Contemporary Rug Hooking

Exactly one week after the wedding, I took a rug hooking class with Gail Dufresne.  It was a wonderful class doing something different from what I have done before.  The class was sponsored by Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana (CFAL).  I started out without any plan whatsoever.  My brain was too tired to plan, but  Gail made if easy for us.  She let us do our own thing.  Most of the people in the class knew what they were going to hook and had sketches all ready to go.  Not me.  I started with a blank canvas, literally.  The only marks I made were the edges.  That’s to keep them straight and along the grainline.  I decided to go free-form and to just begin hooking and see where it took me.  I started with the row of slate blue that runs diagonally down the center.  That row is a piece of wool remnant in my scrap bag.  It hooked OK but not as well as the other wools I used.  Mostly I experimented with other fibers.  So far, my “rug” has wool fabric, wool yarn, sari silk yarn, sari silk ribbon, silk roving, wool roving, and acrylic yarn.

It’s slow work.  It took me a while to get the rhythm and a smooth hooking motion.  Some held the hook with a pencil-type grip.  I preferred to hold it more like a crochet hook.  That made sense to me because the left hand underneath the canvas holds the strips or yarn in the same manner as for crochet.  The therapist in me thinks that this type of hook grasp will be easier on the joints.   Eventually, I will get faster.  Like hand embroidery, it’s a peaceful and relaxing occupation.

This is all I’ve managed to add to it in the past two weeks.  It will be a lengthy project.

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6 Responses to Contemporary Rug Hooking

  1. It’s not an especially fast technique, but as you say, it can be meditative and soothing. It will be finished when it’s finished!

    • It would be finished a lot quicker if I weren’t in the midst of other projects and deadlines. But I like having something handy for stitching in my chair at night and this is it for now.

  2. i like the swirly, it reminds me of a chelsea bun, except now I really want a chelsea bun…

  3. I finished my first rug a while ago and am already deeply into my second (bigger) rug. It’s addictive. . . in a relaxing sort of way.

  4. Vicki Stone says:

    it would be much faster if you work from the back, making loops on the other side of your image. you would have to flip your work to see your progress however. you can use a “speed shuttle” but most people like the Oxford hook. it’s a whole other world! look it up, punch rug hooking

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