking


Right: Charlie at the Door, 13" x 20", #3-cut wool on linen backing. Designed and hooked by Roslyn Logsdon, Laurel, Maryland, 2017. Sitting at the breakfast table in the house in Maine where we summer, a vision came to me. There was the open door, but with the screen door closed. Looking out there was the house across the lawn. The red door was closed but the upstairs window was open. The image needed more, so I put Charlie, my dog, at the doorway looking across the lawn at the upstairs open window. Who should be looking out? In the window is a dog looking across the lawn at Charlie. The image was complete, even though Charlie doesn’t come to Maine with us. He was there in spirit. The greatest challenge for me was deciding what image fit the theme. In our lives, many doors are closed but if you look perhaps you can find an open window. Maine has always provided me with images on many themes.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: As a Door Closes, a Window Opens, 24" x 18". mixed media, wool, handspun yarns, quilting fabrics, and wool roving hooked on linen. Designed and hooked by Molly Colegrove, Newark, New York, 2017. I was really intrigued with the topic. I went with the first thought that popped into my head, which is flying off into the evening out the open window. I often fantasize about just flying away, and this is a theme in my sleeping dreams as well. I used some of my hand dyed quilting fabric for the sky. The colors changed quite a bit, but I ended up with a violet evening sky. I stitched the pieces together and then quilted over the top of the sky, right onto the linen backing. The moon and trees I embroidered with thread and machine. Then I added some punch needle loops to make the trees pop out a bit. I needle felted the flying people and the bird. I haven’t done a lot of plain needle felting and I was surprised how the size grew. The people got so big, they no longer fit into the sky, so one had to be chopped off at the waist. I left the bird in (Rosebud, the cockatoo) as she likes to go for a ride. Then I fitted the bottom portion in, and hooked it with hand dyed wool and hand spun yarn. It was a bit hard to figure out how to combine all the techniques in one rug, and I learned a lot about dry needle felting while having a lot of fun.

Harbinger, 23" x 18", #4- and 6-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Carol Walker, Normandy, Tennessee, 2017. Harbinger: a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another; a forerunner of something. As the cold door of winter closes and the window of spring eases open, its soft, warm breezes bring us the familiar sweet night music of tiny tree frogs. Our tiny harbinger announces that the window is now open wide. Wide to the hope and promise of the renewal of growth. I listened to tree frog voices through online sites. Spring peepers have voices that sound just like their name suggests, peeping. Personally, I think tree frogs are cute. Just look at those toes! And they seem to have built in grins across their little faces. My stash offered all the wool I needed—some plaids, some solids, overdyed as well recycled. The frog is hooked in #4 strips, his toes a lighter color of green, just as a real frog’s toes are a different color. His toes are separated with single ply of yarn. The window at first was to be merely a rectangle but I chose one that opened wide to a wide vista. This proved to be a much better design. Tree frogs are pretty small (2" to 3"), so please pretend that my window is really small, too . . . a bit of artistic license. | Rug Hooking


Closed Doors, 18" x 20", ???????, embroidery, hand sewing, mixed media. Designed and hooked by Ali Strebel, Dayton, Ohio, 2017. I always like a challenge, so decided to try a piece where I only used one piece of wool with a few embellishments. I found this amazing handwoven vintage blanket that had so much character I knew that was just the piece. I started by hand stitching three different verses on three different pieces of the blanket, with the weave going in different directions. Then I appliquéd those three pieces to a larger piece of the blanket. I added more stitching, a few buttons, and a wide strip of wool plaid “ribbon.” That entire piece was stitched down onto a piece of rug linen. I then stripped some of the blanket and hooked a narrow boarder. Thinking it still needed a little more, I added the dark brown wool tongues. Now I can call it done.

Fickle Finger of Fate, 20" in diameter, #7- and 8-cut dyed wool and mixed media on linen. Designed and hooked by Karen Larsen, Elliottsburg, Pennsylvania, 2017. The project theme really made me think long and hard about how to illustrate this. After numerous ideas were discarded for being too literal, I went a bit out of the box with my palmistry design. After all, when one’s life is forced to go in a new direction, one might consult a fortune teller. I first traced the hand on a piece of handdyed wool, which I then embroidered with the astrological symbols. Then I placed the piece of wool on top of a layer of quilt batting, cut out the hand through both layers, and then embroidered the lines of the palm through both layers to create a trapunto effect. The hand was stitched onto the linen and then the hooking was done in #7- and #8-cut wool strips. Before binding and finishing the piece, I hand stitched the cuff of a silk shirt with an added silk ruffle and a fancy button for a 3D effect. To finish, I dyed a piece of wool using what I call the Primary Dye Job, using first blue dye, then red dye, and finally yellow dye. The completed mat was placed on top of this wool, which was brought up and around to the front to cover the edge.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

As a Door Closes, a Window Opens, 18" x 171⁄2", #3-, #4-, #5-cut wool flannel on linen. Designed and hooked by Elissa Crouch, Cambridge, Maryland, 2017. Finding an image to express the words of the challenge was my challenge. Thinking hard is something I gave up when I stopped working. Now I was called on to think, when this fiber art form usually just flows smoothly and sweetly. When the idea of a floating door “floated” in, I knew that was where the eye would linger and not notice the open door and all the fun that was waiting. The saying would make sense with the image. I wanted Alexander Graham Bell’s quote to circle the image.

Next Time, Our Time, 14" x 14", #6-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Lynne Fowler, city, state, 2017. I agonized over this theme for months. I had several ideas but none of them inspired a spark to bring them into completion. I woke up on a Saturday morning and saw in the news the masses of pink hats. It boggled my mind. I immediately got out my sketch pad and started designing this piece. I looked at architectural drawings of the White House and chose to eliminate the modern glass covering. By the very nature of the medium the details are simplified. The pink hat ladies are over spilling the White House. Some are leaning out the window.

Lisanne Miller is the owner of W. Cushing & Co/Joan Moshimer’s Studio; P is for Primitive; and Peace, Love and Wool. Lisanne teaches across the country at rug schools, hook-ins, and other venues. | Rug Hooking





y specialty at the moment is mixed media, so I designed a piece that incorporates different rug making techniques and different fibers. This is my Quillie Sheep, a piece made with prodding and standing wool circles, using wool, sparkle wool, silk, velvet, novelty yarn, and angora goat mohair. TRANSFER THE DESIGN TO THE BACKING Before you begin: serge, glue, tape, or zigzag stitch around the edge of the backing. Find the center of your backing by folding it in half, and then folding it in half again. Make a dot with the marker in the very center of the backing and then use

MATERIALS • 201⁄2" by 16" piece of backing (allows for 5" all around the design). I prefer linen. • 18" rulers • Pencil. I use a kid’s fat #2 pencil, like “My First Ticonderoga.” • Laundry marker or other permanent marker. Sharpie (at last!) makes a marker expressly for fabric. It is called “Stained” and comes in at least 6 colors. These can be found at WalMart and Staples. • Sharp scissors • Wool: various colors • Alternative fibers, as you like • Proddy tool • Long needle and strong thread


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Quillie Sheep, 101â „2" x 16", #3-cut to hand-cut wool, sparkle wool, silk, velvet, novelty yarn, and angora goat mohair on linen. Designed and hooked by Gail Dufresne, Lambertville, New Jersey, 2016. | Rug Hooking



Attaching the quillie to the backing.

Materials and fabric used in the sheep.

Proddy tool and colorful wool used for flowers and background.

your pencil to draw a line in between the two middle threads. That will be the design centerline. Draw the outside design lines, measuring out from the centerline. Match the line on the paper pattern to the line you have drawn on the backing. I use my pencils first and then re-trace the line with a marker. There are several ways to transfer a design from paper to backing. I have a light table and find that method to be the easiest. If you don’t have a light table, you can create this effect: tape your paper pattern to a window and then tape the backing over it. The light showing through the window will allow you to trace the design to the backing using the marker. Zigzag stitch two rows about ¼" out from the design.

this wool because some of the sky area is hidden, like behind the sheep’s head. But this length will allow you to have pieces of wool long enough in any area in which you need it, with enough left over that you can get to the bottom when you need more than you have in one long piece. I used a great deal of wool for the large pink prodded flowers. Each pink plaid wool strip I used is 5" long by 2" wide, and I used six of those in just one prodded flower. That is about 1⁄16 yard of just that particular wool for those large flowers. The sheep’s face was traditionally hooked with about 1⁄32 yard of a boucle wool. I used a relativity small amount of material for the top of the sheep’s head, ears, and body since all but his face are made up of standing wool circles and it takes less to cover an area by sewing on circles than it does to hook the same area.

Determine how much wool you need

How to make standing wool circles

To estimate how much you need for each motif, lay a piece of wool over each specific entire motif and plan for at least 5 or 6 times that amount to hook that motif. The painted sky wool was hooked in the order it was cut to maintain the color flow. My piece of painted wool was about 18" wide by 36" long. The wool shrinks in the direction in which you hook; since I wanted to hook my sky vertically (lengthwise), I needed at least 4 times the vertical dimension of the piece (vertical dimension:10"). You will not use all of

The simple but extremely addictive technique of rolling wool into circles and then adding them to your traditional hooking has become very popular. Once I started making them, I couldn’t stop! I did nothing but make them for days on end, and they fostered loads of new ideas. The rolled circles originate from another style of hooking called standing wool circles. Also called rolling wool or quilling, the name refers to the Victorian paper craft with the same name. The centers of the huge prodded flowers are standing wool circles, as are

most of my sheep. After hooking his face, I hooked an outline around his head, ears, and body. I used various lengths of wool, most about 1⁄4" wide. Holding the strip between my left thumb and forefinger and using both hands, I rolled the wool into a jelly roll and then t-pinned the roll. I sewed back and forth diagonally through the roll several times. A 3" long needle works very well for sewing through these circles, and I used waxed thread, which is very strong and glides through the material. After I made a few circles, I placed them within the outlined top of the sheep head to see if they fit into the outer lines. When I was satisfied, I removed them and placed them on my table in the configuration in which I planned to sew them. Hint: take a photo of them before you move them. Holding the completed standing wool circle over where I wanted it to be placed, I turned my design over and sewed through the backing underneath and into the bottom of the circle, to secure the circle on top. I then turned the backing right side up and sewed into and around the edge of the circle, into the backing. This is done for each circle. To soften the lines of the circles in the sheep’s forehead, I hooked in a bit of angora goat mohair.


