Posted by: Laura Pierce | March 31, 2020

Rockaway Outline & Fill

160503 Caswell Strawberry basket c150

Caswell Strawberry Basket adapted and hooked by Laura Pierce

Outline & Fill is a fun way to hook a rug. The outline is the lay out; then you get to fill with colour! You can fill with values or plaids or spots or scraps! I love outlining with a fine cut of gold texture; then filling with a wider cut… it resembles Cloisonne; metal and ceramic glaze. I used the gold texture through out this rug.

160426 Caswell Puff Flowers 150

Caswell Puff Flowers adapted and hooked by Laura Pierce

In this Caswell Impression, I used different coloured outlines to enhance each motif. An outline of one colour has influence on it’s ‘fill’ colour.

161113 Caswell 49 Lwp c

Caswell Loving Couple adapted and hooked by Laura Pierce

Even in hooking miniatures, I need that outline to get things started. Looks like the lady’s nose was too big, because there are few loops of outlining missing!  Yes… sometimes my outlining is a holding line and can be eliminated.

100825 8 mini portraits 150

8 miniatures adapted and hooked by Laura Pierce

These miniatures are 2″w x 2.5″h. Not much room for detail, so just a suggestion of each feature. Outlined with beige, filled with skin tones and a bit of pink.

151025 Inlet at Elk cln 150

View at Elk: a Wonderscape, designed and hooked by Laura Pierce

Ala Brigitta Phy’s Wonderscape design class; lots of outlining and patterning, plus fun colouring.

Outlining just adds another dimension; it can spark up or tone down, as needed.

Posted by: Laura Pierce | March 30, 2020

Rockaway Arts & Crafts on-line…


rockaway beach (2)

Stormy waves at Rockaway Beach

My little class and I got together on-line, via Zoom. it’s an App that is being used for classrooms all over during our Shelter-in-place situation.
One of our class members has been using Zoom to visit with her family, so she was quite familiar with the program and was helpful and steadying.

1 PM pegasis

Pegasus designed and hooked by Pat Merikallio

When hooking a white or black motif, we need to use other colours and/or textures to illustrate folds, shadows and highlights to create 3 dimensional-ness. Pat Merikallio creates this magnificent white flying horse with pastel wools! Pat’s use of colour has been an inspiration to me!

2017 Dogwood 150

‘Dogwood’ design by Jane Flynn, hooked by Laura Pierce

I used my pastel swatch in this white floral project. I hooked alone lines in the dogwood pedals and then filled with white. Colour gives life… liveliness.

2012 Ohio Snow c150

‘Ohio Snow’ design by Emma Webber, hooked by Laura Pierce

My black crows are outlined in a bright blue and filled with flat black and dark textures. Black needs colour just like white or grey.


2013 Morris Crow 150

‘Forest Crow’ design by Wm Morris, hooked by Laura Pierce: close-up

Another crow, but outlined in a colourful spot and filled with black.

Hank pattern sq

‘Hank’ pattern by Laura Pierce

I would start this project by hooking Hanks’s eyes and nose. Then the lines… a colourful spot or plaid for lines in the dark part and pastel colours or plaid in the light sections.

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. is back up and updated, too!

Happy December!

Posted by: Laura Pierce | November 30, 2019

Flying Dog Hookery

I haven’t updated my website, 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!

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