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.