Rug Hooking | September •October 2017

How to prod Any weight wool can be used for prodding. I prefer heavy weight coat wool or felted wool as it is stiffer, stands up by

itself better, and is easier to trim. For the huge petals in the flowers along the outside of my design I used a lighter weight pink plaid wool that was easier to pull through the backing. Prodding, by its nature, uses a lot of wool. It all depends on how long and wide you want your petals to be. I cut wool as narrow as 3⁄8" to 1⁄2" wide by 2" to 3" long for the front middle flowers, and as wide as 2" by 5" long for the outer flowers. I rounded the ends of the petals for the outer flowers and left them blunt for the front flowers. I notched the center of each length of petal. This makes them easier to pull through the backing and to manipulate them once they are in place. There are many ways to prod and many different prodding tools. The method I prefer uses a spring-loaded tool that resembles a curling iron. It is more easily done out of the frame or hoop. Holding the backing in your lap, push the tip of the tool through two or three threads of the backing, or about 1⁄4". Squeeze the handle to open the jaw and grab the tip of the strip of wool. Pull the strip through the backing. When half of the strip is through, release the jaw and you will have prodded your first piece. Push the tool back into the same hole as the last strip of material, and push it through another two or three threads. Continue as you did the first piece.

Steam your piece Lay a blanket or towel on a hard surface. Do not steam on a hardwood floor, as moisture may damage it. Good surfaces for smaller pieces are the ironing board or on top of the washer or dryer. Place the rug, wrong side up, on top of the blanket or towel. Completely soak another towel

and wring it out. Place that towel over the rug. Using a medium to high steam setting, place the iron on the wet towel for a few seconds, then lift the iron, and place on another spot on the wet towel. Continue this process until the entire rug has been steamed. No pressure is needed on the iron. Turn the rug over and repeat this process. Let the rug dry thoroughly. Repeat the entire process if the rug still does not lay flat. Be careful if you use mystery materials, which may have a lower melting point than wool. Nylon and silk can take at least as much heat as wool can, but polyester cannot. If you have used materials of an unknown makeup, you may have to go around them, or at least steam carefully.

And do not steam the prodded petals or the standing wool circles. Steam around them, or hook everything first, and then steam, and then prod and sew on the circles. You do not want them to be flat— you want them to give your work a third dimension.

Finishing Cut off the excess backing from your mat and then serge, glue, tape, or zigzag stitch around the edge of the backing. I leave about 2" or 3" all around. Fold the corners over and then baste back. You may wish to re-steam after this step. Finish in your favorite technique. RHM

Designed Exclusively for Rug Hooking Magazine Quillie Sheep/Goat Hill Designs/Gail Dufresne

Pattern: drawn on linen, $40, $7.00 S&H Kit: drawn on linen, $200, $10.00 S&H. Includes full color photo, design on linen, wool, sparkle wool, silk, velvet, angora goat mohair.

Call 1-877-297-0965 to order or order online at Offer expires November 30, 2017.

To order the pattern or the kit for Quillie Sheep, contact Rug Hooking magazine, 1-877-297-0965. Or order online at The cost for the pattern on linen is $40, plus shipping and handling. A kit with the pattern on linen, wool for hooking, and embellishing; $200, plus shipping and handling. | Rug Hooking



Breaking Rules on the Road to Creativity Are rug hooking rules made to be broken? BY DEANNE FITZPATRICK


hen I first started rug hooking, everywhere I turned I was met with rules. Your loops should be this height. Your strips should be this width. There was always some set of rules you should follow.

There was also a bit of a mystery as to who was making these rules. I heard them everywhere, but there was no real source for the abundant and mysterious mandates. I was told to only use wool. I was told not to mix different weights of wool in the same rug. I was told that all my strips should be the same width. These can be important rules, and I knew that. I just was having trouble following them. They did not seem to apply to me . . . well, all except for that rule about just using wool. Now that one I liked. As I looked around and paid

A RULE BREAKER YOU SHOULD KNOW The well-known teacher and artist, Sister Corita Kent (19181986), was a serigraphic artist and watercolorist. She bucked the system in many ways, and she made her own rules. Her rules asserted the following: There should be new rules next week. Meaning, of course, that rules should always be changing as you create so that you can grow. Check out her work at


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

more attention, it seemed that a lot of people were working surreptitiously. They were secretly breaking whatever set of rules they thought they should be following. One of those rule breakers was a founding members of the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia. Sylvia MacDonald was a tiny and tidy white-haired lady when I met her 25 years ago. With her British accent and her prim manner, she was one of the last people I expected to be breaking the rules. But break them she did. Sylvia introduced me to the concept of painting with wool. She was the first person I had ever seen hook with wool fleece and using interesting textures in rugs. She had very strict training as a traditional rug hooker—rules about what you should or should not do. Nevertheless, her artistic curiosity was stronger than any set of rules that she had learned. So she broke the rules. She approached hooking rugs as if she were painting. She blended wools together as if they were oil paints or watercolors. She was brave, I think, at a time when everyone was talking about the width of

your wool and the height of your loops and during the era when everyone constrained by “the rules.” Instead of following an imposed set of rules, she made up a rule of her own: I must hook this wool as if I were a painter. Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t believe in breaking rules just for the sake of breaking them. I just believe that you should not follow rules for the sake of following them. There should be a good reason for any rule—you should know who made it and why it was made. Then you have a good reason for following it or ignoring it. You must also know the risks you take if you break it. Rules have two sides. They can be good for helping us learn the technical aspects of a craft. Once you master those technical aspects, it is important to really examine which rules are important, the rules that make your work strong and solid. Those rules are necessary. But rules can get in the way of creativity and experimentation. If you have a rule in your own rug hooking, be sure that it is one you set yourself, and that you know why

you made that rule. For example, I like to work with quality materials that feel good and look good. That would be one of my rules, but in agreement to Sister Corita Kent, I might change that rule sometime next week. For example, sometimes I hook with materials that do not feel that good to work with because I like the way they look in a rug. Watching my friend Sylvia break the rules all those years ago as she hooked with fleece taught me a lot. I learned that I should not make judgements about people based on how they look and seem. I knew it then and I know it now, but honestly, I still go into default mode and make assumptions sometimes. Artists don’t always look the way we think they should. Over the years, I have also learned the reverse: people who look like artists do not always have the ability to experiment freely with their work. I also learned that assumptions can get in the way of really learning. Sylvia taught me that different materials have the potential to be a great in hooking. That does not mean that I will hook with anything—I have heard people say that about my rugs. I just quietly smile. I do hook with a wide range of materials, but I almost always choose wool because I like the way it feels. What I do, though, is look for as many possible textures of wool that I can find. I don’t stick with wool because it is a rule. Instead I choose to hook with wool because it feels beautiful, it is soft to work with it, and it creates a beautiful finished product that I love. Sylvia’s range of materials was much smaller than mine. Normally she chose skirt-weight wool or fleece. And watching her step out of the normal and expected ways and hook with fleece opened up many possibilities for me. She helped me see wool for what it was—a material that was either unprocessed or processed, available in hundreds of different forms. Wool is magical because it presents itself in so many different ways. I have Sylvia, a very traditional rug hooker, who never looked like a rule breaker, to thank for that insight. RHM

Tiny Landscape, 6" x 6" wool and silk on linen, framed. Designed and hooked by Deanne Fitzpatrick, Amherst, Nova Scotia. One of a series of 49 small hooked rugs depicting the landscape of Nova Scotia.

Deanne Fitzpatrick is an artist and author of seven books about rug hooking. Her hooked rugs are in many private and permanent collections including the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. She has a studio in downtown Amherst, Nova Scotia, and she teaches online at | Rug Hooking


Sun Kissed Field MATERIALS • B  acking: 19" x 22" (for a finished size of 9" x 12") • B  lack permanent marker • T  racing medium • B  inding for finishing: 46" • Y  arn: 2 ply WOOL Border: • 8  " x 15" dark blue for trees and outside border • 8  " x 15" green for border Horizon: • 6  " x 24" sky, main color • 5  "x 14" sky, cloud color • 4  "x 16" light colored trees • d  ark colored trees (same as border) Distant background: • 5  " x 15" wheat highlights • 4  " x 20" wheat, main color • 7  " x 14" wheat, shadows Middle: • 4  " x 14" wheat, dark shadows • 9  " x 20" wheat stalks, green

Hook movement into your landscapes BY RACHELLE LEBLANC

Sun Kissed Field was designed for my beginner class when I first started teaching in 2009. I wanted a pattern that would help teach my students how to create movement within their work without having to draw each and every line. HOOKING THE DESIGN Sun Kissed Field has three distinct sections. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start. » Treat the wool strips the same as you would use paint brushes. » Just like a painter uses different size brushes, don’t be afraid to use a variety of cut sizes. For this project, you will need #4, #6, and #8 cuts. » When working on an image that shows perspective and distance, use narrow cuts in the distant background, and wider strips as you move into middle and foreground sections. One way to create movement in your piece is to use strips that have been hand cut. When the strips are cut with a strip cutter, they are all identical and even in

width. Don’t be afraid to change it up a bit! Hand cut some of the strips, especially in the wider cuts. This will make them a little wonky looking, but it adds interest and gives an organic appearance. You will also want to shape some of your strips if the line you are hooking is curved or finishes in a point. The technique of narrowing and reshaping the wool strips is a great way to create movement and should be used throughout this project.

