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…


  1. Thanks for telling and sharing these basic steps with great photos. My go to hook is the old Miller version too. It has a green pencil grip that is stuck also!

  2. ha! good ole pencil grips! yes… love my old Miller hook and i have my mother’s too.

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