Using Embellishments in Rug Hooking

Using Embellishments in Rug Hooking

Guest Post by Peg Irish

Many people have asked me how I go about working with embellishments in my rug hooking. I love mixing materials and techniques to expand my options for creating a greater variety of textures. Let me use a new series of three pieces to illustrate my approach. Collectively they are called Waves Across the Pacific (Parts 1, 2 and 3). Each piece measures about 8 x 6 inches and incorporates yarns, cut wool, rocks, seashells and small birds printed on plastic.

ThreeWaves600px Using Embellishments in Rug Hooking

First, please understand that you can embellish with whatever you choose that will enhance your work. I begin with the rocks. I try to find rocks that have one side (the backside) that is fairly flat so it will settle into my piece. First I draw the basic design with the actual rocks in place, drawing around each rock. Then the rocks are removed so I can begin hooking. I do not hook where the rocks will go. I am very fond of hooking with yarn because there is so much more variety of texture available. For instance, I chose a very fluffy yarn to provide the splash against the rocks. And I chose shiny yarns to provide sparkle in the water. When the hooking is finished, it is time to place the rocks in the hooking holes left for them. When you place them, if you can see backing then it is necessary to fill in with a bit more hooking. And, since rocks don’t tend to be flat on the back, it is often necessary to trim the hooking by beveling it to help the rock nestle inside the hole. When you are sure that all the hooking is completed, it is time to glue the rocks to the backing and adjacent hooking.

There are several types of glue that can be used, including [Read more…]

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A Little Bit of Rug Hooking This and That

A Little Bit of Rug Hooking This and That

I will not be blog posting on rug hooking and sending my e-newsletter as much throughout the rest of the summer as I have some major activities to prepare for that require my off-line attention.  Since this is a change in my schedule I thought I would inform you of this and do something a little different today.  Look for blog posts from me in  the future to be bi-monthly.  As for today’s news, click the more link below to get details on

  • a preview of my summer activities,
  • a recap of some old blog posts that you may have missed in your inbox,
  • some new video classes soon to be released, AND

I would like to get your feedback for future blog posts.  (I’ll tell you more later.)

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Involve Your Significant Other

Involve Your Significant Other

Many significant others love to be involved in activities you are involved in.  This can be in the form of learning to hook or supporting you by doing an activity like woodworking to complement your hooking.  It could even be simpler, offering a hand while you press or frame your hooked piece.  Some significant others might get involved in more than one way.  In this blog post, I would like to describe how my husband Brian has involved himself in my hooking activities.

Brian said to me once many years ago, “I think I would like to hook a piece.”  I said, “No, you must be kidding.”  It was the last thing I expected him to be interested in.  I was thinking along the lines of stereotypes.  You know, man things versus woman things, and this didn’t fit the stereotype.  He insisted he was interested in learning, so together we selected a pattern for

Welcome Mat 300x154 Involve Your Significant Other

Welcome Mat, hooked by Brian Elcox, Pattern by Heirloom

him.  I dyed up a bunch of wool for him, taught him the basic stitch, and he was off and running.  I didn’t involve myself very much in the color planning or placement because it was pretty obvious he had his own ideas on how that should work.  His piece turned out quite spectacular with a wonderfully colorful sky.

[Read more…]

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Growing Your Rug Hooking Skills

I get lots of feedback from internet friends about their rug hooking skills.  They wish they could hook better.  They look at other people’s work in marvel and wish they could hook a face like that, a pictorial like that, have creativity like another, hook the details of a flower better.  I am here to tell you that rug hooking is not a destination, it is a journey.  If you talk to any of those you admire, they will tell you they started out with lesser quality work too.  They had struggles with their form, their color, their planning, their development.  Some may tell you they had a “break-through” moment.  For others, their advancement may be more subtle.  I write this post to encourage you all to keep striving for more.  Keep adding to your education by attending rug workshops and camps, reading books, reading information on the internet, talking to other hookers.  One day, you will reach your pinnacle too.

I have an example to illustrate this:

Queensland was my first rug.  I made all kinds of mistakes with this rug.

SEFloral Growing Your Rug Hooking Skills

Queensland, Hooked by Susan Elcox, Heirloom pattern

  1. First, [Read more…]
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Helping Those With Special Needs

Helping Those With Special Needs

In this post I hope I can encourage you to help someone with special needs learn to hook a rug.

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally my family’s time to head to the cemetery to remember those in our family who have already passed.  One of those is my brother Robbie (Robin Jones).  He had Downs Syndrome and I adored all of our 30 years together.  His birthday was May 2, so I always think a lot about him during the entire month of May.  He attended schools for special needs children.  During his time at one of these schools, they taught the kids how to do latch hooking.  Robbie loved latch hooking!  He continued what he was taught over the course of many years at home.  He always had a project going.   Our mom supported it by keeping him in supplies.  But there was one downfall.  His store-bought kits were often short a few strands of any given color.  The ability to match those missing strands with yarn purchases was not that easy.

I started rug hooking when he was about 28 or 29.  One of my mentors gifted him a spare Snoopy pattern and all the wool to construct the project and I went about teaching him the hooking technique.  I thought this could be the answer to not having to find him those missing yarn pieces for latch hooking, as long as I could “hook” him in.  And I was excited for the

Robbie Snoopy Helping Those With Special Needs

Robin Jones – Snoopy on His House – 1993

possibilities of having a rug hooking hobby together.  He said  he did not like traditional rug hooking as much, but he persevered through his first project.  I tried numerous times to teach him a smooth stitch at no avail.  Then, just toward the end of  his  snoopy project, I harped on that subject again.  This time, [Read more…]

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