Earlier this year I was asked to hook a custom, room sized rug for a wonderful couple. They had some definite ideas for colour plans and style, so we worked together to design this great rug. The size is 8×13. Many people who come into the studio express their desire to hook a large rug and are hesitant. I personally love hooking large rugs and have done a few to date. Here are a few tips that may help you.
1. If you are hooking in a wide cut, your finished rug will be approximately 5% smaller than the original pattern. Keep this shrinkage factor in mind when drawing out your pattern.
2. If your pattern is larger than the width of your linen or backing, you must join two pieces together. Overlap 4″-6″, line the two pieces together and baste several rows to secure them together. Laying it flat on a large table is easier than doing this on the floor. I usually draw a line on the linen at the 4″ line then align the edge of the top linen to the line on the bottom one, pin and baste three or four rows. Once hooked, its not going anywhere.
3. Hooking through a double layer of linen can be difficult, however I have found that a fat hook, such as the Hartman, makes your hooking super easy, especially through two layers. No trouble at all.
4. Start hooking from one end and work your way to the bottom. Roll up the excess pattern and clamp it with very large office clips. This way the excess linen isn’t all on your lap.
5. As you hook more of the rug, it will become quite heavy. I suggest laying the hooked area onto a table in front of your frame.
6. Buy more wool than you think you need. With a large project it is better to overestimate than run short.
7. Excellent lighting is necessary as well as a comfortable chair. Make your space as inviting and comfortable as possible. You will be spending a lot of time here.
8. Try and hook everyday. If you hook a square foot a day it will be done before you know it! I started hooking this rug at the end of May and it is now half hooked.
9. Love , love, love the pattern and colour plan you have chosen. You will continue to be excited to see it progress.
10. Hooking on a floor frame is much easier. I use the Beeline floor frame. It is sturdy and it swivels and tilts. Keep in mind you wont be swiveling your frame while hooking a big rug. Try to master hooking in multiple directions.
Im sure I will think of other tidbits to add here. Check back once in a while for more tips.