The MUST-Haves To Get Started

The "Must Haves" And The "Oh, That Would Be Nice To Haves" Of Hooking...

Rug hooking is one of the few hobbies that you can do with very little up frontexpense. As a matter of fact, it's probably the least expensive hobby you'll ever do.

No... forget that! If you're like me, you'll find tons of wool that you MUST HAVE for some future project.And every time you find a new pattern... you NEED it too!

Seriously, there are only 2 or 3 things that you will need to buy to start your first project.

1. You need a hook. 
When my mother hooked rugs, her hook was made out of a nail that had been driven into a piece of "whittled" down wood and the other end was bent back to form a hook. (I wish I could get my hands on it... )

Today, there are several different shapes and sizes of hooks that you can choose from. Some folks even start out using a regular crochet hook. You will most likely use several different ones before you settle on the one that is right for you. It's strictly a matter of preference.

2. A frame to hold your backing tight.
There are any number of frames available for hooking. Again, it's a matter of preference and your style of working.

I have an 87 year old friend who tucks one end of her backing under each leg and stretches it tightly. She's never used a frame of any sort and thinks it's silly of me to need one!

The least expensive setup is to buy a 14" embroidery hoop and clamp it to a tabletop with a "C" clamp, because you need both hands to hook.

There are lap frames that allow you take your hooking with you wherever you go. They can rotate 360" to make hooking any area a snap. There are floor models that allow you to sit in your easy chair and adjust your frame comfortably for hooking.

The most expensive of any of the floor or table/sit-on models, use a metal "gripper" that holds your backing in place. The gripper makes it extremely easy to adjust your hooking area whenever needed. The gripper frames are the most expensive... but you'll more than likely end up buying one.

I have several frames that I use at different times for different projects. But my favorite is the sit-on frame with the gripper that has a 12X16 hooking area.

3. Scissors.
Any style will do for starters, but you really need a pair of embroidery scissors or a pair that has an offset handle. The bent handle allows you to get close to the hooked area to clip the ends of your wool.

You'll also need a pair of regular scissors to cut your backing and wool.

Folks, that's all you really need! Well, of course, you need some pieces of wool and a piece of either burlap, monk's cloth or linen.

Here are some "Nice to have!" things...

  • Mechanical wool cutter (we talk in detail about those in another article)
  • Sewing machine for stitching lines around your design to keep your backing from fraying. And also for attaching the rug binding.
  • Steam iron and ironing board for steaming your project after you're finished hooking it.
  • Textile dyes and measuring spoons for dyeing your wool.

Misc tools...

  • permanent marker,
  • ruler,
  • tape measure,
  • needle and thread,
  • tracing paper.