You have your pattern on your backing, wool strips gathered up, and hook in hand, now what?
You hook sections at a time, so having a good frame that will allow you to re-position your work quickly and easily is a MUST.
If you're right handed, you will hook from right to left. If a leftie...hook left to right.
And you should hook from top to bottom or TOWARD you.
Now, some specifics...
Start in the center of your project.and hook 2 or 3 rows around the outline of the focal point (Fig A).
Once you've gotten your inside design outlined, then hook 2 or 3 rowsaround the entire OUTSIDE edge of your piece (Fig B).
After you've hooked a couple of rows around the border... stop and go back to the main focus of your pattern and start hooking in the center of the piece and working toward the outside.
You should hook just inside your pattern outline, otherwise your design will "grow" and be a lot larger that what you started with. Follow the lines and curves with your design rather than trying to make straight lines all the way across... which would be very BORING!
Skip a couple of threads between loops to keep the loops from being smashed tightly together and forcing your backing to "bulge". Leave enough room for the loops to breathe... but not so far apart that you can see the backing between the loops.
I ended up taking a LOT of loops out of my first rug because when I was finished with it, it was so badly bowed up that I couldn't even steam it flat. I'm also the same person, when trying to learn to knit a sweater for my newborn son, ended up with something that would have been too small for a baby chihuahua!
Hook your background last... it's the fill-in or accent to your project. It should compliment your focal point, NOT distract from it.
Once, you've finishing hooking your piece, then you're ready to put your binding on. If you need help, there is an article on how to finish your project... just click the "Back Home" button below and go to that article.