My First Lesson

I certainly don’t have much to show in the way of results after my first afternoon of ‘hooking’! lol.

597 first lesson

But through that little sample I learned how to coordinate loading a wool strip on the tip of the hook, which I hold under the burlap in my left hand, while pulling loops through the burlap with my right hand, loops supposedly as high as the strips are wide. Spacing depends on the thickness of the wool fabric and density of your backing.

597 lesson closeup

I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until my hands are as familiar with holding thin wool strips and a rug hook as they are with yarn and crochet hook or knitting needles.

My teacher, Marcia, filled many of the gaps in hooking info that I’ve gathered from books and websites. We talked about how to choose an appropriate backing for projects, bind edges, dye wool fabrics, clean and repair hooked rugs, etc.

We also thoroughly discussed my major concern, how to turn used wool clothing into the narrow wool strips you need for hooking. The process takes several steps, but none of them are hard: wash warm and dry low to fluff and full (partly felt) the wool fabric, then disassemble each article of clothing and rip the pieces into strips about two inches wide. This assures that your strips are on-the-grain, which is very important. Next you run the torn strips of wool through a cutter, sometimes called a ‘stripper’.

372 41 wool cutterMine came with a #4 blade, which makes three 1/8″ wide strips. The new #8 blade will do a single 1/4″ strip. Wider strips are for a more rustic or primitive look, perfect for a beginner’s project, like my hot pad!

I tugged on strips that I’d purposely cut slightly off the grain, just to see what would happen – the fabric pulled apart with no effort at all! Imagine your hand-hooked rug turning into shreds over time. gasp! You can bet that I’ll be careful to always cut on the grain!!

Now it’s time to choose a design and colors for my first project. – Marcia suggested a hot pad.

Over several years I’ve gathered what I hope are rug-appropriate wool fabrics. My collection suddenly doubled overnight last year, when I was blessed with this large boxful of solid colored wools

482 3 bin of wool solids

and these two bags of prints. . .

482 2 wool plaids

free! with my purchase of “some yarn” through Craigslist. I think I have more than enough wool to hook a little hot pad, don’t you? lol!

Time to get busy preparing my wool fabric for hooking.

Marcia is waiting on me!

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