HOOKING THE BORDER AND HORIZON Start with the border. Use border green wool on the inside row and the dark tree color (blue) on the outside row. Hook one row of each.

Foreground: • 5  " x 22" dirt, main color • 5  " x 16" dirt, green • 4  " x 12" dirt, highlights

Hooking the border Figure A: When you arrive at a narrow or curved area reduce the width of your strip with the help of sharp scissors.

Figure B: When you have a line that finishes in a point, shape your strip accordingly.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Sun Kissed Fields, 12" x 9", #4-, 6-, 8-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Rachelle LeBlanc, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, 2009.

To create movement in any portion of your rug, do not hook in straight lines. Meander, change strip widths, and be fluid with your hooking direction. | Rug Hooking


Hooking the distant background

Hooking the middle and foreground Hook the clouds first using #8 cut. Make sure to narrow, shape, or reduce the width of your strips as you hook around the curved lines and turns. Once the clouds are done, fill in the main sky color. The colors used in the sky are the cloud color and sky main color. To hook the trees on the horizon, use the wool for light colored trees and dark colored trees.

HOOK THE DISTANT BACKGROUND There are three colors in this section: wheat highlights, main wheat color, and the light wheat shadows. Start by hooking the wheat highlights color. Once the highlights are hooked, start introducing your next color with a few narrow cuts. If you want to create movement in your hooked project, remember not to hook in straight lines. When faced with transitions from one color to next, mix both areas together with different size cuts and wonky strips. Repeat with every new color change. Cut sizes to be use in this section are #4 and #6.


HOOK THE MIDDLE AND FOREGROUND When working on the middle section, it is important to include some of the background and foreground colors. This is where you will merge the two middle section colors (wheat dark shadows and green wheat stalk) with both the background and the foreground colors. Use #6 cuts in this section. The colors in the foreground section are: dirt main color, dirt green, and dirt highlights. Use the same transitioning technique as used in the middle section, and start introducing wider #8 strips. This will help create larger areas of color, and give the illusion that the foreground is closer. Remember to narrow, shape, or reduce the width of your strips as needed. You will create a softer transition from color to color, and a more natural looking movement.

FINISHING THE RUG Once your hooking is complete, trim the excess backing, leaving 2” around. Place your rug upside down on a hard, clean surface that won’t be affected by heat. Cover the

Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

back of your rug with a humid 100% cotton (not wet) white towel or sheet, making sure to wring out any excess water. Set your iron on its cotton setting. Once hot, place the iron on the wet towel, pressing down on the back side of your rug. Continue to press and lift your iron until the steam stops or your rug is flat. Fold and press the trimmed backing, mitering the corners. Do not lift or move the rug until it has completely dried.

To add binding: 1. When completely dry, place the binding on the back side of the pressed edge and pin it in place, leaving one thread of backing between the binding and the last row of loops.

2. H  and stitch the binding to the backing, using upholstery or buttonhole thread. Overlap the binding tape by 11⁄2". Fold the end and stitch it down onto the overlapping binding; be sure not to catch the rug underneath. 3. W  ith one hand on top holding the latch hook, and the other hand underneath holding the knitting wool in the shape of a loop, place your latch hook between the binding and the last hooked row. 4. P  ush both the hook and latch through the backing, creating a hole along the folded edge. 5. W  ith the hand that is holding the knitting wool, place the loop onto the hook and close the latch using your thumb.

6. With the latch hook closed, bring the wool through the hole creating a loop. Make sure that the wool end that remains underneath is at least 6” long. You are creating a chain stitch. 7. To continue the chain stitch, push the latch hook through the backing edge approximately 1⁄4" to 3⁄8" away from your last hole. 8. For the first three chain stitches, use both strands of wool, creating a double loop. 9. After the third double loop, take the cut end and pull it through the next hole. The cut end will be secured once the chain stitch has been completed. RHM

HOW TO ORDER To order a complete kit, contact Rachelle LeBlanc at rachelleleb, email at rachelle@ or by phone 1-780-651-8819. The cost of a hand-drawn pattern printed on linen is $35, plus $5 shipping. The cost for the kit, which includes hand-drawn pattern on linen, color mapped picture, and uncut wool is $85, plus $15 shipping. 100% wool 3” handwoven binding tape is $12 per yard, plus shipping.

Rachelle LeBlanc is an American artist living in Canada whose work explores the sifting paradigms of people and place through narrative figures, landscapes, and sculpture. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she teaches rug-hooking workshops across the US and Canada. For more information please visit her site at | Rug Hooking



A Head Full of Colors A tiny fraction of the hookings of Lynn Goegan BY TAMARA PAVICH PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE ARTIST


ay up north in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, north of Lake Nippising, where the winter is long and ice-fishing rules, the amazingly prolific Lynn Goegan hooks. Lynn channels every emotion into her fiber art through vivid colors, symbolic meaning, and mice. She lives with her husband, three little dogs, and two aged and vocal parrots named Herbie and Coco. She carries on a rich correspondence with her internet friend, artist Bev Whalen. And she hooks. Every day, she hooks. “When I was a kid,” Lynn said, “I prayed for a box of crayons with 64 colors. I only got 8. Since I was a child, my head has been full of colors.” For a while, Lynn devoted her creative energy and her love of color to stained-glass art, an obvious influence on her rug-hooking designs with the strong dark outline present in nearly everything she hooks. She worked in a stained-glass store, too,


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Lynn dyes her wool with a paintbrush and hangs her rainbow out to dry.

Little Girl, 13" x 15", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a painting by Bev Whalen. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2014. “This is one of Bev’s favorites,” Lynn said, “and I love it too. This rug will be Bev’s when I am gone. The dog is such a sweet little girl. I crocheted the edge of this one.”

Rose Window, 171⁄2" x 221⁄2", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a stained-glass window. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2015. “I was into stained glass windows,” Lynn said, “and this one really struck me. I adapted the stained-glass image, but the border is all mine. I don’t go by any color rules. I put any color I like into an image.” | Rug Hooking



Top Left: Roses Are Red, 17" x 20", #4-cut wool on line. Adapted from a stainedglass pattern. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2016. “In the corner, one little mouse is standing and reaching out his hand to lift the other one up,” Lynn said. “This story is about my friend who is sick right now. The flowers were done in hand-painted wool.” Bottom Left: The Rose, 121⁄2" x 13", #4-cut wool on line. Adapted from a Dutch delft-blue tile. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2015. Sometimes Lynn consults her husband about her designs: “This rug has a funny story. After I finished the flower in the middle, I asked my husband what I should do with the border. He said try some stonework, and I did. But he was surprised when I made it pink.”

and sold art. She still does some fine crocheting, but she now commits her days to hooking wool rugs. In this medium, she can dye her wool any color she likes. Lynn’s rug hooking took a turn a couple of years ago, when one of her two sons became ill. He recovered, but during that period, Lynn put all of her emotions into her hooking, opening up the subject matter in her designs and using the hooking as a way to process old feelings, fears, and even anger. She sees rug hooking as her therapy, and also as a way to release the rebel inside her. Lynn once sent me a photo of a rug-in-progress, the peaceful image of a glorious peacock with tail-feathers fanned out in serene symmetry. “This is my stress rug,” she wrote. Looking at the rugs featured here, one would never detect that the source of her inspiration can sometimes be negative emotions: “Beautiful rugs can come out of bad experience,” she said. “Hooking keeps me sane. It’s a feeling of emptying out, and it helps me run out ahead of things that bother me.” She may use a symbol, like a crack in a heart, but for


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Mr. Dog, 121⁄2" x 141⁄2", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a painting by Bev Whalen. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2016. “This dog was so handsome, I had to hook him,” Bev said. “I loved hooking his plaid collar. I dyed the wool for the border, painting it with a paintbrush so that colors fade in and out of each other.”

The King, 131⁄2" x 15", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a painting by Bev Whalen. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2016. “I chose to adapt this painting because it was different for Bev,” Lynn said, “not a dog or a cat, but really off the wall. The wide border was my own addition to her painting, and it was hooked without any drawing on the linen, totally freehand, something like a wilderness, I suppose.”

Walter, 12" x 12", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a painting by Bev Whalen. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2013. “Walter, my son’s Boston terrier, sits at our table at Christmas dinner and wears a blue tie,” Lynn said. “This dog in Bev’s painting looked just like him. That border was so much fun, using the colors and outlining in white instead of my usual black. I’m so inspired by Bev’s work and her talent!”

