Catching Up

It has been several months since I last posted, the longest gap in all the years I’ve been recording my hooking adventures here. With fall well under way and a skiff of snow on the ground this morning, it’s time for me to get rejuvenated and re-enthused about hooking.

While I did very little hooking in the past few months, I did complete my Prairie Sky, framed it, and gave it to my son and daughter-in-law when they visited at Thanksgiving.DSCN1618

Since they are in the process of relocating from the prairies to Ontario, it also seems an appropriate reminder of home.

I’ve  noticed several people on facebook asking recently about how to frame a piece of hooking and as you might expect there are quite a variety of methods. I’m certainly no expert, having only framed two of my pieces, but this is how I completed this piece. I seldom hook a border, so I wanted to set off the hooking  by using matting around the edges. (I decided to record it here so that I can remember what I did. )

  1. thoroughly steam and block  the piece so that it was an accurate rectangle
  2. purchased a frame that was larger than my hooked piece, and matting slightly bigger than the frame
  3. I had the matting cut to exactly fit the size of the hooking
  4. purchased foam board to back the hooking and cut it to fit the hooking
  5. stretched the hooking over the foam board by lacing with very strong ‘thread’ (I actually unravelled strands of  rug warp and used that)DSCN1614…here it is underway
  6. when finished I clipped the ends to about 3″ and glued them to adjacent strands making a neat back (which no one will ever see)
  7. I removed and discarded the glass from the frame, and popped the hooking through the matting.
  8. I used strong tape on the back to hold the hooking even against the matting, then added the cardboard filler and finished back of the frame.

I’m sure that’s neither the best nor most efficient way to do it, but it worked to my satisfaction.

Now it’s back to my unfinished ‘Virgins’.DSCN1652I am determined to compete the arch before going on to the village, and I’ve actually hooked quite a bit of the light left hand section in the past few days. I still have lots to go , as you can see, and I’m being very careful not to waste any wool, so that I will have enough. Much of it was left over from the background of my ‘stacked log cabin’ piece, and I’m even cutting down my left over #8 strips.DSCN1654DSCN1658….now I’m using #3, so while a bit fiddley….it works well.DSCN1659

…one strip ….DSCN1660….becomes 3 (or 2….depending)

I’ve also come to a decision about one of the dilemmas holding me back in this piece…..the sky! According to the parable , it must be either night, or at least evening. I’ve made the arch dark, and a night sky would not look good against that at all. (didn’t plan that ahead very well!) So… solution (at this point anyway) is to ditch the parable, and the lamps the ladies are holding, and leave myself the option of any sky colour I want. Now it’s just two medieval maidens! DSCN1653

I feel better already!

Now if I can just find that flesh coloured wool to complete the two hands…….

Thanks for stopping by.



For many of us (dare I say most) there is a significant other in the background (be it spouse, sister, brother, parent, child, or friend) who supports our work either emotionally, physically, or both.

Without my DH’s help and support, not a single piece of mine would be on the wall, and many would not be hooked at all!


This week I presented him with a new problem. Emma Sue is to hang in our local Art History museum for the International Women’s Day Art Show. The following information was amongst the guidelines: “All work to be hung on the wall must have proper d-rings and wire.”

Emma Sue is finished with a whipped binding, and doesn’t even have a casing for a rod, let alone a way to hang her with d-rings  (I had to look that up on google to find out what they were!) but Ray set to work to make her presentable……d-rings and all.


This is the back. He made a frame using carpet strips at the top and bottom, set flush with side pieces, installed the d-rings (wire to follow), and put tape at the edges to assure it was smooth.


On the front he glued acid free artist’s backer board, so she would lie flat. The prongs of the carpet strip at top and bottom will hold her secure.


When she’s on the frame it makes an invisible , but secure support, ready to hang anywhere.


And here she is, affixed to her new frame, and ready to visit the Orillia Museum of Art and History, d-rings wire, and all!

….and here’s my hero…on an earlier mission when he was reframing an entire wall to make a secure home for Hygieia and her 3′ x 6′ weight.


Truly my hooking partner! Thanks a bundle  xx oo

How Do I Hang Thee?

….let me count the ways.

There are countless ways to hang our hooked pieces, and I am always looking for that one way that suits me best. For those who like sewing, lovely tabs which show above the hooking make a nice finish….but I hate sewing! Others frame their work, but that is expensive, and not a look that I generally want. …so I keep trying different ways.

Emma Sue is quite small and is simply hung with a strip of tack board (or whatever you call the edge pieces used to install wall to wall carpeting)DSCF5935


My “no penny penny rug” is larger, so Ray used the tack board all the way around to keep it straight and secure on the wall.



This method works well, but leaves a lot of holes in the wall, and if for any reason you want to take the rug down for awhile, you have an ugly frame on the wall.

