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The 16 roses offer a good variety of color. The yellow daisies, rust and purple pansies, red tulips and green leaves give balance. The background is beige, several shades of old beige coats were used.
The revival of rug making proves the modern homemaker is as alert and economy minded as her grandmother. Many a beautiful rug has been made from old clothing which was about to be discarded.

This is not a new art, but it is fascinating and almost like gardening with a hook and basket of woolen strips. There is also satisfaction in the knowledge that the very rug you make may be handed down from generation to generation. Hooked rugs will last for years, when properly cared for.

A pattern, rug frame, scissors (or stripper if you plan to go into it on a large scale), thumb tacks, materials for hooking, rug hook and dye are the only materials needed.

Select a pattern first of all. There are many patterns on the market which offer a variety of design and size. These may be found in most of the department stores or in needlecraft shops.

Some hookers prefer to design their own patterns as it gives more originality to their rugs. For this you need vellum paper ( found in most stationery stores ), burlap and carbon. If it is your first attempt at designing it is wise to take it slow and give plenty of thought to the design.

Seed catalogs offer a variety of flowers to be traced and are excellent color guides. Calendar, magazine pictures and greeting cards are also good sources of material for tracing.

Flowers and leaves should be first traced on scraps of vellum and outlined in black ink. When placed under rug-size vellum they will be easily traced.

Place large flowers in center of design and fill in with smaller flowers and leaves. Don’t crowd design and let a little of background show.

When design is pleasing (this is achieved by moving flowers about under rug-size vellum), trace with pencil. Then ink with black as a precautionary measure against lines rubbing off in transferring to burlap.

Rug may be any desired shape – round, oval or rectangular. The vellum paper should be a little larger than rug. Work on a large table. Place carbon on burlap and put pattern over carbon. Weight one end to prevent slipping while it is being transferred.


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Trace with pencil, remove paper pattern and carbon and go over the carbon lines on the burlap with brown ink. Let dry for several days or ink may rub off when hooking pastel shades.
Trace with pencil, remove paper pattern and carbon and go over the carbon lines on the burlap with brown ink. Let dry for several days or ink may rub off when hooking pastel shades.

Transfer pattern to burlap with carbon paper. Go over each flower and leaf with pencil, working from center out.

Rug binding tape, found in most department stores or needlecraft shops, should be sewed on line of border before attaching rug to frame as this will prevent fraying. It should match color of border if possible. If burlap has been cut near the line of border it is well to make a small hem.

There are various rug frames on the market, but a small one which is easy to use may be made at home. Four strips of soft wood may be mitered and joined together with screws. A good size is 18 x 20 inches, as it may be placed on card table top.

The rug hook I prefer, resembles a crochet hook with a wooden handle. This may be found in most department or variety stores at the needlework counter. However, there are several kinds on the market.

Select all wool material, whether new or old, and be sure it is closely woven. If old garments are used, they should be ripped apart completely, all pockets, collars, buttons and buckles removed.

New material may be bought in mill end shops for a small amount and is ideal for rug hooking.

Old material is found in many places. It is quite possible you will have much of what you will need in the family closets. Old skirts, jackets, flannel trousers and coats are all excellent hooking material.

All material (new or old) should be washed and rinsed thoroughly. Washing removes much of the sizing from new material, making it softer and more pliable to work with.

Use any good commercial dye. Cut strips 3 inches wide and 20 inches long. Rinse in cold water and squeeze out excess water.

For dying you will need a small pan (enamel is best), large spoon for lifting and stirring material, measuring spoon, glass container for mixing dye, salt (noniodized), dye and a pair of ruber gloves to keep hand free from satin.

You need from six to eight shades for roses. The larger the rose the more shades needed. Dissolve one package of garnet ( this gives a deep red rose ) or cherry ( a bright rose color ), in 1 cup boiling water.

Put 2 cups of warm water in dye pan and place over low heat. To this add ½ teaspoon dye solution. Put in first strip. Remove after a few minutes and add 1 teaspoon salt. Return strip to bath and simmer until all or most of dye is absorbed.

Remove strip and hold under cold running water until water runs clear. Fold and place on paper towelling on oven or drainboard to use as guide in next shade.

Start with fresh water each time. This will give clear colors. For second shape put 1 teaspoon dye solution in pan. Put in strip. Remove and add salt as in first step.

