Posted by: Laura Pierce | March 25, 2020

Hooks & Fat Loops

Yes… I believe in fat loops with enough space to ‘blossom’ out and just touch the next loop.

fat loops 1

Side view of fat loops

This means skipping spaces as you hook. When I use #6 and #8 cuts, I usually skip a space with each loop. When I use #3 cut, I usually hook in every space. For #4 and #5 cuts, I usually skip a space, then hook 2 spaces, skip a space, and so on…

fat loops 2

blue #3 or #4 cut fat loops

Even fine cuts can be hooked ‘fat’.  When we iron our rugs before finishing, the loops become more uniform in height.  Fat loops are more squishy and the rugs are more supple.  If you don’t give your loops enough room to be fat… your loops will be ‘packed’,  and pulling loops will get harder as the backing becomes tighter.

Fav hooks 2

My favorite hooks: Ritchie 5mm Easy grip and Miller Magic hook with red pencil grip.

Here are my 2 hooks. I use my Ritchie 5mm Easy Grip hook for #6 and #8 cuts. I love the curvy handle and I can hold it several different ways. I use my Miller Magic hook for fine cuts and detail work. This hook is one of the old versions with a tiny and effective hook. I can’t get the red pencil grip off of it… they seemed to have bonded.

palm hook hold

Grasp a palm hook with you whole hand.

It’s best if you can feel and try a hook before you buy it. Each one is hand-made, so each one is different.

palm hook point

Control grip ready to pull loops

Pulling #6 and #8 cuts is easier on your hands if you approach your hooking in a lateral or flat manner. Palming the hook makes you use your arm and puts less stress on your fingers, hands and wrist. When you’ve got acres of loops to pull… good loop pulling technique is important.

palm hook pull

pulling the loop up on shaft of hook

Push the hook all the way into the backing to open a hole to pull wide loops through. With your hand under the backing, lay the strip across the shaft of the hook and pull the loop through… on the shaft of the hook.

fine hook hole

fine cut with Miller Magic hook

The Miller hook also has a nice fat shaft, but we don’t need a big hole in the backing to pull through the loop… because fine loops are smaller than the shaft and that big hole. Just put the tip of the hook into the backing to begin your loop.

fine hook grab

hook into backing to grab loop

Pulling fine cut loops is not that hard on your hands, so we can hold the hook more like a pencil. This gives a feeling of control. I recommend a pencil grip for this hook to make you use a more ergonomic grip.

fine hook pull

pulling fine loop on the end of the hook

The hand under the backing holds a strip so that it can be snagged by the hook and pulled through; a little different than the big hook.

Start slow and develop a rhythm, soon your hands will learn the steps and you can go faster. Don’t hook too long without a break and a stretch.

next time, we can talk about how close the rows of hooking should be…

Posted by: Laura Pierce | March 24, 2020

Caswell Couple Pattern Possiblities!

To continue … if you want to personalize the Caswell Couple pattern, you can lay tracing paper over a printed pattern.  It’s fun to make the couple someone you know… it could make a nice little wedding rug!  This couple are the same height, more or less;  if you want to make the gentleman taller, you can cut the paper pattern so that he’s on one side and she’s on the other.  then move his side up to a good height and trace with the new proportions.

Cas cpl cut

Caswell Couple pattern cut and realigned.

Lay tracing paper over the modified version and create your couple. Change their outfits and possibly change the floral motifs into something else!

cas cpl hc

Here is our friends; Heidi & Charlie.

I had to make Charlie’s arms longer so he can hold Heidi’s hand and present the flower. I should have tilted Heidi’s head up… and make her eyes look up into Charlie’s… but then I thought about a mermaid…!?

cas cpl mermaid

Tracing our pattern with more changes

A mermaid and a cowboy… Heidi suggested a mermaid and a fisherman! so… another tracing and a few new motifs… to come!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | March 18, 2020

Caswell Impressions Pattern for You!

I am almost finished with my little Caswell Runner, working out the border as I go.

I thought I might imitate a wood frame with mitered corners and ‘hit & miss’ recycled browns. Possibly a painted frame with different coloured blocks at the corners.

The Squares are done, with 3 rows of blue around each.

Meanwhile, I have been sorting boxes of wool, given to me over the years. An odd sized piece of dark blue came up, and since I had enjoyed the black drama, I decided to use the dark blue and hooked 3 rows around each square. It’s dramatic and looking good, so I’ll stop and introduce a lighter border for the rest.

Adding 2 rows of textured white.

I also almost forgot to sign and date this little rug… oh where can I put it?  In the border, as the squares are nice, tidy and done.  I like to sign my rugs, but subtlety.  From here, I’m planning to fill the rest with the light blue… the rug started with blue… it’s a theme.

8×8″ Caswell Couple pattern

Since most of us are ‘Sheltering at home’, I thought I would share some patterns and some lessons. If you would like to hook the Caswell Couple, here is an 8×8″ copy. Let me know if you can capture this pattern jpeg and make your own pattern. It should print on a regular printer paper. Personalize it, of course!