When I was hanging Hygieia (or more accurately, when Ray was hanging Hygieia) I wanted a more decorative way of doing it, and being that the rug was large and heavy, it needed to be able to support her weight. We bought a heavy curtain rod with  fancy finials, andsecured it at both ends and in the middle. Ray had rebuilt the wall with support behind the dry wall so it would hold it easily.



I inserted a metal rod in the bottom pocket to hold it down and help it to hang straight. (it doesn’t ordinarily stick out)


This topic is on my mind, because this week we have been putting our living room back together after another renovation task is completed, and finally hanging art work and putting up Adele and Althea where we can enjoy them every day. Again I wanted a decorative way to hang them, but nothing as extensive (or as expensive) as what we used for Hygieia. I just love the simple solution we came up with.

I found solid brass pull knobs at Home depot, and Ray installed then on the end of a piece of 5/8″ dowel. He then put two large heavy brass hooks into the wall and hung the pieces. I put a smaller piece of dowling in the bottom sleeve to hod them down.


Here is Althea in her place of honour.


….and Adele in hers….



We’re on a roll…as I write this, Ray is preparing another dowel to hang my Dahlov Ipcar piece in the TV room.

A yucky January thaw is suddenly upon us, and we’ve gone from ridiculous cold and snow  to mild and melting . I have my fingers crossed that the basement doesn’t flood, or the world become a skating rink when it once again drops below freezing. Never a dull moment this winter!

My Frame History

When my father gave me my first hooking pattern and wool, (in the 70’s) I was heavily involved in crewel work. As a result, my initial hooking was done on an embroidery floor frame.  The stand for this lovely little frame came to a sad end, and all that remains is the hoop part. It opens with a small brass screw, and would never accommodate hooking in the hoop itself.


When I took up hooking a second time, I had some lessons with Helen Wells, and she provided me with this box. I think her husband made them. The rug is secured with the clamps (I always used 12 to keep it taut). It served me well until a couple of years ago, when It finally gave up the ghost. ( the nails in the posts would no longer stay secure, and the plywood edges were regularly giving me slivers)


Most people here use hoops (at least at the meetings) but I always found  it was difficult to manage a hoop. I was accustomed to having my hands free with the box, and couldn’t comfortably …hold the hoop, …hold a strip underneath,… and the hook on top…three actions…two hands….didn’t work for me.

Some people at Sunshine rughookers, use ‘sit-on’ hoops, which I have always admired ( the hoop has a small extension and then a board section to slip under your hip….sorry no picture). But I hook at home while sitting in a tub chair, which supports my back, and the arms of the chair extend too far out for this style of hoop.

At the time I was trying to decide about my next frame, I visited a wonderful little shop in Coldwater, called “The Purple Sock”. If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth stopping by. The owner is primarily a knitter and spinner, and loves tea. She has a get together each week for people to drop by, do their craft, have tea and chat. A number of hookers attend this event, and as a result, she now carries hooking supplies in addition to all her fabulous wools etc. It was there that I purchased a viable replacement for my box. I’m sure there is a proper name for this, but I have no idea what it is. There is a large, and a small hoop, and extensions so that it will stand. These can easily be removed, leaving just the hoops. The very best part of this device is that there is a ridge and slot in each hoop, which locks the backing in place, keeping it from slipping. The plastic hoops spread quite well to accommodate hooking when that is necessary, and I purchased a long bolt, which you can see on the larger hoop, which allows the hoop to spread even wider. The annoying part for me, is that, not having a solid base, it is always slipping over my knees. I partially solved that problem, by putting a towel in the hoop  which I’m not using, so there is a solid ‘bottom’. A bit of a nuisance, but it works not too badly.


I feel as if I ‘truly’ became a hooker last spring, when I purchased my K Creations floor and lap frame duo. I love, love, love it! I purchased it on EBay (the only time I have bid on an item there) and felt I got it for a good price….although the shipping to Canada was quite expensive. I thought I would get a lot of use out of the lap section, but in fact I’ve only used it a few times. (My lap has shrunk with age!)  The floor frame however is a dream. The gripper strips hold securely, it tilts and tips and turns every which way. and slips up close to me when I’m working.


It did however extract its pound of flesh initially…or more accurately…its pint of blood. Those gripper strips were out to get me. When a problem arises….run to your big sister for help!!  (at least that’s what I always seem to do).


I bought some fleese at the fabric shop, and my sister helped me (actually she did most of it) make a cover for the gripper strips. I seldom use the  cover when I’m actually hooking, but I hook in our bedroom, and when I stumble into it in the dark, I no longer come away scraped and bleeding!  (also makes for painless transportation too!) My floor frame is one of my most prized hooking possessions.