Sep 27 2009
making a mess of the burlap and yarn, this is my first attempt at figuring out hooked rugs
I’ve been in love with antique and vintage hooked rugs for as long as I can remember. The traditional ones are beautiful and remind me of my Eastern European roots.
A few years ago, I visited a native american art gallery on the Tuscarora reservation. Ironically, the art gallery is in the back of a giant cigarette pole barn conglomerate belonging to none other than Smokin Joe Anderson, (a man I have ranted against on this very blog).
The Native American hooked rugs I saw were beautiful. Images of nature, mysticism, of varying textures and components. The artist used long yarns hanging down, silver charms, interpretive shapes and forms and natural colors. I was hooked! (Excuse the pun).
So for a few years now, I’ve been haphazardly trying to gather information about how to do this art. It sounded kind of simple. I’ve read the history and seen the gallery images.
The problems I’m encountering are that it’s not a very popular craft- so there isn’t much out there in the mainstream. I’ve discovered I probably want to do “punch hooking”, which uses rug yarn punched through the fabric medium into a design. The other option is hooking strips of wool. I don’t think I am up to that step just yet. I really need a project that is easy for me to get started. I have so much else going on that it complicated. If, in time, my focus changes to rug making- I’ll gladly collect old wool garments and cut them into strips but right now, uh.. no.
So, off to JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels Arts & Crafts armed with less than zero knowledge about how to start. I came home with a “punch hook” for rug yarn, a loom, and some burlap. I have a bag of good intentions of rug yarn already.
I should mention there are no real step by step instructions available online. Not that I can find. They tell you sort of what to do. They don’t tell you how the yarn gets anchored onto the burlap. How to move the punch hook, how to end the yarn. Little details like that.
I have found Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Rug Hooking Studio, which does offer helpful info but no real step by step getting started instructions.
Then I found this irritating article on eHow, which says How to Make Hooked Rugs and then describes frigging hook-a-rugs from the 70’s!!!
My library luckily has a very low budget and therefore has very old books. Tomorrow I am heading over there to find some books from the 70’s about punch hooking.
Oh and did I mention this is NOT latch hooks? NOT hook-a-rug??? If one more 18 year old with bleach blonde hair takes me to the hook a rug aisle when I ask questions I am going to weave her hair into my next failed attempt!!!
Wish me luck, I’m going back out today. Maybe I can find a beginner’s kit that actually has directions or something. If I ever FIND directions, I will definitely link to them here!
In the meantime, I do have some beautiful sites to share with you for people who are actually making hooked rugs. Of course, they are selling them for $6K each, and operate schools in New England where you can learn the craft. But I’m looking for a $30 entree into this art. Not a $3,000 entree.
Lisa’s Gallery of Rugs