Yes… the pattern is rough, but that was my intent when I designed the Caswell Impressions pattern collection. Along with personalizing the pattern, you can perfect it if you choose. Check out the original embroidered rug… Caswell Carpet at Metropolitan Museum

I look forward to hearing from you… questions or comments!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | February 15, 2020

5 little Caswells in a row!

Caswell Impressions 5 small ip

I had a narrow piece of linen left from the bolt; so I decided to try hooking a few Caswell Impressions in a small 8×8″ format.  In the original Caswell Impressions project, I just hooked ’em as I liked… and asked everyone involved with the project to do the same.  Now I realized, I would have to colour coordinate all 5 squares!  Over the years, I’ve inherited many fine cut noodles… in various colours and values.  With such tiny motifs, these fine noodles will finally be of use.  In all the inherited noodles, I set aside a few bundles of yellow, pink and orange… so beautiful together, I would use them for the flowers and some dark blue for outlining, thru out.  Now I had my challenges and started struggling right away!

Caswell begins

The yellow, pink and orange noodles turned out to all be the same, more or less, value;  which makes it hard to shade flowers.  An orange spot and dirty yellow where really messing me up… so I introduced white and light blue, and used more of the light yellow from my ‘beautiful bunch’!

Caswell org

Now, I had an incredible ‘swatch’ of greens from Lynne Howard; she loves to dye and we both teach at Rockaway and attend Teachers’ Workshop in Eugene.  I usually have to buy some of her wool… just cause!  This swatch is from an old Prisms dye book and goes from intense yellow green to wowwy blue green!  I knew I wanted some of it for the peahen, so I started putting it into each square.  I like intense and wowwy colour, but I need to tone it down.  For me, colours need balancing… and I started to think about a background for all.  Would it be my ‘Green Shadow’ or a version of ‘Dirty Purple’?

caswell couple

yes… a little dirty purple works well.  the peahen is looking beautiful in her turquoise!  I decided that the foliage was crowding our lady, so I eliminated it; meanwhile, I love the orange ground.

Caswell almost

The peahen has a dark tail feathers and I decided to use black!  I seldom use black, and was surprised at how rich it seemed.  And so… the blue bird became a black bird with red shoulders and will need lighter outlining.  The blank background behind the lady was too boring, so I’ll replace the foliage, while our gentleman changed his pants, his hair colour and grew a mustache!  I need to iron his mustache and the top flower.

Caswell february 2020

Almost finished… a few more tweaks, some foliage and a bit more background; then the frame.  I’m thinking about using brown and beige recycled wool, to sort of imitate a wood frame, but in a ‘hit & miss’ approach.  We shall see…

It’s been such a long time since I’ve shared my rugs with you…  it’s good to be back!

 

Posted by: Laura Pierce | December 2, 2019

Flying Dog Hookery is back on-line!

FDH dogs 3inch 150

my flying Dachsy’s icon… they fly again!

whew!  It was weird loosing my connection to the web… my sweety was distressed that he couldn’t show people my rugs.  guess i’d better put a few more recent ones up.

 

anyway… glad to be back.   www.flyingdoghookery.com is back up and updated, too!

Happy December!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | November 30, 2019

Flying Dog Hookery

I haven’t updated my website, FlyingDogHookery.com for over a year.  I’m still teaching, but moving across town has involved a lot of downsizing and shuffling of stuff!  I have had to let some things slide.

2015 Rufus & Milo 150

‘Milo & Rufus’ designed and hooked by Laura Pierce

These little guys have had to get used to the new old-house… with hardwood floors, lots of stairs and a small back yard.

I thought I would move my website to WordPress, but it doesn’t work that way.  Tomorrow, I may work a little bit more on the process or start over from scratch.

 

 

Posted by: Laura Pierce | November 27, 2018

15th year at Little River Inn Rug Camp

181101 LRI Nancy Terhaar class 150

Here is most of Nancy’s class. It was wonderful having Nancy Terhaar come down from Oregon to teach for us.  Everyone appreciated her expertise and helpful manner.

181101 LRI Tanya Graham class 150 Tanya Graham’s class 2018[/caption]

Here’s most of Tanya’s class. We all love having Tanya Graham come teach and share her Art knowledge with us.  Her mini-talks are so fun!

181101 LRI staff cls 150

Little River Inn Rug Camp 2018: Emma Logan, Tanya Graham, Nancy Terhaar, Laura Pierce

A great week!  I had folks helping me make decisions about the rug show; it’s always a puzzle how to put it all together… as the rugs straggle in.  The rug show was quite fabulous; with a couple of real show stoppers!  Emma and I attended to the details of camp comfort, while Tanya and Nancy took care of their students.  We had 4 lively mini-classes, an art talk by Tanya and a Halloween celebration complete with a Cajun fish fry… mmmmmm!

