Sunday, November 1, 2015

Questions from a Newbie and Answers

One of the questions Julie asked was where to hook after the major motif has been hooked.  Usually the major motif is in the center of the design, the largest and focus of the rug.  In this adaptation of an antique which I named "Cat's Meow", if memory serves me, I hooked the cat in the middle, the star and some background around that first.

Then I would have defined and held the outer edge by hooking (in this case) a one row border and working my way in with the heart, flowers and berries, then working background as I made my way along each edge and toward the center.  
But everyone has their own system that works best for them.  There is no right or wrong way.  But sometimes there is a 'best way'.  That is in the instance of 'hooking what is on top first'.

A prime example of 'hooking what is on top first' is Ali Katz.  I hooked the forward green cat first since it is standing in front of the blue cat. Had I hooked the blue cat first the face and shoulder of the green cat would have been distorted.  Therefore I had to hold the body space for that green cat.  Next I would have hooked the blue cat since it was in front or on top of the others.  And followed that theory throughout the rug.  Since background is very boring I try to hook my background around the motifs as I go.
The other question Julie asked was when to hook the border and the worry of loops being pulled out if the hooked section is on the grippers.

Fortunately I have a Snapdragon frame which is great since it has paddles which when flipped tightens the linen on the frame as tight as a drum.  Then when you want to release the pattern you flip the 4 paddles again and just lift off the pattern no problem.  Word of caution here is the paddles have magnets in them.  The Snapdragon frame comes in laptop, floor frame style and too many to mention.  So click on the link above and contact them to see if they can fill your needs or ask questions.  Mine is on a floor frame and mine has wooden paddles which is/was a little cheaper.
But, if budget is limited and cannot afford another frame here is what you do, as I didn't always have a Snapdragon.  What you need to do is grip your pattern and gently pull downward away from the grippers to release those teeth from the holes of the linen.  Do that EASY and then as easily and slowly lift outward and upward on each of the four sides until the linen is free.
I still do use a regular gripper frame and that is what it takes to remove the pattern without causing much pulling out of loops.  Now, that said, there may always be a lump in the back where the loop was teased out a little.  But immediately correct it by pulling the loop or loops back up.

A disclaimer here..... I am not the know all of hooking lessons as I'm self taught and picked up what else from teachers I've had.  But what I do try is help newbies be a little further ahead than I was when there were no blogs to explain things.  

There is still much I need and want to learn.  One thing I'd LOVE to know is how to avoid the ripple of the edge of a rug when there is a triangle design.  Obviously I did something wrong when I hooked this back in the day.

Have a great November 1st; hard to believe we are in the month of Thanksgiving and soon will be Christmas again.  Thankfully, one of my gifts is already hooked and ready for hanging!!!!!!  So glad I started early.



  1. Someone once told me to hook an entire area first so it reduces the number of times you have to move the rug on the frame. But since I'm not good at color planning I tend to hop from motif to motif.

  2. Even though I hook on the straight of the grain, I still often have a bit of a rippled edge.
    I love my Snapdragon (didn't know some had magnetic paddles ~ what do they do?) but it often pulls some of the loops.
    Hugs :)

  3. Hi Saundra...thank you for the helpful suggestions as well as the encouragement to hook what feels right to us.

  4. Great tips and nice that you can help others, we were all newbies at one time and it was by the friendship and generosity of others, that we learned.


  5. So nice that you help others. So many don't have other hookers to bounce their questions off of.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and I always welcome comments.