What is VIP Rug Hooking?

V(alue) I(intense) P(alette) hooking is a simple way of hooking stunning rugs with little to no experience with drawing or painting.  It is based on the concept that the eye focuses on differences in value and intensity, more than differences in color.  So the best rugs are those that contain dark and light, dull and bright.

The Basics


Every color can be created in different values.  The value is the lightest or darkness of the color. Eight values are available in my 8-Value Packs of wool.

Eight values of one color

Eight values of one color


The color can be varied in its purity or intensity by adding white, gray, and black to the color.  This will brighten (+white) or dull (+gray and black) the color. TINTS are the pure color + white.  TONES are the pure color + gray.  SHADES are the pure color + black.  The tints are the #1 and #2 values in my 8-value Packs of wool. #7 and #8 values are the shades in my Packs of wool.


There are twelve main colors on a color wheel.  These colors are created by mixing three primary colors: red, yellow and blue.  The result of mixing these colors is a palette of sixty-seven related colors which I call “kinship colors”.  If you hook with kinship colors, you never have to worry about color planning because all of your colors are married to each other in the dye formulas used.   All sixty-seven Kinship Colors are available from me in 8-value Packs, Single-Value Packs, Primitive Packs, Country Packs, Dapple Packs, and Texture Packs.


VIP Rug Hooking Primer


Step 1

On black and white enlargement of the image you wish to hook, mark all the lightest areas with the yellow highlighter; mark all of the darkest areas with the green highlighter.

Step 2

Study the areas that are unmarked.  There should be areas that are a little darker (usually areas immediately adjacent to the green highlighted areas) and areas that are a little lighter (usually areas adjacent to the yellow highlighted areas.  Mark the dark-mediums with an orange highlighter; mark the light-mediums with a pink highlighter.

Step 3

Hook into the yellow highlighted areas #1 and #2 values of the colors you desire.

Step 4

Hook into the green highlighted areas the #7 and #8 values of the colors you desire.

Step 5

Hook into the orange highlighted areas the #5 and #6 values of the colors you desire.

Step 6

Hook into the pink highlighted areas the #3 and #4 values of the colors you desire.

Step 7

Finish out background with a value that contrasts with the motif.