It is very important to hook a gauge swatch to see how to space your loops. Mark off a 1″ square somewhere on the plain border of your burlap. A 27″ length of yarn should fill this square. We recommend you mark the 27″ on one of the yarn lengths and try to hook the squared area. If you come up short or have excess, pull out the yarn and begin again. Begin by poking the hook through the burlap and catch your yarn on the backside of the burlap. Bring the yarn loop completely through the burlap until the yarn end is as tall on the surface (about 1″ high). Move over three burlap strands to insert your hook through the canvas again and pull up a 1/4″ loop. This spacing is very important because it allows the yarn to puff out all around and gives the desired “Berber” look rather than just a blob of color. If you space the loops too closely together and try to pack them in areas, you will run out of yarn. This will also cause you to have difficulty poking your hook through the tightened canvas strands; and the finished rug will have a tendency to curl under. The loops may seem to be too far apart, but they will fluff up.
We recommend that you bring the loops up about 1″ then down to the 1/4″ height. The yarn should come up through the canvas easily. If it does not, the strand is split. Do not worry about leaving loose yarn on the underside, as this method regulates the yarn tension. Sometimes it helps to wiggle the hook through the canvas in tight areas. If you have pulled out your previous loops, don’t despair. Keep trying, it just takes practice. Do not pull your yarn tight. As you become accustomed to hooking, you will find your loops will become more consistent in height.
When you feel comfortable making loops, it is time to start in on the printed areas. We recommend you start somewhere in the center of your rug design, then instead of jumping around and doing all of one color, work on the next adjacent colors. This will allow you to both see your work in progress, and the hook will easily go through the looser canvas working outward from hooked areas to unhooked areas.
Do not cross yarns on the backside. If you cannot go any further in an area, it is better to stop, make the ending tail and start again.
Crossed threads will create a lump that will be discernible when the rug is on the floor and will be easier to pull if it catches on something. You will see canvas on the reverse side between your rows of yarn. This is normal. We hope these extra hints are helpful. Everyone develops their own method of hooking and holding their hook. Try different ways, and have fun!
BELOW WAS ON RIGHT
How-to for Rug Hooking
by renowned designer Claire Murray
Each Claire Murray rug hooking kit includes the following:
- Rug hooking jute with silk-screened rug design.
- Color photograph of finished rug
- Color location chart
- Rug hook
- 100% wool cable yarn
- Rug binding
RUG HOOKING KIT
Our kits are carefully assembled by hand with everything you need to complete your Claire
Murray rug. A numbered diagram has been included to show where to insert the corresponding yarn colors. Remember, this is a creative process, so you shouldn’t worry about minor changes that you feel personalize your rug.
RUG HOOKING KITS