When I teach rug hooking, my students begin by wrapping the backing fabric around their legs, so their lap becomes the “frame.” However, some people find sitting in that way uncomfortable, especially in the hot summer (not a good time to wrap yourself up in a wool rug!). Frames can be an excellent help and over the years, I have developed a simple, sturdy frame that works great, and is also quite easy to make.
My Playing Hookey Frame is made of PVC pipe, and if you are at all handy with a saw and glue, you can make one yourself. There are no nails or anything sharp on my frame. The top has a rubberized surface, and the backing fabric is attached using two large kitchen clamps. It can be used as a lap frame, so you can sit on a couch at home. It can also be used as a standing frame, which is most convenient to bring to meetings or shows.
I sell these frames at my shows, but I have found that it is kind of expensive to ship them, especially shipping overseas. While the frame only weighs 2.2 lbs, it must be shipped in a large box, so that is an added cost. And since they are so easy to make, I thought I would put the instructions up so anyone can do it.
Another advantage to making your own frame is that you can customize it. Go ahead and cut the pipes in the recommended lengths, but before you glue the pieces together, slip them together with the fittings and see if you want to lengthen or shorten the legs, widen the frame, etc. It’s easy enough to cut new pipes to get your frame just the way you like it.
To make your own Playing Hookey Frame, you will need:
The top and bottom sections of your frame will be glued together. The legs (both for the standing frame and the lap frame) slip in and out, so you can easily switch from the standing frame version to the lap frame. The two clamps go on the sides of the top section. You will lay your pattern over the top of the frame, clamp one side, then tug down on the backing and clamp the other side. (You can also add two extra clamps to the top and bottom of the top section if you prefer) There is no limit to the size of rug you can hook on this frame, since the rug can easily be moved around on top as you hook each section.
Cut your PVC pipes in the following lengths:
STEP TWO: Wash the pipes (I have found they are pretty grimy when they come from the hardware store)
STEP FIVE: (above) Glue the two Side Outlet Elbows to the third 16.5” pipe. Glue the remaining 8.5” pipes to the corners, then glue the Slip Elbows to the 8.5” pipes. Line up all of your corners with the top section, then slip in the 5” legs so the frame will dry square. (See below)
(DO NOT GLUE the legs. You want to be able to switch from lap frame to standing frame, so only the top and bottom sections should be glued together)
The Featured Rug of the Month is a new design called Demelza. This is a great project for using up leftovers, since most of the colors were from skeins that were 2 oz or less (you KNOW you have that much in your stash!). You can read about it at http://www.littlehouserugs.com/featured-rug-demelza-september-2015.html
For the month of September, subscribers to this blog can purchase the Demelza pattern on linen for 20% off. Go to http://www.littlehouserugs.com/blog-special-september.html to order.
Blog subscribers can also send for a free Rustic Rainbow yarn sampler (normally sells for $6.00) during the month of September. The sampler consists of 1.5 oz in three colors, and is great for rug hooking, knitting and felting. Go to http://www.littlehouserugs.com/blog-special-september.html to order.
On September 19, I will have a booth at Second Use Handmade Market in Seattle, WA. I will have a booth the following weekend (September 26-27) at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, Oregon. Come and say hi if you’re in the area!
I will also be teaching a Beginning Rug Hooking Class at OFFF on Friday, Sept. 25. To sign up, go to http://flockandfiberfestival.com/ws-512-beginning-rug-hooking/. This class fills up so it’s best to sign up right away!
And don’t forget that for every $50.00 you spend between now and November 25, 2015, you will be entered to win this Hand-hooked Victorian Santa (valued at $165.00).