Innocent, 12" x 12", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a painting by Bev Whalen. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2015. “I chose only one of two cats from Bev’s painting,” Lynn said, “because of his sweet facial expression.” | Rug Hooking



English Cottage, 19" x 19", #4-cut wool on linen. Adapted with permission from Alida Akers. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2016. “This design came from an artist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and is more of a watercolor design,” Lynn said. “The artist responded very positively to my email. I sent her a photo of the rug, and she loved it.” the most part, the images she hooks don’t betray a trace of the emotional voltage that fueled the hooking. One or more mice usually find their way into most of Lynn’s designs; she loves them and they might turn up anywhere, even on a basket-weave design! “Don’t let your hooking be guided by rules,” Lynn advises. “Stop. Reject the rules and let your hooking come from the heart and soul.” Lynn joins a hooking group on occasion, but usually she hooks at home alone. She has hooked room-sized rugs (5' x 7'), but nowadays most of her pieces are relatively small, hooked in a #4-cut using a 10-inch hoop, a $7 hook, and bolt wool or “second-hand wool” from recycled kilts. She dyes wool using a paintbrush. And she hooks and hooks, sometimes all the

Celtic Fun, 13" x 15", #4-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Lynn Goegan, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, 2016. “I started with a classic Celtic design and changed it,” Lynn said. “I took pieces of material that were just the right length, and I painted the wool dark-to-light in order to get this effect. The mouse is really my signature.”

hours of the day. Over a period of 11 years, Lynn has hooked more than 250 rugs, many of them adaptations of Bev Whalen’s art. “Right now, I have thirty of Bev’s paintings in my living room alone,” Lynn said. “I buy from her regularly, and she ships the paintings to me. Obviously, her animals with sad eyes are some of my favorite images to hook. They speak to me. The adapted paintings are Bev’s, but the borders are mine.” Bev and Lynn have never met in person. Their long-distance friendship is conducted over the phone and based on their common love of art. “People talk about ‘color planning,’” Lynn said. “I don’t do that. I don’t follow any rules. People say you can’t use so many colors, but I just do it intuitively, I guess. I just follow my

own quirky way of using color.” Naturally, we can include only a fraction of Lynn’s work here, and for this time, we’ve chosen many of her Bev Whalen adaptations and works that mimic the look of stained glass. There’s more, Dear Readers, and we’re already planning to publish Lynn’s self-portraits and perhaps other series in the not-so-distant future. If you would like to contact Lynn Goegan, write to her at conkyisdead@ She mostly stays at home, and she enjoys communicating with others on the subjects of art and hooked rugs. As it turns out, the child who yearned for those 64 crayons has developed an even broader color spectrum in her imagination and in her works of art. RHM

Tamara Pavich writes and hooks in her hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Her book, Designed by You: Ideas and Inspiration for Rug Hookers can be ordered on Amazon or from RHM. Her second book will be released in 2019, and look for the self-portraits of Lynn Goegan (and many others) in that volume. If you have an idea for an article, contact Tamara at


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

(940) 531–4002 | Rug Hooking



Funky Scrappy Gather up those worms and noodles and hook! BY JANINE BROSCIOUS


’ve been rug hooking for less than three years, and already my “worm” bag overflowed. I’ve carried this bag with me all over the country, intending to use up the mass of cut wool. But instead I consistently found myself cutting up more wool—wool that was just perfect for my current project. My journey as a hooker started with a kit. Everything was so neat and tidy—the kit maker was generous, though, and I was left with a few worms. I was already addicted to this art form, so I plunged ahead, deciding to make my own design. I have a rug hooking shop nearby and I went there and drooled a bit over the wool. The shop owner (or should I say enabler?) was patient with me as I chose many pieces of wool for my little project. I wanted to use more than one wool texture in each part of my design. She knew I was a brand new rug hooker without a cutter and

willingly cut all my wool. However, what seemed like such a blessing left me with a problem. Now I had baggies full of cut wool left over after finishing my little project. I planned my next mat and I thought I’d use up a lot of my worms, but alas, the new pattern begged to have brighter, different colors. This time after buying the wool, I didn’t have her cut it all. I just cut what I needed as I went with my rotary cutter. Eventually, I bought a cutter of my own. Those worms kept multiplying. When I traveled, I would cut wool

I started by hooking the multi-colored heart in the corner.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

ahead of time so I could hook in the car. Or if we were visiting relatives, rather than take my cutter, I’d make the strips up before we left. You see the pattern. No matter how I tried not to have it happen, I would end up with extra. Sometimes lots of extras. I found that this is a common problem. “What do I do with all these worms?” “I swear my worms are multiplying over night!” I also learned that there were terms for using up these wiggly masses: scrappy rugs, and hit-or-miss mats. It was time to try one of my own. Remember when we used to be trapped in one spot while talking on a phone? As a little girl, I remember watching my mom holding the handset held in one hand. She often had a piece of paper and a pencil in case she had to take notes. Or maybe it was just to occupy herself during boring calls. Whatever the reason, she would doodle. I was fascinated with the progression of these doodles which often went from flowers to swirls or hearts. She doesn’t realize it, but my mother, who says she is not creative at all, was an inspiration to me to draw. Why not fill a piece of linen with some of those doodles and use up those worms?! Drawing the pattern was easy, but when it was time to start hooking, I

Funky Scrappy, 27" x 22", various cuts wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Janine Broscious, Monrovia, Maryland, 2017. | Rug Hooking



Yellow triangles and colorful circles brighten up a corner.

just wasn’t sure how to begin. Should I just reach into my worm tote and pull out a color? Close my eyes, insert the hook, and see where it landed? I was tempted! I struggle at the beginning of each piece. Being unsure of how to start, I put it off and indulge in overthinking. I tried planning for this rug, but it just seemed confusing. I was used to being able to hold a nice pile of folded wool next to the pattern and imagine where I would insert different textures. The heart asked to be hooked first, so I lectured myself to “jump in and not worry about the end result.” My main thought was to pick colors that I thought would look nice together. The first thing I noticed was that a little sandwich baggie of worms didn’t cover as much area as I thought it would. I had to start grabbing different colors to fill in areas that I had thought would be filled with something else. I told myself that that didn’t matter, and in fact that was what a scrappy rug was all about! My method of storing the worms was getting confusing too. My tote was filled with open sandwich baggies, each holding a different cut wool. Not only was it


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

hard to see what I really had, it was aggravating to rummage through so many bags. It was time to sort. My hubby, Matt, deserves an award for putting up with all my strange antics. We had been calmly sitting on the loveseat watching a movie while I hooked. Suddenly, I burst out, “This is crazy. I can’t work this way!” Grabbing a baggie by the bottom, I flung the wool out of it and onto the floor. “Feel free to help if you want,” I smiled, and before we knew it the entire family room floor was full of brightly colored piles of worms. The movie was forgotten as we did the more important task of sorting worms into colors rather than by type of wool. There was a bit of discussion at this point when I told him that I had heard that some hookers sorted worms by value rather than color. Should I do it that way? At that moment, however, I wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment. Sorting by value sounded like a lot of decision making. Also, I had a feeling that in this piece I would want to grab a color rather than a value. Soon, we had lovely piles of colors and used just a few bags. I already felt better. The heart was finished and I started working on the arced shape

below it. Yellow triangles filled the linen. I found that I didn’t just put my hand in the yellow bag and use whatever I pulled out. Instead, I would use a bit of the bright yellow, than something duller, finally something darker. The interplay of the values and tones intrigued me. I created a depth that I wouldn’t have been able to pull off with just one or two different wools. The doodle in the upper right hand corner received a bit of criticism. Dear hubby commented that it reminded him of an amoeba. Well, I couldn’t have that! So, the amoeba morphed into a flower. I determined to use each color in several parts of the rug to help the viewer’s eye to travel across the piece. So, yellow appeared in the center of the new flower. It looked like I had a lot of blue, so I used that in the petals. Here I ran into a bit of trouble. Maybe I was planning too much and not really following “Scrappy Rug Rules,” if there are such things. I didn’t have enough of the one blue wool to finish the flower petals. After contemplating using a different color on the two petals, I broke down and cut three strips of the blue. I felt like I had broken the rules, but quickly got over that and reminded myself that it was

Fanciful fish swam into the linen adding a bit of colorful whimsy.

my project and therefore MY rules! Matt, my ever-present help and art critic, kept leaning over and asking what I was going to do next. Was I going to use such and such color? What was my plan for such and such area of the rug? What was my underlying design thought? But I kept saying, “I don’t know. Whatever happens.” It was driving my engineer husband crazy, but I loved the freedom! Every time he had questions, I reminded myself that the purpose of this project was to use up worms. It didn’t have to be a masterpiece. In fact, it didn’t even have to look good—I could put it on the floor in the laundry room, if I didn’t like it. It was my NO STRESS piece. My do-whatever-came-to-mind-at-thetime rug. Matt tried to embrace the thought and began singing, “Que sera, sera . . . whatever will be, will be.” I noticed as I progressed through the piece that I loosened up and was able to use colors more liberally. No sticking to one color in that feather. My favorite section was the circles in the lower left corner. There I focused more on value than color and made sure if I used a light piece that the next one would be dark. Rather than filling the background

with all neutral tones, I drew squiggles and triangles and filled them with color. I added three little fishes to swim around in the happy-scrappy mayhem. This piece showed me that I didn’t have as many worms as I thought. Yes, the 27" x 22" mat was done with almost all precut strips. But I found myself saying things like, “This is a scrappy piece, so I can’t cut anything for it. I know! I’ll work on another unfinished rug and accidently cut too much wool!” And then there was when I said, “I had some scraps—they just weren’t cut into strips yet,” for the background. (I actually don’t remember saying these things, but Matt found it all amusing and wrote them down in my notes.) At one point, I wished I was able to attend a hook-in and beg for worms from each person attending. I thought it would be fun to introduce colors and textures that weren’t in my limited stash. But at the end, I realized that my scrappy rug worked out so

well because they were all colors and textures that I had chosen. Even though at times I thought I was using a worm that might end up sticking out like a sore thumb, it all melded together in a beautiful color fantasy. Have you done a scrappy rug? Are those worms multiplying? Don’t be intimidated: plunge in and try something new. Draw some simple shapes. Grab some worms. It would be a fun project with a group too, sharing scraps with each other. Remember to just hook, no worries! Funky Scrappy was another learning project for me. Even though I told myself that it might just look like a big mess and I wouldn’t want to show it to anyone, I was thrilled with the end product. And it was definitely the most relaxing piece I have done yet. It makes me want to fill up my worm tote again. Maybe even on purpose. RHM

Janine Broscious is often on the road with her husband in their camper. She enjoys many forms of art, including making jewelry, designing patterns and, of course, hooking. Check out her website for her art and her husband’s famous 3D printed name tags: Janine’s blog: | Rug Hooking



Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show Nova Scotia dory races memorialized in wool STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA ALDERDICE


he Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (UNESCO World Heritage Site) was the setting for “Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show,” sponsored by the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia. Committee co-chairs were Linda Alderdice and Heather Gordon.

