Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY: Stripping and Hooking

Look at that sweet face, poised and ready to get her hookin' on. Photos from a 1951 Rug Hooking Bee. What I wouldn't give to travel back in time, dress spectacularly and join the fun.
My mother-in-law is a stripper. And a hooker.

It's not a secret or anything, we're all cool with it. To each his own, we say. It's good to have a hobby.

It was just a little something she started doing on the side a couple of years ago. We didn't think much of it. She got her sister interested in it and now, me.

That's right. I'm a hooker. 

A rug hooker, that is. Why, is there any other kind?

Now, lemme clarify. Because when my MIL first began speaking of rug hooking, I immediately had a flash back of the rug hooking I did in elementary school. I remember sitting on my babysitter's couch every afternoon hooking an image of a mushroom with short little strips of yarn. My dad even made one of these types of rugs, a large red number featuring a running tiger. Very 1970's chic. But that's not what I'm talking about. That's latch rug hooking.
The rug hooking I'm talking about involves strips of wool, not yarn. And, if you'll notice in above photo, the surface that is hooked upon is a fabric called Monk's Cloth. Not the holey grid-like fabric used in latch hooking.
My mother-in-law with one of her many hooked designs. The barn she is hooking is from a drawing my hubs did in junior high school.

And an adorable rug hooking she made for me. Notice the turquoise and orange variegated wool near the border? It came from an old wool jacket of mine. And the brown wool on the inside border is from a jacket of hubs. This hooking will one day be made into a pillow or to cover of a footstool.

So, to try your hand at rug hooking, the first thing you'd have to do is strip some wool. Wool fabric, which can be purchased or recycled from wool clothing, is stripped through a device that leaves it looking like colorful linguine. A rug hook, best seen in the hand of the freckly little girl, is inserted into the Monk's Cloth with one hand while your other hand works underneath looping the wool over the hook.
Once the wool is looped over the hook, it is then pulled to the surface of the Monk's Cloth. With your other hand still underneath the fabric, it pulls the excess strip down to make the wool loops even with the others.
Once a couple of rows are completed, the loops should look like little rows of soldiers standing in a row, not crowded but straight and even.
My wee little finished section! My hope is to create a decent sized rug for my kitchen. I just had to share this little square (it's about 8" x 8") with you as I was just so excited by the result. Who knew I'd love hooking so much?
Er, I dunno if I'll ever like it that much. Ahem.
As always, thanks for dropping by! I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got important hooking to do.


  1. how fun to have such a hobby you love!! your pictures are great!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  2. ooh! it looks awesome so far! what a fun project :D

  3. Thank you, ladies! And thanks for reading ;)

  4. My family goes up to Nova Scotia every summer and hooking is very popular there. Some of the rugs are amazing! I've always wanted to try hooking, maybe I'll actually get around to it this year :)

    1. Get out! My mother in law will flip out when she hears that, she is always chatting about Nova Scotia and their style of hooking. Why don't you just plan a little trip to Nashville and I'll teach you how ;)


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