First thing that pulls me in is the design. And my interest can change in a nano second from the point of order to the time it goes on my frame. That is also the reason I've 28 patterns in my stash waiting in line to be next. Eventually I'll get them but I'm fickle, lol.
So, after the design the next most important issue for me is the right foundation fabric. When first beginning to hook I had no clue what I liked or what was right for ME. Now I know.
My first choice is natural primitive linen but will buy a design on bleached primitive linen (not hairless linen) as well as rug warp. I will not buy a design on monk's cloth, hairless linen or burlap without the express consent by the seller for me to redraw the design on my own natural primitive linen.
In the event you are a new hooker and still testing the waters you will find out which hooking foundation you prefer. Some people love monks' cloth and I learned the hard way it was not for me. But here are some things you should keep in the back of your mind when ordering a pattern from someone for the first time.
After this initial posting a follower was surprised that I'd use rug warp since I'm a wide cut hooker. Yes, I have used #8 wool strips to hook the rug below. That was the cut used before falling in love with #8.5 so wouldn't hesitate using that cut either. Don't understand why people believe it is a foundation fabric for only narrow cuts. And to use a narrow cut on rug warp you'd have to hook in every hole I believe. Not that I'm willing to give it a go as I don't like hooking narrow cuts. Rug warp is heavier than natural primitive linen. Sorry it is a very washed out version of the rug and since it was sold don't have it to take another photo.
When you buy a pattern it should have at least a 3" outside margin. Two names come to mind who provide extraordinary nice margins ~ Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios and Barb Carroll who formerly owned Woolley Fox. I trust that tradition has continued. There are more good ones out there but those are the two most recently hooked so stand out in my mind.
I do not like the fray check edge and if the seller of a pattern is not serger friendly then even the edge covered with duck tape would be better. I've seen some cute colorful duck tape that would be a better alternative to "fray check". So that is a viable question to ask the person before you buy a pattern from them.... how is the edge prepared. Below are a couple patterns I drew of Polly Minick designs.
Next important item is to have the outside edge on the straight of grain. Always double-check the exterior lines and inside lines if there is a border to be sure it is drawn straight. OMG, I purchased a pattern on ebay from a designer and it was so off kilter that when I tried to draw the lines straight the inside design was so far off it couldn't be fixed. I took a photo of the proper lines I drew and sent a photo to the seller. She returned my money and paid for the shipping back.
Let me make clear that is it very easy for the Sharpie to slip over a row and into the next ditch. It has happened to me and since I can feel that slip will correct it. The story above was way different. The difference was not a row or two it was more like an inch ~ sorta like it was a red dot which was plopped on linen and drawn with no inclination as to where the outside boundaries were.
So when you draw your own patterns, be aware of that scenario. Draw your boundary lines first and then place the design inside those lines.
In January I did a blog post called Domestic Zoo Review and this wonderful rug didn't get posted then. I recently saw it posted on the Out Of Hand Rug Hooking Group and is being hooked by Karen Schoenrock.
~ Interesting design
~ Foundation fabric
~ Edge preparation
~ Drawn straight of grain at outer edge
~ Width of margin beyond design
~ What cut wool is it designed for
Sorry that I missed posting on my blog the first day of February but was afraid to bore you with yet another update on my horse project. If anyone has any questions or what they would like to see me post about, please feel free to write and suggest.
Goodness this ended up being a huge long post and I'm sorry. Guess I'm making up for lost time missing yesterday. You just might have to revisit tomorrow to finish reading.
Have a great evening everyone and now I'm too tired to do an edit, lol.