Wild for Rug Hooking

“Chris! You HAVE to do this!” These are the words my husband, Richard, exclaimed when we saw what hooked rugs could look like! Our preconceived notions of hooked rugs—stodgy colors, “cutesy” designs in country motifs—were dashed at The Tin Peddlars hooked rug exhibit at Bowdoin College four years ago. Color, texture, off-the-wall designs. This was right up my alley!

I have been in love with fiber-related activities for 40+ years. As soon as I picked up a pair of knitting needles and a ball of great yarn, I was a goner. Knitting lead me to needle felting which led me to spinning which led me to dyeing which led me to wet felting. And now I was headed toward hooking!

My hooked rug material comes almost exclusively from old wool clothing found at my local GoodWill. Hunting through the racks of skirts and pants is so much fun, especially when I hit the jackpot and find a vintage plaid kilt! Yards and yards of good quality wool for just a few bucks! If colors found in the “wild” are not to my liking, I can always overdye the wool. Ha ha ha ha!!

The designs for my footstools come from my head, although sometimes I do take the lazy way and purchase a predesigned pattern. The colors I use in my pieces are chosen by me. I’ve never had any training in color designing, so I just pick the colors I like, and they seem to go.

My fiber philosophy is to do what pleases me and don’t get sidetracked by the “right” and “wrong” way to do things.

—photos and story by Chris Antonak, Fiber Addict

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