Dory races are part of our heritage in Nova Scotia so the theme “Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show” was aligned with the 64th Annual International Dory Races that take place every year in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Lunenburg.

TO SEE MORE To see even more of the Dory Story Hooked Rug Show, visit our website: and look for “The Rest of the Dory Stories”!

It is quite an interesting story. In 1951, when Lloyd Heisler of Mahone Bay and Tom Frontiero of Gloucester, Massachusetts, met in Lunenburg they started a debate about which dory rowers from which fishing town were the best rowers. That challenge led to the dory races. We received forty-three entries for this hooked rug show. Many visitors viewed the show while it was on display from June to mid-October. In October 2016, the Museum hosted a morning hook-in followed by an artists’ luncheon and formal “thank you” to the Guild. Rug hookers were invited to the hook-in


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Ivan’s Tow, 12" x 12", linen, Eileen Coady, Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, 2016.

Dories in the Fog, 11" x 20", linen, Mora Ballantyne, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 2016.

Dories on the Beach, 24" x 12", verel backing, Maggie Boutilier, Little Pond, Nova Scotia, 2016.

The End of the Day, 25" x 14", hookable wool, Heather Gordon, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 2016. | Rug Hooking



The Retired Dory, 20" x 16", linen, Regina Dixon, West LaHave, Nova Scotia, 2016.

Old Dory at Blue Rocks, 36" x 24" , burlap, Lesley Marshall, Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, 2016.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017 | Rug Hooking



Poppy’s Dorys, 341⁄2" x 211⁄2", silk linen, Diane Penney, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, 2016. Two Dories, 30" x 48", linen, Paulette Hackman, New York, USA, 2016.

Double Dory Fishing on the Grand Banks, 361⁄2" x 241⁄2", burlap, Felicia Knock, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, 2016. at the Museum. This was a first for the Museum and believe it or not, some of the staff at the museum were not aware of what a hook-in was until we showed up with our hooking luggage. It was a fabulous day—the enthusiasm and energy in the room and the buzz around the Museum was gratifying to those who organized this event. More than 80,000 people visited the Museum during the time the show was on display. The comments recorded in the guest book for the show showed 70

that the viewers appreciated the opportunity to see such a spectacular show and learn more about our history. Visitors were asked to fill out a ballot to vote for their favorite dory story, and it was a difficult decision to make. At the closing, the results for the three most-voted-for “Dory Stories” were announced: 1. L  unenburg Waterfront by Lorraine Burch, Chester Basin, Nova Scotia 2. The End of the Day by Heather Gordon, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

The Tidly Idley, 10" x 22", on linen, Ann Jones, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, 2016. | Rug Hooking



The Golden Dory, 251⁄2" x 20", monk’s cloth, Dorothy Myhal Gely, Selkirk, Manitoba, 2016. 3. Old Dory at Blue Rocks by Lesley Marshall, Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia At the conclusion of the event, the Museum invited the Guild to create a themed hooked rug show at their location on an annual basis. The Museum is creating a plaque to recognize the Guild for each year that a show is displayed at the Museum. This truly demonstrates a community partnership between our two organizations. And looking forward to the next exhibit? The tall ship race, Rendez-Vous 2017, came to Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150 anniversary of confederation (http://www. After visiting ports in various parts of Canada, the tall ships visit seven of Nova Scotia’s ports between June 30 and August 16, 2017. The ships then raced from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to France for the final leg of the event. So the theme for the RHGNS’

Dory Heritage, 161⁄2" x 23" , linen, Francis Taylor, Black Rock, Nova Scotia, 2016. 2017 Hooked Rug Show is “Tall Ship Tales.” The exhibit will be on display through mid-October, 2017. Should you be in Nova Scotia then, be sure to stop by to see the show and tour the Museum. RHM

Fishing, 8" x 26" , linen, Frieda Perry, Dayton, Nova Scotia, 2016.

Linda Alderdice is the vice president of the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia. She has been hooking for more than ten years, is always seeking venues to promote the craft of rug hooking, and encourages individuals of all ages to give it a try. She enjoys coordinating, hanging, and dismantling the shows, and takes great pleasure is seeing visitors’ eagerness to learn more about the craft.  


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017 | Rug Hooking



You Can’t Miss, With a Hit-Or-Miss A tried-and-truely traditional way to use your scraps Mary Jane Peabody/Photography by the artists

Jane’s Remains, 43" x 46". #6- and #8-cut new, recycled, and hand dyed wool on linen. Crocheted edge with wool in variegated colorway. Designed and hooked by Jane Ploof, South Starksboro, Vermont, 2016.


eople ask me a lot of questions about doing hit-or-miss rugs, so let’s talk about making them. I love doing hit-or-miss from time to time—watching odd color combinations of wool find their way together into a whole. I am always surprised when I meet an experienced rug hooker who has never done a hit-or-miss! And of course, “hit-or-miss” can mean doing just a section of hit or miss—just a border, just an internal element—or you can do a large hit-or-miss. Take Jane’s Remains, by Jane Ploof: I loved seeing this rug, because it is a hit-or-miss boiled down to the essentials—running rows of color,


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

with a simple crocheted border. In this next rug (of mine), Hit-orMiss Circles, I combined hit-or-miss circles in various sizes on a background of running rows of hit-or-miss. Then I added a vine-and-leaf border element, also in hit-or-miss. One of the beauties of these rugs

is that you can start with the simplest design; the varied colors will supply the fascination. For this rug, I used three sizes of circles—using a coffee can, a drinking glass, and small bowl to trace the circles—and simply scattered them inside a rectangle. If you are a reluctant designer, just trace

the circles (or other elements, such as stars, etc.) on newspaper and cut them out, then move the newsprint circles around on your backing until you like the placement and your circles seem nicely balanced.

First hint:

Look at your worms (cut wool). If, like me, you have a lot of wool cut in the same size (90% of my rugs are hooked with a #6 cut), you have a pretty good shot at doing long rows of random wool and having the rows stay straight. But even with good cutters, there are always some pieces slightly wider or narrower. And some thin wools hook up narrower than really fat, plushy pieces. So in the defined area you are hooking in straight rows, make guidelines every so often, to keep your lines reasonably true.

Second hint:

Using hit-or-miss inside smaller units is a good way to begin. Find a basic geometric pattern or a quilt pattern with simple repeating blocks. Use hit-or-miss for some blocks, and do something else (flowers, for example) in other blocks. When you are doing hit-or-miss in a smaller area, whether in straight lines, circles, or swirls, you can use worms of different sized cuts much more easily. One leaf, block, or circle can have thick and thin pieces mixed together quite easily. And by “hit-or-miss”, we mean using random colors, right? No! C’mon, I can’t believe that anybody, ever, really just stuck their hand in a basket of worms and hooked, in order, whatever came out. Most people are not going to have their cut wool stored evenly distributed by color, anyhow. You finish a rug, and all the leftover odds and ends get

Hit-or-Miss Circles, 24" x 36". #6-cut new and recycled wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Mary Jane Peabody, Wilmot, New Hampshire, 2010. tossed in the basket or a baggie, with a clump of blues, or a handful of reds landing together. So let’s forget the word “random” and think of hit-or-miss as using a mixed variety of the cut wool that is at hand. Unless you are going for a special effect, you want to balance your colors as you hook, and yet you don’t want to dither over picking each piece of wool. Seeing how unexpected color combos develop is the biggest delight of working on a hit-or-miss. Watching as you hook a strip of olive green next to a

pink, then adding a royal blue or pale orange—it’s fascinating! All the colors change a bit as they meet their neighbors.

Third (and most important) hint:

Remember, like a mantra: dark, light, dull, bright. Dark, Light, Dull, Bright. Think of that as you choose colors. You don’t have to really pick one dark, then one light strip—spontaneity is great when you are doing hit-or-miss. But you want to think about the few colors you just hooked in, and see if one of those | Rug Hooking



Lindsay’s Wedding Rug, 26" x 19", #6-cut new and hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Mary Jane Peabody, Wilmot, New Hampshire, 2016. elements is missing and needs to be added to the mix. Most people tend to leave out the “dull,” especially when they have a big basket of lovely bright solid colors. “Dull” does not just mean neutral tans or grays; dull means a dull shade of any color. The hit-or-miss needs dull, just as much as it needs those really bright colors to be a bit separated from each other, and it needs the mediums and lights to be set off with the real dark pieces.

Dark, light, dull, bright.

And to that mantra, I would also add “texture.” Make sure you use worms of plaids or multi-color checks or tweeds. You don’t want all solid colors. The plaids or textures give hints of several colors in one worm, and really add depth and breathing space to the many solids you are bound to have.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Detail of Hit-or-Miss Blocks, (opposite page), 27" x 37". #6-cut new and recycled wool on linen. This purple block is 6" x 5".

Untitled, Unidentified maker, unknown date. Wool, 30 3â „4" x 41". Collection of Shelburne Museum, John Wilmerding Collection. 2013-20.90.

Hit-or-Miss Blocks, 27" x 37", #6 cut new and recycled wool on linen backing. Designed and hooked by Mary Jane Peabody, Wilmot, New Hampshire, 2013. | Rug Hooking


ASK THE EXPERTS Gold 'N Jewels, 32" x 32". #8.5 cut as-is and self-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Gail Duclos Lapierre, Shelburne, Vermont, 2007.

Diamonds and Flowers, 34" x 43", #7- and #8-cut new wool on burlap. Designed and hooked by Sue Hammond, New London, New Hampshire, 2013.


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Fourth Hint:

Add a little variety. Hit-or-miss rugs are busy, and there is a lot going on visually. So it is a good idea to add a visual “break” in the color chaos. In Lindsay’s Wedding Rug, shown on page 76, I added a few blocks of flowers. Many antique hit-or-miss rugs have a checkerboard design, with blocks of hit-or-miss alternating with blocks of a different design element, whether flowers, birds, stars, or some other figure. The alternating squares give the needed visual break to the hit-or-miss sections. Look at the lovely antique rug (maker unknown) shown at the top of page 77. It is from the excellent textile collection of the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. The hit-or-miss border adds color and vibrancy to an otherwise quite simple inner design.

