Rug retrospective 2009: Alternative Fabrics

This year I joined Phyllis Lindblade's Rug Hooking Merit Program and have started on the wonderful adventure of hooking rugs to fulfill requirements in different categories. I have been mainly working on two of the categories: alternative fabrics, and color/dyeing. The alternative fabrics rug, Got Wool?, has stalled after finishing all the alternative materials. It awaits the final wool border, but since the border consists of black background and autumn leaves, I can't get excited about finishing it until next autumn when I feel the joy of autumn around me. But wow did I learn a lot, including that wool is the superior rug hooking fiber. I understand why it won the battle of fabrics. Although other fabrics can lend interest and shine and texture to rugs, most are messy and difficult to work with. Patience and a broom are required.

I did enjoy working with roving and fleece. I loved the process of palm-spinning yarn to hook with, although it was labor intensive and took time. The lanolin on my hands was warming. I promise to post soon about the entire process should you ever care to try it yourself. The hooked results are fabulous, especially if you decide to blend roving colors to allow for some shading effects.

Top left block: hooked with polar fleece
Bottom left block: hooked with crushed velvet
Top right block: hooked with non-wool yarns
Bottom right block: hooked with stretch velvet
Top border: hooked with combination of all of the above
Middle block: hooked with roving and fleece