As desired shade is obtained, remove each strip and hold under cold running water until water runs clear.

Double amount of dye solution for each shade until the last one. For this, which is to be used for shadows, use about 20 teaspoons of dye solution about 2 teaspoons of black (which has been dissolved).

Put in strip and let simmer much longer than any of the others as this should be almost black with just a slight red cast.

Material should be dried in shade after it is dyed. This gives brightness to colors.

Leaves for roses are obtained by using 3 teaspoons of bright green and 1 teaspoon yellow or gold dye. Three and four shades are sufficient. Make veins rust or bown.

Open petal flowers need not have as many shades as roses. However, it is good to work in several shades to give shape to flowers.

Nile green is used for leaves. Work in veins in a darker green or small brown check.

Daisies may be yellow or white into gray.  When extra large (as shown in finished rug) they should brown checks or brown and red plaid center or flower. Outlike in dark brown.

White daisies are hooked with the white on outside of petal and gray toward the center. Yellow centes are pretty when outlined in darker green.

Leaves are jade green. Make veins dark green or light brown. Pansies may be hooked in rust, yellow or purple. Or they may be made in contrasting colors such as yellow and rust and white. Outline petals in a dark shade so they will stand out. Centers are light green with a row of white (almost forming a heart shape)

At top and a row of yellow at the bottom.

Leaves for these are jade, veined in rust.

Red tulips may be made with garnet rose colors. Yellow tulips may be made from a series of colors which have been dyed for yellow daisies. Or if a deeper shade is desired, add 1 teaspoon of orange dye to yellow.

Outline tulips with lightest shade and vein petals with a dark shade. A little black may be worked in around the petals which lap over another.


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Hold in hook in right hand and strip of wool in left hand under rug frame. Pull through mesh in burlap. Keep material folded and on edge of table within easy reach.
Nile green is used for leaves and a slightly darker shade for stems. When burlap has been attached to frame, making sure it is tight for good hooking, you are ready to begin. Cut strips from dyed material 1/8-inch wide or narrower if desired. It is never wise t cut more strips than can be used at the time for they sometimes mat and tangle when stored. Hold hook in right hand. Hold strip in the left hand under burlap pattern. Pull strip through burlap  with hook to about one inch. Pull the next loop through to a height of about 1/8 inch. Continue pulling loops through until you reach the end.

Now trim single strips or ends to same height of loops. This may seem a little difficult at first but will come easier as you go along.

Always begin hooking in center of design and work toward edge. If you are careful to follow inked lines, flowers and leaves will hold shape.

Fill in the background and hook border last of all.

Remember the lightest shades are used as highlights. There they should always be on top or outside of petal. Use the darkest colotrs for bowl of rose. This will give roundness and the petals will look more real.

Never feel discourages if part of design is more evenly hooked when rug is finished. This proves you have gained skill. So your next rug will have more professional look.

There are several colors to choose for backgrounds. Beige is perhaps the most practical. But dark wine, antique white and even black are pretty for floral designs.

Material from old coats is ideal for background. You may use several shades of beige and get a very unique background. Use the half circle method here.

This is done by making half circles and filling them in.  A convenient way to do this is to keep several small boxes filled with different shades of the beige. After several half circles are made, fill in by using one strip from a different box each time. This is easy to do and produces a very pleasing background.

The border frames the rug, so select one to compliment the design. It should always be darker than background (unless you prefer to carry background color to edge of rug and not have a border). It may be black, wine, green, brown or a darker shade of the background color.

When the rug is completely finished (that is, the background and border hooked), remove from frame, whip binding to back of rug.

Place a damp towel over back of rug and press with warm iron. Sometimes this may require more than one pressing before rug will lie flat.

Hooked rugs should be cleaned frequently. This not only rids them of dust and dirt but is a preventive against moths.

Hooked rugs offer a challenge. By the time one is finished, it is very unusual if the hooker is not already planning.

Each one is easier to hook, for skill is gained by hooking and the color planning becomes more interesting. Don’t stop on the first one continue on to greater fields by making larger rugs; more unusual ones and those which prove to your family and friends that you are a creative person.



 For more of these visit Vintage Crochet Patterns and Vintage Knitting Patterns Site



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