Happy New Year, everyone! It’s January 1st, a new year, and potentially a time for new endeavors. This month’s rug of the month is a little bit different. Ania wanted to give everyone a look into how she decided to start rug hooking. Who knows, maybe if you’ve never tried before, Ania’s testimony will help you to make the plunge!
Below, you can find images of her first ever rug. This rug showcases the huge leaps and bounds Ania has made in the past several years in her art!
Why did you decide to start hooking?
Rug hooking caught my eye at an adult ed open house. I was looking for something I might be able to do as a mental break from my high intensity work life. I was in heavy negotiations to sell (in the midst of a major recession) the biotech company I had started 5 years earlier. I really needed a a calming influence. I had always liked hand crafts. Previously, I had taken a quilting class at a similar event, and so when I went to the open house, I decided to see if there were any interesting classes.
The rug hooking teacher was soft spoken, very nice, and I admired the beautiful colors she used in her rugs. My well-recorded, in past blog posts, love of color was definitely an influence in my decision to give rug hooking a try, and so I signed up for the class. The rest is history!
What was your experience like as a beginner?
I was familiar with a quilting hoop, and the rest of it was a completely blank slate. I didn’t know why it was called hooking. And I had no clue where all these beautiful strips of fabric came from.
I had a lot of questions running through my head. How did you hold the hoop? How tight do you pull the fabric backing? Did you need to count holes as you pulled strips through them? Was it like cross stitch?
Was there anything that came easier to you than others?
My favorite part of this class was the camaraderie I experienced with a group of woman who also had little-to-no experience in this art. I was used to working with groups of people with very different personalities, and this class brought very different people together.
I have a PhD in Chemistry, and here I was diving into the opposite side of my brain. I really excelled in embracing these creative decisions and endeavors, and I loved the experience of the class. I had been in search of an escape from my job, and rug hooking certainly became an escape from the intensely difficult problems that I was dealing with at the office.
What basic elements did you learn first? Would you recommend a new process to beginners now?
I learned the fundamentals of how to hold a strip under the pattern, and pull it up to form a loop. I wouldn’t change that learning process for the world. It really is the most basic thing possible to learn, and without a doubt a great place to start.
The adult ed class on rug hooking really changed my life. The art of rug hooking has changed my life. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone who has a desire to create and be creative.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to not be great at it! To be frank, I was not a great hooker when I completed this pattern, and looking at the finished work now, I don’t think it looks nice. But, it was my starting point, and it led me to where I am today – and that is incredible.
Here’s to new beginnings and new endeavors in 2016!
Let Ania know your thoughts and comments below; she’d love to hear back from all the readers on their own personal introductions to rug hooking. 🙂