Fifth Hint:

Use a border. With all that busy color, it’s a good idea, I think, to add a border, just to keep everything “corralled” so the colors don’t look like they will escape during the night! I also like to use internal borders around my blocks (which I hook first), just to give the blocks a sharper definition. These internal borders aren’t necessary, but they are a big help in keeping your block edges crisp and straight as you hook. Hit-or-Miss Blocks is a rug with a very basic blocky pattern I just drew out, but I added a few blocks of all-onecolor hit-or-miss. You’ll see there is one block where I used just blues, one of just various reds, another using all greens. I wanted the one-color blocks to provide a little visual break from the multi-colored hitor-miss areas. This is one of the “special effects” you can use, and still have basically a hit-or-miss rug. Note how I added in zigzags and arches, and had the lines of the hit-or-miss going horizontal here, and vertical there. For this rug, instead of using one line of color across the width of each block, I changed colors randomly on the same line, much like

Jane did in Jane’s Remains. I used my usual #6 cut for this rug, except for the black inner border grids. For those black lines, I used a #5-cut so the grid would not dominate. Maybe “all one-color hit-or-miss” is stretching the concept of hit-or-miss a little, but hey, it’s my rug, I can do what I want, right? So can you! Hit-or-miss is a big tent, and adapts to your own sense of design and color.

Sixth Hint:

Linen Backings For Rug Hooking Unbleached hairless linen: 55"



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Teachers Price 5-14 yards




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Ivory Linen 56 wide only

Draw guidelines to keep your shapes in shape. If you are hooking a hit-or-miss star, draw the star outline, and then, a few inches inside it, draw another one, keeping your lines roughly even with the outline. Hook down from the outline, and up from the lines of your inner star until your hooking meets, to keep your shape true. In my Hit-or-Miss Blocks rug, I made sure I drew guidelines even for the zigzags and arches. But what if you use a certain color palette in your rugs, like many primitive hookers do, and so your basket of worms is also in that color palette? You just don’t have many pastels and brights in your basket of leftover wool. Well, just take a look at this rug, Gold ‘N Jewels, on the facing page, designed and hooked by Gail Lapierre. Gail used the simplest of designs— circles, squares, and triangles of hit-ormiss in bright colors, and surrounded them with a mix of browns and cocoas from her basket of wool. The entire rug was done with #8.5-cut scraps from other rugs Gail has made. Beautiful! Now look at Diamonds and Flowers by Sue Hammond (also on the facing page). Sue used a mix of very light colors for some elements, and darker, brighter wools for others. If we had to capture what Sue’s hit-or-miss “mantra” was, I suspect it was “Light, Dull, Bright” and “Dark, Dull, Bright” for the two different elements. And you can see how effectively it works. Sue, by the way, is the only hooker I know who has no big basket of cut strips! She always has her cutter next to her, and cuts three strips and hooks them, then cuts a few more. No basket

Per Yard 1-4 yards


Teachers Price 5-14 yards


Bolt Price 15-49 yards Bulk Price 50 yards and up

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Please visit our website: for beautiful hand dyed wool, amazing hand drawn patterns and other supplies. | Rug Hooking



Bailey Has the Ball, 65 1/4" x 66". Wool and cotton. Designed and hooked by Patty Yoder, 2004. Gift of the Yoder Family, 2016-3.8. ANDY DUBACK Here is a lovely example of a slightly more controlled hit-or-miss by the renowned Vermont rug hooker, Patty Yoder. It comes from the excellent textile collection of the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont. Hooked in 2004, it is titled Bailey Gets the Ball. Look at how Patty used all the colors in the main design of the rug to create her border and expand the liveliness of the design itself. Since the colors used are limited to the colors in her design, I would not call this technically an example of hit-or-miss, but she very effectively used the hit-or-miss idea for her design. Patty did have a way of taking rug hooking traditions and making them her own!

See Them In Person!

The Shelburne Museum will be holding a major exhibit of Patty Yoder’s hooked rugs, opening in September, 2017, at the Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. The


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

exhibit, “Hooked on Patty Yoder” will be on display at the Colgate Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education from September 30, 2017, through January 21, 2018. The museum describes the show: Bringing together the artist’s first and last works alongside preparatory sketches and other ephemera, “Hooked on Patty Yoder” surveys the 13-year career of American rug hooker Patty Yoder (1943-2005). Best known for her beguiling Alphabet of Sheep (2003), Yoder conceived of her designs as “paintings with wool to be hung and enjoyed as art.” Exacting attention to color, composition, and technique, paired with Patty’s penchant for high visual standards and whimsical designs, truly sets her work as a new standard within the field of American textile arts. Details of the exhibit and other hooked rugs in the museum’s collections can be found online at

of worms! But for this hit-or-miss, she took out all her small pieces of wool, washcloth or hanky-sized, and used them for her lovely hit-or-miss. The design is both simple and elegant, and the off-center floral panel really makes it special. You can use hit-or-miss in a range, from my very multicolored rugs, to just a subtle hint of hit-or-miss. Primitive Cat, shown on the right, by Deb Palmer, uses a simplified “lights-and-darks” hit-ormiss.The all-lights inner background and the all-darks border make the perfect resting place for her striped cat. And while straight rows of color can give hit-or-miss rugs a contemporary look, more irregular, contoured rows of color will add a more old-timey, antique look to your rug. Finally, because you are using the worms “at hand,” remember the origin of hit-or-miss: these are the rugs to use up what you have. So if you are hooking color rows across an entire block or area, and you get 2⁄3 of the way across the area you are hooking, but that yellow piece of wool is not long enough, just find a more-or-less similar piece of yellow to finish the row. It works! If you are doing longer, running rows of color, like Jane used in her rug, just switch to another color. Try to vary the lengths of each color strip to add to that random look. Without even trying, as you hook a hit-or-miss rug, you’ll learn about how different colors affect each other, and you will be training your eye for different values of color. What helps the most for a hit-or-miss rug is a basket (or three) of wool worms. Put them to work, and relax and have fun! RHM

Mary Jane Peabody is the current president of NH’s ATHA chapter, White Mountain Woolen Magic, and is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. Portions of this article are adapted from a post on her online blog, at

Primitive Cat, 24" x 34", #8-cut new, recycled and hand dyed wool on primitive linen. Hooked by Deb Palmer, Hadley, Massachusetts, 2012. Irregular, wavy hooking lines add to the primitive appeal. The hodge podge of colors, in a hit-or-miss style make this primitive cat distinctive.


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COMING UP IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF • Canada's National Birds • Vintage Christmas Ornaments • Stained Glass Mat • Hooking with yarn All this and more in the November/December issue of Rug Hooking Magazine | Rug Hooking



Let’s Talk Turkey—Roaster! Autumn colors at your fingertips KAREN POETZINGER


s a fiber artist, I often give dye demos and teach classes away from my home studio. In my studio, I use an electric range with an oven for the majority of my dyeing. Unfortunately, it isn’t very portable. I have tried many different solutions, and I have found that the most versatile substitute is the electric turkey roaster. It is great for all types of dyeing and very affordable, at around $30. Roasters can be found at your local discount stores in abundance at this time of year, and if you can wait until after the first of the year, they are generally on sale. I picked one up for $19 on clearance. For the dyer who does not want to use their kitchen stove (and I recommend you do not) the roaster is a great alternative.

Oak Leaf Study using Autumn Oak Leaf, Glorious Gold, and Jack-o-lantern Orange spot dyes

The Simple Overdye The simple overdye is the most basic type of dyeing that can be done in the roaster. Gather up your wools and give them a soaking in warm water and synthropol or original Dawn dish soap. Work the wool into the soapy water to be sure there are no dry spots. This also will help prevent “white core.” Fill the roaster with enough warm water to allow your wool to swim about. If you want some mottling, then use less water and let it swim less. I fill the roaster about half full for this type of dyeing. Crank up the temperature to high. Mix your dye solution and add it to the water in the roaster. Stir. Add your wool and stir. For more mottling, limit your stirring. For less mottling, stir more frequently. Cover and simmer for 30-45


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

Overdye in the roaster


minutes, stirring occasionally, then add a glug (approximately ¼ cup) of vinegar OR ½-1 teaspoon of citric acid dissolved in hot water. Stir and simmer for another 15–20 minutes. Turn off the roaster and allow to cool. Rinse wool in cool water and dry in the dryer on medium heat.

• Remember that any appliance or tool used for dyeing should never be used for cooking. • Never dye where there is food or drink present. • Always following the dye manufacturer’s safety precautions.


Over dye Acorn Brown

Over Dye Brilliant Orange

Over Dye Blazing Maple Red

⁄4 t. 501 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 560 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 502 PRO Chem


⁄2 t. 122 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 351 PRO Chem


Mix dyes together in 1 CBW (cup boiling water)

Mix dyes together in 1 CBW

Mix dyes together in 1 CBW


⁄4 t. 351 PRO Chem ⁄4 t. 228 PRO Chem 1 ⁄8 t 719 PRO Chem 1

Formulas are for dyeing 1⁄2 yard of wool. You can use natural, white, or try them over some colors for variety. Be sure to try these formulas over different textures as well as white, natural, and other solid colors.

The Spot Dye Fill the roaster with 1⁄2" of water. Crumple your soaked wet wool into the bottom of the roaster. Set the roaster to high heat. Mix up your dyes separately in 11⁄4 cup boiling water and add 1-2 Tbsps. of vinegar or 1⁄2 -1 t. of citric acid. Pour your solutions over the wool, here and there, one at a time. I am quite casual about pouring the dyes over the wool. Press the wool down with a gloved hand. Cover and process

Spot dye in the roaster | Rug Hooking



40-60 minutes. You will have to turn the heat down on the roaster once it gets going. You want to simmer, not boil, your wool. Turn roaster off and allow it to cool before handling. Rinse and dry your wool.