We look forward to next year with Suzan Farrens & Sara Judith, teaching.  Emma and I will be back, of course; it’s a sweet tradition for us!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | March 10, 2018

Good-bye to a sweet little rug; ‘Asilomar’

‘Asilomar’ designed & hooked by Laura Pierce

This little rug has served its purpose; it was used in my letter heading for ‘Asilomar’ rug camps and fiber jam, I sold several patterns, I liked to use it as a teaching example for wide-cut finessing and fine-cut sneaking, it hung on our walls at home and traveled with me to many rug classes for 8 years, and now, it’s been sold.

The commission was quite reasonable at PTArts, so I put prices on a few of the rugs. How fun to have one sell! It was a decent price, plus a little for PTArts; I feel good about it.

PTArts ‘Hooked Rugs Off the Floor’ – rugs by Laura Pierce – north wall.

I wanted to share the rest of the show with you. It was very fun having a rug show in a Gallery setting… with lights!

PTArts ‘Hooked Rugs Off the Floor’ – rugs by Laura Pierce – south wall.

We corresponded by email when we were setting up the Rug Show, so I can imagine that asking for 20 rugs in their minds might have miss-matched with 20 of my rugs… ha!
I should probably stop calling my rugs ‘rugs’… perhaps ‘tapestries’ would present a better sense of what many of us do these days.

PTArts ‘Hooked Rugs Off the Floor’ – rugs by Laura Pierce – east wall.

I did include some of my ‘real’ rugs in the show; ‘Datura Design’ and ‘Symmetry in Four’.

PTArts ‘Hooked Rugs Off the Floor’ – rugs by Laura Pierce – into the kitchen.

I got to pick out the table cloth, while we were getting ready for the ‘Opening’. There were 3 other ‘Opening’s that night in Fort Bragg, but we got a decent crowd… folks turned out to see the rugs!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | February 3, 2018

Beautiful Trip to Mendo’ & PTArts

Kirby suggested that I could stop at Navarro Winery on my way… they make some dry Riesling and Gewurztraminer… plus wonderful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Other wines too, with beautiful vistas, picnic areas and supplies; it’s a long time favorite stop for us on Hwy128.

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View from Navarro Winery

I’m still trying to get the hang of ‘Selfie’s… the bright sunshine reflected the white sign onto the iPhone glass… impossible… but what it is, eh!
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Bright sunlight on Laura and the PTArts sign; I have arrived at their Gallery and complex.

So welcoming for me… I’d heard of Lolli Jacobsen and the Pacific Textile Arts in Ft.Bragg CA; now we finally met! The facility is on the forested edge of Ft.Bragg, next to the famous Wood Working department of Mendocino College.
There is a Gallery, Library, Classroom and more, all dedicated to the art of Textiles.
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Adriane, the PTArts member that put up the Rug Show, gives the exhibit one last look.

Adriane broke away from a complicated project; creating a triple weave warp. It was so interesting to watch her sort out my rugs and start putting them up. Fun to see which rugs went up first… She’d ask Lolli and I if things were straight and sometimes if we agreed with a placement. As soon as she was done and satisfied, she got back to that warping project.
I could have brought more rugs… but I didn’t know the space.

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Window view at my Ft.Bragg hostess, Nancy’s house.

After the ‘Opening’, it was too late to drive home so I stayed with Nancy, another member of PTArts. Her home is comfortable and filled with artworks and antiques.

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Overlooking the mouth of the Navarro River

It was such a beautiful day and the ocean was a wonderful blue! I had to stop and catch one more glance before I headed inland.

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Navarro Redwoods along Hwy128

The sunshine peeked through the redwoods, and once in awhile, you’d see the Navarro river and the distant landscapes. I know the road, but not in every season. With fair weather following the rain, everything was clean, lush, intensely green and beautiful!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | December 27, 2017

Whip-Finish for the Little Hooked Purse

Dogwood side of Little Purse; designed, hooked and finished by Laura Pierce

It’s been a fun little project! Small and easy to hook; nothing too complicated about this hooked purse kit. I’m happy to offer it for my rug hooking workshop, February 24-25, 2018 at Pacific Textile Arts in Ft.Bragg, CA.

Showing the top opening of the little purse.

I trimmed the edges, folded the edge toward the hooking, then basted all the way around. Folding the little rug in half to form the purse, I pinned the top to keep the sides from shifting. Starting on the bottom of each side, I whip finished the two sides together in one whipped edge, then whip finished the two edges of the top, separately. Using punch needle yarn, hand dyed by Lolly Golden of Needles in the Nest, made covering the edges a cinch!

An iPhone fits nicely in this little purse.

When I designed this little purse, I wanted to make sure it would be big enough for my iPhone and wallet, but not too much else. I’ll sew a little insert with pockets and a zipper, then stitch it inside the purse. There are a few ways to finish up a little purse like this and I’m thinking about hooking another purse to illustrate other options. I’m also planning to make a second purse pattern, just a little bit bigger so it can accommodate my iPad!

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