Unfinished Business

"Cascabel" unfinished, 4'x11'

“Cascabel” unfinished, 4’x11′

Sometimes we get to the finish line before we’ve actually finished the job.  If you engage in a craft like rug hooking during your lifetime, chances are you will leave something unfinished for your children to find.  This can be perplexing, if your offspring are not hookers.  They may find a rug that represents countless hours of work and creativity, but in it’s current state, cannot be used, so it is relegated to a dark closet.  Too pretty to throw away, but what can be done?

It is more common than you might think, and yes, there’s lots that can be done!  The rug shown above had a retail value (finished) of over $4000.00, so it was well worth the cost to have it professionally finished.

Close up of scroll section, unfinished

Close up of scroll section, unfinished

First, colors need to be gathered that match the existing hooking.

Same section, finished, with samples of matching yarn

Same section, finished, with samples of matching yarn

The purple background in the center section was more of a challenge.  After numerous attempts to blend colors, hoping that I might move the original purple around, we decided to use the original purple as a solid color, but in a medallion shape, that way I could come in with a different purple background.  This required unhooking the original background and moving some of it around.

Here is the center section, with the original purple moved to create a medallion shape, then a border was added to separate the original background from the darker background

Here is the center section, with the original purple moved to create a medallion shape, then a border was added to separate the original background from the darker background

"Casbabel" finished

“Casbabel” finished

Now “Cascabel” can be enjoyed for generations to come!

Jo's rug, unfinished

Jo’s rug, unfinished

This is an example of a rug, found in an attic, started by a beloved aunt.  The original hooking was done with a punch hook, so the design was on the back.  I used straight pins to mark the design lines, then used the pins as a guide to transfer the lines to the front.

Here I am drawing the lines between the pins with a sharpie pen, to transfer the design to the front

Here I am drawing the lines between the pins with a sharpie pen, to transfer the design to the front

Pattern showing the background unhooked, and the design transferred to the front

Pattern showing the background unhooked, and the design transferred to the front

Jo's rug, finished with new background

Jo’s rug, finished with new background

Sometimes an old rug just needs a “pick-me-up.”  After all, if a rug is going to be used and enjoyed for 100 years, it may not always go with the current decor.  An old, loved rug can always be spruced up to go in any style.

Irish Terrier rug, ca. 1970

Irish Terrier rug, ca. 1970

This lovely rug had been enjoyed for 40 or so years, and was in perfect shape, but the green background was a bit garish.  After a while, it needed an update.

The rug with the green background unhooked

The rug with the green background unhooked

When I demonstrate rug hooking, I am often asked if one could simply pull on a strand of yarn and unhook the rug.  As the above photo shows, it is no small task to unhook a rug!  That yarn wants to stay where you put it.  You have to deliberately take it out.

With the background unhooked, I drew a log cabin background, and added new backing to strengthen the edges.

With the background unhooked, I drew a log cabin background, and added hem tape to strengthen the edges.

Using a variegated yarn, I hooked in alternating directions for an old fashioned basket weave design.

Irish Terrier rug, re-hooked with new background

Irish Terrier rug, re-hooked with new background

NEWS FROM LITTLE HOUSE RUGS

For the month of August, blog subscribers can get linen backing for 20% off.  Click here to order.  http://hstrial-jtaylor9.homestead.com/blog-special-august-2015.html

Linen backing, 54" wide

Linen backing, 54″ wide

Squirrel on a Stump, 24"x30", Designed and Hooked by Sharon Johnston

Squirrel on a Stump, 24″x30″, Designed and Hooked by Sharon Johnston

This month’s Feature is a 3-D hooked sculpture called Squirrel on a Stump by Sharon Johnston.  Read more here!  http://hstrial-jtaylor9.homestead.com/featured-rug-squirrel-august-2015.html

Rustic Rainbow yarn

Rustic Rainbow yarn

I have a new yarn for rug hooking, called Rustic Rainbow.  It is 100% wool, 3-ply.  It is wonderfully solid and durable, and because it is naturally gray, it dyes up in lovely rich colors.  Email me for a sample card, or visit http://hstrial-jtaylor9.homestead.com/yarn.html.

Hand-hooked Victorian Santa, with mohair beard.  34"x20", designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

Hand-hooked Victorian Santa, with mohair beard. 34″x20″, designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

And don’t forget that for every $50.00 you spend at Little House Rugs between now and November 25, you will be entered to win this Hand Hooked Victorian Santa (valued at $165.00).  Thanks for visiting!

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