Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rug Camp ~ Patterns, Wool and Other Supplies

My first rug camp was a McGowan camp mentioned in my first rug camp post.  In the beginning only a Pearl McGowan pattern could be taken and no other.  Then they became somewhat less strict and allowed patterns from the Primco/Charco designs.  Now they allow anyone's design in the class.  I believe they realized a loss of revenue since new hookers craved and developed a new style where primitive and wide cut was more popular.

PATTERNS ~ Was asked what size pattern one should take to class.  If you are a newbie I'd suggest something small so you aren't overwhelmed and will have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the camp.  Don't take a 24 x 36 or larger unless you have been home practicing and have established a rhythm pulling loops.

Choose a design which makes you happy and will have fun hooking. You can purchase it on your own or if a pattern your teacher offers you can have her bring it to class for you.  Frankly I'd rather pay postage and ponder it at home before camp.

If you have the supplies and can draw  your own that is okay too ~ BUT, be sure you are not stealing someone else's design by seeing something on Pinterest or someone's blog.  You could always email that person to ask who sells the pattern or if it is an antique and in public domain.  I won't get into the detail of what determins public domain as it is complicated. Okay, you have your pattern and what about the wool?

WOOL ~  Teachers will color plan from the wool selection you take. Sometimes when using your colors she/he might have a suggestion which would make the rug better (in their eyes).  You are not required to buy from the teacher but they have a huge selection and better than ours.  It has been my experience that the wool purchased was a great choice and did make my rug better.

My favorite colors are barn red, old gold, earthy greens and browns, blue.  My background choices usually are either primitive black or a dirty cream/white.   Depending on the pattern and the room it will go in determines my colors and background.  Sometimes I don't care about the color of background and let my teacher (particularly Barb) have free rein.  
Above is part of how I take my wool to camp.  I pin colors onto a ring of wool choices for the rug about to hook but have larger pieces in a tote which I would keep in my car until I needed it or by my side in a tote on the floor.  You can choose your own way of transporting your wool.  In the patriotic bag are rolled up rugs for the rug show at Cape May back whenever.
And below is the result of those colors on the ring and my background. The design is called Wee Folk and was offered by Vermont Folk Art Rugs.
Take your own wool you like and something for the background.  I don't take more than a half yard of any unless it might be my background color choices.  No need to take your whole wool room as there will be plenty for sale from your teacher or other teacher's classrooms.

OH, that is something else... protocol....there is an unwritten law that you can't visit the other teachers' classrooms to buy wool until the second day after lunch.  This way it allows that teacher's students to get first dibs on the wool she has taken.

OTHER SUPPLIES ~  Here is a list of what you should take:
  rug hook
  cutter and blades
  Ott or other light (just in case)
  Sharpie (just in case) but the teacher always has one

If you do not have a cutter please let your teacher know before arriving so she/he can take one for you to use or unless you are traveling with a companion who has offered you to use it during class.

Rug camps are a perfect time to try someones hook, another style frame or cutter so you know if you'd like to own one.  Please ask and most hookers will happily comply.  While I often volunteer to let admiring hookers test drive my equipment I wouldn't want them depending on my cutter the entire camp.

Here are optional supplies to which I and my gal pals indulge:
  snacks for the room

Have a great Sunday evening and sorry for the rambling.  Seems this subject can't be reduced to one or two paragraphs.  If I'm forgetting something please feel free to let me know so that it can be covered in a future post.



  1. I notice you listed wine ahead of snacks. Good girl! Lol. Your hooking supplies are so organized. I'd show up at camp without the pattern or half the wool. I'm the queen of disorganized

  2. Want to attend a camp - enjoyed your posts and very informative. Will get to one sooner or later!

  3. Kim's comment made me laugh but she is right!
    One thing I'd like you to touch on is frames. I've never used a floor frame and think I'm ready to try one. I'm either balancing the frame on my lap or have it on the couch next to me and hooked hunched over. I only use my Snapdragon. I know you have several different. How about some pros and cons of each?
    Hugs :)

  4. I see another rug hooking timeout ahead of me. I like the idea of a tall, sturdy bag for my rugs, so need to gather supplies and head to the Bernina. I already feel calmer about camp in June. Again....thanks from the bottom of my little rug hooking heart.

  5. The one thing I did take to my last camp and use often in my Wooly Nest is a box of Swiffer sweeper dry cloths. It helps to wipe the wool lint/dust from the table. Trust's much better than paper towel.

  6. Thoroughly enjoying reading your posts on camps ~ all kinds of great advice and tips 🤓

  7. Really wonderful posts to help those going to camp. Nothing worse than getting there and realizing you forgot something or didn't prepare properly to enjoy the experience.


  8. Enjoyed that, saundra,,,, have been to a few rug schools and always enjoyed them,,, great advice,,,, thanks ,,,,


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