I taught myself to hook from the basic instructions in Rug Hooking Magazine as well as from a pamphlet from Kindred Spirits. Since I was already a doll maker I decided to hook angel wings that were provided in the Kindred Spirits booklet. I didn't have any wool stash at all so went to a local thrift shop and cut it by hand and a rotary cutter. My hooking was terrible and it seemed to take me forever to do just the dang angel wings, so how could I ever attempt to do a whole rug, I thought.
My next project was also from the Kindred Spirits booklet and was a mitten shape. I wanted this one to be a little nicer looking so ordered some pre-cut wool strips from Forest Heart in Maryland. Well the strips were nice and uniform but not my hooking. Wish I still had that mitt so I could show you my terrible, unruly loops, but I gave it away or threw it away.
Next was a kit I purchased off e-bay and someone had only hooked a couple of the circles and got the whole kit and caboodle for a song (I think I did anyway), and the wool strips were cut yippee. This one turned out a little better because I finally purchased a frame. A Puritan was supposed to be the recommended frame by everyone; but I hated that thing and finally sold it after I got a sit-upon. But at least it was a frame and not a hoop.
So then I figured it was time to take a class and find out what I was doing wrong and unlearn bad habits I may have formed while teaching myself how to hook. My very first teacher was Mary Lou Bleakley and think I drove the poor woman crazy before I even went to class. I had so many questions and am sure each time she turned on the computer and saw another message from me she rolled her eyes and dreaded reading.
Since I had no confidence in my ability to color plan, plus I had no stash to speak of, didn't over dye either, I asked Mary Lou to completely color plan my rug. So this was my first real rug that I hooked and unfortunately cannot remember the name of the design. It has been at my front door since finishing it and it has withstood many a foot step. Perhaps I need to retire it to another location and put something else there and give this one a rest.
Another funny story was that my girlfriend Shari Lutz went with me and we both decided to put our backs against the wall so no one could see our horrible hooking except the teacher when she made her rounds.
This is another rug that Mary Lou color planned for me at the same time and I hooked it at another camp with another teacher. This one is called Humble Beginnings.
I've many many more rug pictures I could show you but this blog has gone on long enough so will let you take a breather and wanting more at a later date.