31 January 2011

More hooking tools

I found these when rummaging through bags and boxes - tools I've had for years but never used (yet)! Both are for use with yarn, I believe, and need the hessian or other base material to be securely stretched on a frame.

27 January 2011

From Morocco

This is a "boucherouite" (boo-shay-REET) rug, made in Morocco - made of torn and used clothing. Read more about these in a NY Times article about an exhibition earlier this year, "Rags to Richesse". There are photos with the article, and a slide show.

26 January 2011

Design sources

My "road monster" rug is nowhere near finished and already I'm thinking ahead to the design of the next one.

Where do designs come from?

One possibility is - paintings. This is part of a landscape by Gustav Klimt, from the webpage of Margaret Arraj (www.millriverrugs.com) -
Among her many designs are titles like "Tropical Tivaetivae" and "Afghan Sun" -- so, other design sources are other textiles, quilts, and embroidery.

25 January 2011

Designed and prodded by Jill Izzard

Hi all

I have turned one of my 'prodded samples' from a previous project into a bag. This sample was made from 100% silk dupion.

I folded the sample in half, lined it with silk, added acrylic handles and voila!

See you all the next meeting - Jill

15 January 2011

Hooked in Labrador

Back in the days before digital cameras, Canada House in London had an exhibition of, or containing, hooked rugs from Newfoundland - they were gorgeous. And here's a book with photos and information! I haven't had time to read it yet and will bring it along to the February meeting.
The book contains old photos of the landscape and activities that the designs are based on.
"Fish Flake" is quite well known - the designer is Rhoda Dawson, who went out to Labrador in the 1930s to work with the Grenfell Mission, which provided medical care. The rugs were fundraisers, and society ladies "down south" in the USA saved up their old silk stockings to donate as material for the rugs - Grenfell had married an American socialite, who got very involved in the enterprise.

The mats are still hooked today, in wool, to the traditional patterns - they are hooked in horizontal lines and use every hole in the "brin" (burlap/hessian).

12 January 2011

Progress so far

At the meeting I got advice of width of strip and type of backing to use. This is enlarged from a small photocopy and measures about 80 cm wide. A small amount was hooked at the meeting - the rest is the result of two nights' hooking while watching television (or rather, listening to it).

The design is based on tracings from A-Z maps of the routes we travel most often in the car. This version combines parts of several journeys - so it's a bit of a fantasy.

9 January 2011

Our Meeting

I enjoyed the meeting at Crafts Central yesterday. It was so good to be with others interested in the craft of Rug Hooking.

With six of us each working on a different project, covering various techniques, it helped make the 'get together' a lively event.

Craft Central is an interesting building and the Art Exhibition we visited on the ground floor was a bonus.

I shall look forward to our next meeting in February. Maybe in the meantime we'll find others who wish to join this active group.

Happy Hooking - Jill

7 January 2011

Creative Rug Makers

If you are interested in using fabric to create wall hangings and rugs then consider joining Hooked in London.

3 January 2011


This wreath was made by progging strips of thin fabric through a hessian backing.
Firstly I drew an inner and outer circle, using a copper wire frame as my guide, onto a piece of hessian. I then prodded in strips of fabric into the hessian between these lines. When the circle was completely covered by these strips I wrapped the hessian around the frame. Finally I attached a small bird in the centre.
I bought my copper frame and hessian from Mary Dayton. She also has more detailed instructions for making a wreath similar to the one shown above. Jill

A Sunflower

I made this sunflower by pulling (progging) shaped pieces of woollen fabric through a linen backing.

The centre of the flower is made from an old tweed skirt my friend found in a charity shop. She kindly sent me some of this skirt which I 'hot-washed' so as to felt it.

Gene Shepherd shows how to make flowers such as the one above in his latest book/DVD; 'Prodded Hooking for a Three-Dimensional Effect'.

2 January 2011

Rosie the Flying Cat

Designed and hooked by Ruth Robinson

Not a 'how to' book, but a tremendously varied collection of contemporary rugs from all round the world (though mostly USA and Canada) in wide variety of styles: Contemporary Hooked Rugs - Themes and Memories - by Linda Rae Coughlin - published by Schiffer. Available from Amazon, but cheaper if you buy from one of the other sellers on Amazon (or support your local bookshop by ordering it through them...)

1 January 2011


The earliest forebears of hooked rugs were the floor mats made in Yorkshire, England during the early part of the 19th century. Workers in weaving mills were allowed to collect thrums, pieces of yarn that ran 9 inches (23cm) long. These by-products were useless to the mill, and the weavers took them home and pulled the thrums through a backing.
(More information - about development of the craft in North America - is here.)

This site (from which the photo of the weaving mill comes) continues:

Because yarn was expensive, and always saved for knitting sweaters, poor families without access to thrums usually made their hooked rugs using scraps of ordinary cloth. But no matter what fabric was used, the hooked rugs were more attractive than the common alternative at the time: inexpensive mats woven from coconut fiber, straw, or corn husks.

Photos of very old rugs are hard to come by - mostly they got used till they wore out!


For getting started, there are many videos on YouTube - click here to see them listed. Happy viewing!

Rag Rug Inspirations book

Rag Rug Inspirations by Juliet Bawden, published in 1996, has quite a few pages on "designers working".

Handcrafted Rugs book

This book is one of the best for clear illustrations of technical details that I've seen, and covers lots of techniques including, braided, felt rugs, needlepoint, prodded, hooked, locker-hooked , tufted, knitted and woven rugs: "Handcrafted Rugs" by Sandra Hardy. On Amazon - price from under £3 + postage - published back in 2001.

Base fabrics

Mary Dayton at Rag Art has a really good range of base fabrics for hooking, including hessian, 100% wool even-weave, linen, cotton, polyester and rug canvas: www.ragartstudios.com