I love spot dyes. They are so useful in tying a color plan together! Here are some of my fall favorites. Along with white or natural wool, try these over other solid colored wools.


Spot dye Jack-o-lantern Orange

Spot Dye Autumn Oak Leaf

Spot Dye Autumn Oak Leaf

⁄2 t. 122 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 372 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 255 PRO Chem


⁄2 t. 122 PRO Chem 1 ⁄8 t. 123 PRO Chem 1 ⁄8 t. 255 PRO Chem 1 ⁄8 t. 372 PRO Chem 1 ⁄16 t. 255 PRO Chem



⁄4 t. 228 PRO Chem ⁄4 t. 122 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 123 PRO Chem 1

Jar-Dyed Gradation Swatches

Gradation swatch in roaster


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

I use a lot of swatches in my pieces, I like to have a wide range of values to choose from. I mainly dye 8-value swatches but have, on occasion, done 12. This strong contrast from the lightest light to the darkest dark is what makes a piece sing. Soak eight 7" x 12" pieces of wool in warm water and synthropol or Dawn dish soap. Fill eight wide-mouth, quart-size canning jars 1⁄2 to 2⁄3 full with water and place them in the roaster. I put the jars in two rows of four each, this allows the cover to fit on top properly. Fill the roaster with warm water within 1" of the top. Prepare your dye formula in exactly 1 cup boiling water. Spoon the solution into the jars as follows: • ½ tsp solution in the first jar • 1 tsp. in the second jar

• • • • •

 tsps. in the third jar 2 3 tsps. in the fourth jar 5 tsps. in the fifth jar 8 tsps. in the sixth jar 12 tsps. in the seventh jar Pour the remaining dye into the eighth jar. Turn roaster to high heat.

Add one piece of wool to each jar, stirring well. Cover and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. When most of the dye is taken up, add ½ tsp. of citric acid or 1 Tbsp. of vinegar to each jar and stir well. Continue simmering until the dye bath is clear. Turn off the roaster and allow it to cool before removing your wool. Rinse your wool well and dry.


Falling Red

Falling Orange

Falling Green

⁄4 t. 306 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 228 PRO Chem 1 ⁄64 t 707PRO Chem


⁄4 t. 228 PRO Chem 1 ⁄32 t. 306 PRO Chem 1 ⁄64 t. 707 PRO Chem


Mix together in EXACTLY 1 CBW

Mix together in EXACTLY 1 CBW

Mix together in EXACTLY 1 CBW


⁄4 t. 707PRO Chem ⁄32 t. 228 PRO Chem 1 ⁄64 t. 306 PRO Chem 1

Some autumn beauties These three gradation formulas work beautifully together as they are created from the same three PRO Chem dyes. As suggested for the other dye methods, try dyeing these formulas over colored wools as well. You can also do dip, transitional, casserole, sausage, and other dyeing techniques you can think of in the roaster. Dive in and enjoy! Remember, the best way to become a better dyer is to embrace mistakes. There is no ugly wool. It may sit on your shelf for a while, but you will always find a use for it!

Affordable and portable— the electric turkey roaster is great for all types of dyeing.

Karen Poetzinger is a McGown certified teacher and actively teaches in her home studio as well as for various workshops. She is a juried member of the Piedmont Craftsmen Guild and Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild in NC and has appeared in Celebration twice. More info can be found at | Rug Hooking



A Rug Hooking Engagement Calendar

In each issue of Rug Hooking and online, Date Book lists rug hooking events, exhibits, and classes across the country and in Canada. In addition, information on meeting days and times for regional rug hooking groups (Gatherings) can be found exclusively on our website at Listings are in alphabetical or chronological order within the categories. Look for listings in your area under these geographic headings: International, Canada, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West. We categorize listings as follows: EVENTS: Attendance is open to the public and event encourages and expands the art of rug hooking. In addition to the dates, times, complete address, and contacts, please include a brief description, and we’ll print if space allows. INSTRUCTION: It is a goal of Rug Hooking to encourage individuals to learn and develop their skills in the art of rug hooking. As a service to our readers, all instructors are invited to provide dates, name of school, city, state, and phone number. This information, as space permits, will be published in the Date Book. GALLERIES: Information on exhibits of hooked rugs. Please provide date, time, location, contact information, and a brief description of the exhibit. GATHERINGS: These are local groups of rug hookers who meet on a weekly or monthly basis, and who welcome new members. Because of the extensiveness of this list, we offer it exclusively online at We encourage you to use this resource to connect with other rug hookers in your area. For inclusion in both the print edition and online Date Book (Gatherings will only appear online), email Or send your information to Rug Hooking, PO Box 388, Shermans Dale, PA 17090. Listings appear until they are outdated. Upcoming Date Book submission deadlines are January 1, 2018 (for March/April/May 2018); March 30, 2018 (for June/July/August 2018), June 1, 2017 (for September/ October 2017); August 1 (for November/December 2017); and October 1 (for January/ February 2018). Rug Hooking reserves the right to edit all submissions. Date Book is the property of Rug Hooking. Listings are not to be duplicated in any publication or in any other form without the consent of the editor. NOTE: Unexpected changes do occur. Please contact each event to confirm details.

EVENTS Sept. 4–Oct. 29, 2017. Women’s Hands Building a Nation, an exhibition commemorating Canada’s

150th birthday through fiber art. Western Development Museum, Saskatoon, SK. Presented by the Chinook Guild of Fibre Arts. Contact: chi-

Sept. 6–8, 2107. Workshop on hooking build-

ings within a landscape, Hooked Rug Museum of North America, 9849 St. Margaret’s Bay Road,

Queensland, NS. Instructor Ruth Downing will explore all aspects of hooking a building in a realistic or primitive vein. Class size is limited; preregistration required for all workshops. For details:

Sept. 6–29, 2017. Closing the Loop. Four textile

artists explore the theme of “Home” through the medium of hand-hooked rugs. Britannia Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC. Contact: Nadine Flagel (604) 363-1330. Sept. 17–22, 2017. Prairie Harvest Rug Hook-

ing School, Edmonton, AB. Are you interested in learning how to hook traditional rugs, want to try a new way of hooking rugs or new technique? Join us for fun, hooking, shopping, and learning. Teachers: Laura Pearce, Michelle Wise, Cec Caswell, Holly Kingdon, and Lise Marchant, offering a variety of courses. Contact: Janet McLean: 780-554-9939.prairieharvestrughooking-

Sept. 30, 2017. Hook-in, Hooked Rug Museum of North America, 9849 St. Margaret’s Bay Road,

Queensland, NS. Kate Thornhill, one of our Canadian Rug Hooking Artists of the Year for 2017. Class size is limited; preregistration required. For details:

Nov. 15-Jan. 29, 2018. Women’s Hands Building a Nation, an exhibition commemorating Canada’s

150th birthday through fiber art. Moose Jaw, SK. Presented by the Chinook Guild of Fibre Arts. Contact: Feb. 17-June 3, 2018. Women’s Hands Building a


Edmonton Rug Hookers Guild. Pleasantview

Community Hall, 109 St. and 58 Ave. First Thursday of each month (except July and August). McGown-certified instructors; supplies and workshops available with membership. Contact: Janet McLean, (780) 554-9939,

Mary Grant, Certified Rug Hooking Instructor. 232

Colonial Heights St., Fredericton, NB, E3B 5M1. Contact: (506)459-8525,mary.e.grant.rughook-

Nation, an exhibition commemorating Canada’s

150th birthday through fiber art. Galt Museum

& Archives, Lethbridge, AB. Presented by the Chinook Guild of Fibre Arts. Contact:

GALLERIES The International Gallery of Hooked Rugs, 19

Lawrence St., Amherst, NS. Open Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Sun., noon to 4 pm. A unique gallery and market of new and antique hand-hooked rugs in a house from the 1870s. Rugs from many countries; free exhibit space. Contact: Avis Chapman, (902) 667-0988.;


Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

NORTHEAST EVENTS Sept. 10–15 and Sept. 17–22, 2017. Rugs by the Sea, a traditional rug hooking school, celebrat-

ing 30 years at the Chalfonte. Contact: Norma Batastini, 973-746-2936, Nlbatastini@verizon. net; Linda Woodbury, 862-253-4343 Linda.

Sept. 30–Oct. 1, 2017. Maine Harvest Hook-In,

2-day hook-in with vendors and hooking. Located at Jeff’s Catering, 15 Littlefield Rd, Brewer, ME 04412, Information: www.searsportrughook-

June 16–19, 2018 and June 20-23 2018. Green

Mountain Rug School, Montpelier, VT. Contact: Nov. 3-4, 2017, 9:00-3:00. Hooked on Fiber,

Biennial Rug Show, Chapter#1, The National Guild of Pearl K. McGown Rughookrafters, Vestal Methodist Church, 328 Main Street, Vestal, NY 13850. No admission fee—donations to Red Bird Mission in KY welcome. Displays and demonstrations students of traditional rug hooking, wool applique, braiding, needle felting, punch needle and spinning. Supply vendors available. Contact: INSTRUCTION

Norma McElhenny. Monday morning classes at

new location in Plymouth, MA. Contact: Norma McElhenny,, (508) 2245969. SOUTHEAST EVENTS November 3–4, 2017. Marietta, Georgia. Hookers

Gone Wild in Georgia, Atlanta Hilton/Marietta

Conference Center. $75 per person, non-refundable, deadline for registration May 1, 2017. Contact: Sharon Craig at madhenprims@yahoo. com, 770-207-7075. Feb 20–22, 2018, Florida Harbor Hookin’. 3 days of hooking in Punta Gorda, FL. Vendors and hooking. Information: www.searsportrughook-


John C. Campbell Folk School offers adult cours-

es in traditional crafts, including several different rug hooking options. Located in the mountains of western North Carolina, the school offers weeklong and weekend courses. Contact: (828) 837-2775; Rug Hooking Classes in Northeastern Tennessee,

Tri-Cities Area. Beginners welcome. Contact: Eeva Valentine at, 423-794-8822.

