Saturday, February 23, 2013

Will hook for wool

I was paging through a book called Made in New York: Handcrafted Works by Master Artisans the other day. I am always happy to see books touting artisans working in traditional crafts, but I was surprised to see an entry for a "Hooked rug weaver". I have never heard any "hooker" (that's what we call ourselves) refer to rug hooking as weaving or refer to a rug hooking frame as a loom as in the book description. Definitions are so important and the fact that this book is not using the correct terminology does a disservice to rug hookers and weavers alike. And please, don't get me started on the entry for the actual weaver in the book. argh.

Here are some of the tools that rug hookers use to hook their rugs.

Rug hooking frame, this one is a Pittsburgh lap frame and rests on my lap while hooking. 

Various rug hooks (hand-turned by my original teacher Mamie Adair's late husband) and wool strips on burlap

Some hooking in progress on the frame, showing the hook pulling the strip of wool through the burlap. Strips of wool can be cut by hand or with cutters that have cutter heads designed to cut the wool into specific widths. I don't have a photo of my wool cutter here but it is definitely not the "fettucine machine" that the Made in New York book mentions.
Here is Rice Bag in progress, the olive background was hooked using wool yarn 

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