Loopgram: Hooking with yarn

My sister and her family will be coming to Texas in mid-July to visit us. I have two nieces about my son's age, and when they saw his Woof backpack on this blog, they wanted one too. I am going to try hooking them "Pocket Packs" - 10 by 10 mats to attach to small purse-like packs I will sew.

So each of my nieces has told me her desired design. One a frog with a dragonfly, the other a chocolate kiss which, she said, I can hook white if I don't have silver wool.

Now I have gray, but gray isn't silver. So what to do? I went to a specialty yarn shop thinking metallic yarn. They had none. So over to Michael's where yes! they have metallic yarn.

I have never hooked with yarn before, and after working with it last night, I have a new appreciation for all hookers who use it as their primary wool-of-choice. Yikes it is tricky to use. I found it too thin, and easily pulled out each time I tried to ply a new loop. When I tried hooking one row after another consecutively two strands apart, it was impossible to see what I was doing and the yarn flattened out and was very hard to deal with.

So this is what I found with some experimentation. First I used two strands of yarn at the same time, twisting them onto the hook as I pulled it through the backing. I hooked one row across, another row about three fibers away from the first, then back across between the two rows I had already hooked. Hooking in this trench helped me be able to keep my loops high enough and it was easier to see what I was doing. I don't know if it shows well in this picture, but there is a metallic thread running through the yarn and it makes the hooking sparkle like foil on a chocolate kiss.