MIDWEST EVENTS August 13-18, 2018. Rug Hooking Week, Sauder Village, 22611 St. Rt. 2, Archbold, OH. Re-

treat, workshops, Rug Hooking magazine’s Celebration 27 Exhibit, vendors. Join mailing list at

letter-sign-up. Contact:

Pre-registration is required for classes. Sept 15–17, 2017. Michigan’s Apple Blossom Hooking Weekend, Hyatt Place Detroit/Novi.

Hooking, dyeing, classes, fun! Contact: Anne Bond, Visions of Ewe Sept. 17–22, 2017. 4th Annual Woolly Wisdom

Workshop. Kansas City, MO. Instructors: Victoria Ingalls, Kathy Morton, Carol Kassera, and Kathy Meentemeyer. Contact: Victoria Ingalls, (816) 833-1848,; www.victoria

September 28, 2017. Heart of Wisconsin Hook-in,

Spencer Lake Christian Center, Waupaca, WI, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission $22, including coffee, snacks, and lunch. Vendors, silent auction, door prizes, rug show. Information and registration at Contact Carole, 715-323-0532, cbwithane@gmail. com. Oct. 6, 2017, the Nebraska Fall Hook-In,

Friday, 9:00 to 3:00. New venue: Oak Hills Country Club, 12325 Golfing Green Drive, Omaha,

Nebraska (about 120th and Q Streets, close to Interstate 80). Contact: Denise Hoffman, 402297-3996, October 7, 2017. 20th Annual Autumn Valley

years of rug hooking know-how and 30 years of teaching experience. Classes. Contact: Victoria Ingalls, (816) 833-1848, ingallsrugs@sbcglobal. net;

Hook-In, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., $10.00 admis-


sion, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1616 West Olive Street, Stillwater, MN 55082. Vendors, door prizes, rug show, and raffle rug. For more



Oct. 11–14, 2017. Play Hooky in Cleveland, 2017

ATHA Biennial. Holiday Inn, 6001 Rockside Rd, Independence, OH. Classes, workshops, vendor marketplace, auction, and fun! Registration and more information:

Oct. 13–14, 2017. Hooked in the Valley, Pine Tree

Barn, Wooster, OH. Classes, vendors, hook-in. Contact: Kathy Graybill: katfraktur@countrylink. net, Facebook: Hooked in the Valley. October 27–29, 2017. Halloween Hook-In, Owa-

tonna, MN. Contact: Joyce at StraightRiverRug

Oct. 11, 2017. Rug Show and Hook-In. Wed., 10 am to 2 pm. Brightwater Center, 22505 Hwy 9 SE, Woodinville, WA 98072. Free. Rug hooking and braiding vendors, raffles, door prizes. Bring your rugs to hook on and display! Bring a salad to share, desserts provided. Contact: Irene Shell (206) 669-5279 INSTRUCTION Open Rug Hooking Classes with Gene Shepherd.

First Saturday of every month (except June), 9 am to 2 pm., and most first and third Thursdays of every month,10 am to 3 pm. Gene’s Studio, 108 North Vine St., Anaheim, CA 92805. Beginners welcome. Dye classes by request. Contact: (714) 956-5150, . OCEANA To see what is going on in Australia, visit the web-


Susan Elcox, New World Rug Hooking. Certified

McGown Teacher. Boise, ID. Group classes and private instruction. Contact: (208) 229-3319,; www.newworldrug

site of the Australia Rugmakers Guild at www.    Sept. 14–19, 2017. Gallery K, Kichijoji, Tokyo. www. 2-4-14 kichijojihon-cho Musashinocity Tokyo 180-0004 JAPAN

Victoria Hart Ingalls. Classes and workshops in Traditional and Wide Cut Rug Hooking. Forty

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Ali Strebel Designs for Kindred Spirits...........35

Heartfelt Fibre Arts.........................................69


Hooked Treasures...........................................61

American Country Rugs..................................61 Ault’s Rug Hooking Store...............................61 Black Sheep Wool Designs.............................69 Bolivar Cutters................................................17 Checkmate .....................................................69 Colorama Wool...............................................71 Cottage House Primitives...............................35 Counting Sheep..............................................27 Designs in Wool..............................................35 DiFranza Designs............................................17 Dorr Mill Store..................................Back cover

Ewe and Eye....................................................35 Finally Finished................................................21 Fluff & Peachy Bean Designs..........................17 Friends by the Sea..........................................27 Gene Shepherd’s Internet Rug Camp.............61 Goat Hill Designs............................................51 GoingGray.........................................................9 Green Mountain Hooked Rugs, Inc..................9 Halcyon Yarn.....................................................1

Rugs by the Sea..............................................35

Heavens to Betsy............................................55

Saltbox Primitive Woolens..............................79

Sauder Village...................................................3

J. Conner Hooked Rugs..................................73 Jacqueline Hansen Designs..............................9

L.J. Fibers........................................................71 Little House Rugs............................................71 Lizanna Creations..............................................6

Lone Star Quiltworks......................................35 ......................................79 New Earth Designs.........................................27 Off the Hook Rugs..........................................34 Old Friends Woolens......................................27 Olde Cape Cod Rug School............................69 Pine Island Primitives......................................55 Pittsburgh Crafting Frame..............................55 Prairie Rose Rug Hooking School......................................9

Rug Hooking Book Club........ Inside back cover Rug Hooking Store at Black Horse Antiques...................................71 Rug Hooking Traditions..................................81

Sampling.........................................................71 Searsport Rug Hooking..................................31 Seaside Rug Hooking Company.......................9 Sebago Lake Rug School................................21 Spruce Ridge Studios......................................73 Spruce Top Rug Hooking Studio....................27 The Bee Skep..................................................34 The Hartman Hook..........................................35 The Old Tattered Flag.....................................35 The Oxford Company.....................................35 The Wool Studio.............................................27 The Woolery......................................................7 Visions of Ewe.................................................27

W. Cushing & Company ........ Inside front cover Wool & Dyeworks...........................................71 Woolgatherings...............................................61 Woolsocks and Hollyhocks.............................17 Wool Works.....................................................26 Wooly Lady......................................................17 | Rug Hooking



Lorill’s Rug/Lorill Harding WRITTEN BY SARA JUDITH Lorill’s Rug, 24" x 36", approximately 1/2" strips of used T-shirt material on monk’s cloth. Designed and hooked by Lorill Harding, 2015.


his wonderful rug is not the rug that Lorill Harding first set out to hook once she had learned to hook. Her first plan was to hook a 30" x 51" rug to replace a mat by the entrance to her kitchen. It was made in three shades of blue, created by loops of varying heights; the motifs were floral, but quite indistinct. She drew out the general shapes of the flowers, and quickly Lorill realized that the vague shapes were not working. So she researched, and revised her plans. She redrew the flowers, arranged in a vase. This vase proved to be a problem area and the floral elements that had worked well in a runner format were overpowering in a more rectangular format. Lorill was concerned about removing the vase as her teacher had cautioned her that when you remove a large element from a design there is a danger that the finished piece will look like there is a missing part. Lorill added more flowers and leaves, and moved the colors around so they appeared in several places. To adjust the pattern,


she drew the new elements on pieces of paper, pinned them in place on the developing rug, spread the rug on the back of her couch, and audited the choices for a few days before incorporating the changes. Lorill turned to her artist sister, Pam, for advice and help several times along the planning. When the vase was no longer part of the design, there was lots of space to fill. Pam came up with the branches and orange berries that make this design so lively and energetic. Lorill amassing all the T-shirts she could get her hands on, in shades from white to blue. She planned to dye the colors she was unable to get. With time she learned to hook with

Rug Hooking | September • October 2017

available colors and adapt the pattern accordingly. She didn’t let changes of color bother her, but just went with two shades of blue for the background, that eventually became three. As she ran out of background, she did undo some hooking so she could redistribute the colors more evenly. To prepare the T-shirts she washed and dried them, removed all the seams and ribbing, using just the body. Lorill cut the strips with a rotary cutter, by eye, less than 1⁄2" in width and on the vertical grain (not going around the body of the T-shirt). 100% cotton fabric has more resistance when pulling through the backing, whereas wholly synthetic material is soft and silky. Most of her T-shirts are a cotton-polyester combination. She chooses based on color not fiber. Lorill learned many things hooking this rug. As a new hooker, she couldn’t tell what a portion would look like until it was hooked. But Lorill wasn’t too attached to her original plan, and so ended with a marvelous and vibrant rug. She now realizes that she enjoys the design decisions as much as the actual hooking. She has learned to trust the process of hooking to inform her design decisions. The rug is smaller than her first plan, but she now has the confidence to tackle a larger rug. As with this rug, her next hooked piece will very much be her own rug! RHM

Sara Judith enjoys teaching workshops on the Joy of Improvisation and Creative Possibilities. Sara says that rug hooking has infinite possibilities of color, texture, subject matter and materials and it is a delight to open this wonderful field to others by teaching the simple skills of hooking or punch hooking. Combined with each student’s creativity, the results can be spectacular. She lives, teaches, and creates her hooked art in Nelson, British Columbia.

Rug Hooking Magazine, September/October 2017  

Shorter days are coming our way, the perfect weather for reading about the world of rug hooking. Sibyl Osicka amazes us with a woolly and ro...

Rug Hooking Magazine, September/October 2017  

Shorter days are coming our way, the perfect weather for reading about the world of rug hooking. Sibyl Osicka amazes us with a woolly and ro...