Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sweet Kelley Shares her Journey

In Kelley's words.....

"I first started noticing hooking rugs in Country Living Magazine in the early 1990's...then found instructions in Early American Life.  Without a clue on where to find the needed supplies, I ordered a kit from Hooked on Rugs, it was a Santa.  I think the backing was burlap and the strips of wool all solid colors.  I practiced a little on my own, packing those strips as tights as can be.

A friend asked if I was interested in a rug hooking retreat, she had recently started hooking too.  I was lucky enough to go to Barb Carroll's Woolley Fox and have a class with Kathy Morton.  My first rug was an Emma Lou Lais triple snowman.  From the moment I descended into the wool heaven of Barb's basement I have never looked back.

Over the next year or so I attended a dye workshop with Barb and Emma Lou and a few random hooking days at Barb's.  By then I had found the joy of the Miller pencil hook...purchasing as many as I could afford for backup. Although I use 8, 8.5 and 9 strips I use a fine perfect for me.  Last year I purchased the large Talon floor frame and couldn't be happier with it.

I was in my early 30's when I started hooking.  The worse part back then was finding the wool.  Everything from the thrift store, then over dyed.  Beginning hookers today have it made.  I cannot paint with a brush, but give me a hook and a strip of wool though.  From Emma Lou I learned "more is less".  But for me, more is more, why use one red when you can mix a dozen different wools for more interest?

Green is my favorite color, Army blanket green, drab olive, khaki green...not Kelly green, not crayon green but maybe a little lime these days.
I love to hook scrappy rugs and the above was hooked with lots of scraps.

I hook in the living room with my feet up when possible, either sitting on the couch or a sewing chair and always with an Ott light or two by my side.  I listen to audio books or TV shows...I don't own a TV, I listen through Amazon Prime and rarely do I look up when hooking.

Some of my older rugs...I draw up my own designs, love patterns by Lori Brechlin, Woolen Memories, Cheri Payne, Woolley Fox.  
The crow and Old Glory designs were drawn by me, the Crow Alphabet is by Lori Brechlin.  
My latest finish (above) is based on the applique patterns of Cheri Payne.  And my hooking companion is Chester....
Above is Chester on his namesake rug called "Chester"."

Thanks Kelley for joining in, I was looking forward to reading about your journey.  

If others would like to participate you have a general idea of what we rug hookers are wanting to know about you. Must say that I'm somewhat surprised that of the nine participants, none of them had a family member who taught them to hook.  Perhaps that is because we are not of the generations which hooked out of necessity so the tradition/craft was not handed down. 

Hope everyone has a great evening.



  1. Yay! so nice to read about our dear Kelley! always a fun visit to her blog, to see what she has been hooking ~
    {{{ and such a wonderful designer and daughter she is too }}}
    ... by teaching my daughter Hannah to hook {stitch, punch sew-in-general} hopes are she will continue on with my journey in some way ~
    wonderful series, again Saundra ~ Thank you!

  2. Hi Saundra,
    Loved reading Kelley's story!! I so enjoy her blog as well and enjoy her love of hooking, plus those kitty pictures she shares!! Each one of your "interviews" have been a joy to read and I am so happy to get to know a bit more about each gal who loves to hook!! Thanks for taking the time to share!!
    Heart Hugs to you~

  3. Kelley has such a wonderful style and color sense.
    So happy to read about her :)

  4. Very enjoyable to meet the hookers this way.

  5. ha ha ha...not all that sweet! Chester has been gone 7 years and I sure miss that finding bits of his fur in my wool stash...

  6. Now I learned something new about Kelley, lucky her to hook with the greats.
    Of course I love Kelley's style and the rugs she has gifted me.


  7. Have been reading her blog for the past several years now.
    I enjoyed this post, and a view into her work.
    I love the work she shares.
    She is a wonderful person.
    And a loving devoted daughter.

  8. I enjoyed reading Kelley's story! What an inspiration she is to all of us! Love her style!

  9. Enjoyed reading about kelley,,, bern following her blog the last while,,,, great story,,,
    Was showing my grand daughter how to hook last summer,, its so much fun reading these storys,,, thanks to kelley and you saundra!!


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