Hooked Rug Design Thoughts

This is a hooked rug that I began last year. I had a vision in my head and the rug wasn’t looking like I wanted, so I put it away. The idea was that it would be a simple project; one to use up the many strips of wool that I have floating around. And I really wanted it to have a red background – I am very fond of quilts and rugs with red backgrounds. It wasn’t working for me and I’m not sure why since circles of assorted colors should be simple enough. Are the circles too even and regular? Is the red not working? Do I need to hook more circles and see how it goes? I do know with a very scrappy quilt that it can take some time for the pattern to look “good”; one or two circles wouldn’t be enough. If you look closely, you can see I was trying two ideas out. The top row was the original idea. There are circles of color in a stripe-y effect. I wondered if that was too busy, so the second row is gradations of one color. For now, I have it on the floor and am thinking about it. Comments from you all?

Another idea – I was googling hooked rug images and came across a circle pattern and it was really scrappy – each circle row had several colors in it, so I tried it out during Sunday’s football. I do like this. Since I have such trouble being random, each row has a grey textured wool it in as well as a color. The idea made me think of a log cabin quilt, where there is a dark and a light side. This might work…… Thoughts?

And while I’m chatting about rug hooking, I have some nice photos to share with you. Last Saturday was the monthly meeting of Foxy Ladies rug hooking group. It was a business meeting, but lots of hooking goes on as we talk! Susan is a prolific hooker, as was her mother. This month she had three designs to show and work on. This one is her design, taken from the postcard on the top of the rug. (Sorry about these photos; my iPhone doesn’t take the best photos.) She did a great job with the shading on Santa’s coat.

This next one is another one of her designs. She’s a Halloween lover. Aren’t the oranges of the pumpkin just delicious? And the texture that she used on the corn cob is super.

And here’s a design begun by her mother that Susan is finishing. I think it’s one of Joan Moshimer’s designs.What a sweet face!!!

This last design is being hooked by Lynnette. The colors just sing, don’t they?

I continue to hook on the Vermont shells rug, but I do want to get the circles going so that I have some variety. What to do, what to do…

7 thoughts on “Hooked Rug Design Thoughts

  1. In the first photo, I like the top row best. But I really love the scrappy ones in the 2nd photo. Not sure what a red background would do to them though. What if you mixed the techniques? Yes, that cat face is wonderful.


  2. If you do the top photo, I think I would try to get 3 different colors in each penny, but try to get more equal amounts of rows for each color. The outer color is looking more like an outline instead of part of the penny rug. (it took me a while to figure this one out!) You could even try to make a regular stack penny as an example. The regular runner I did had 1 1/2″, 1″ a 3/4″ stacked pennys (or something like that). I like the scrappy look in the bottom photo,as it’s a little more prim looking.


    • Thanks for the comments do far! The dark line around the circles is an outline Laura. I thought it would help define and separate the circles. The idea of making the circles more regular is a good one but {sigh} doesn’t seem so fun to do. So far we all like the scrappy ones. I am also wondering if I should change the whole pattern and do cat’s paws? (Those are irregular shapes, kind of wavy circles.)Then it might get me out of being so rigid about the colors


      • Starting with the assumption that the red background is a given, — I think your idea of an outline to define and separate the circles is sound, but the dark color of the outline is too similar in value (color theory, “hue, saturation, value” with value about the lightness or darkness of how the color reads). I think if you chose an outline that had greater value contrast with the red, you’d better achieve your goal of definition and separation. Would not have to all be the same outlilne color, but would require lighter values of whatever color(s). Nice work, by the way!


  3. I like the scrappy style in the second photo best. I think your red background in the first rug is too bright and strong and overwhelms those more muted shades. My advice is take a deep breath and go random with scrappy style, and try out a more dull dark color for the background. I love seeing how the colors build up as you reuse them in a more unplanned way.


    • Thanks to you & Kathleen for your thoughtful comments! I really appreciate them and have lots to think about now. I’m enjoying hooking the random striped circles (which are going to be mug rugs) so perhaps I will try out some more color ideas with them before replacing the rug!


  4. looking around your site it’s clear that you are a great colorist, so in a way it’s good to know that even really great colorists can get stuck occasionally. i’m thinking that the intensity of the red background is too much with the intensity of the wonderful scrappy circles. i’d suggest dulling it down somehow, making it either a much darker red or else a lighter red. one of my colleagues (two of whom have commented–thank you for asking for our opinions because it’s got us all thinking hard) suggested that you consider changing the hue from what appears to be an orangey-type red to a more pinky-red (bluish tones underneath). We all are noticing that computers also display colors differently on different screens. Just to complicate matters! Thanks for inviting comment.


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