Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diary of a Rug --- Part 3

I wanted to talk more about hooking letters....
When I first started hooking, I listened to a lot of people who said letters were hard to hook and they didn't like doing it. I got a pre-conceived notion in my head that I wasn't going to like letters either. I used to feel weak in the knees just thinking about it! Then one day, I just sat down and decided I was going to tackle it....and I found out that letters ARE NOT hard to hook! I actually like hooking them!
I really like Wendy Miller's philosophy about hooking letters. Letters are just straight lines, just like stems or one-line borders. You can hook a flower stem, can't you? Then you can hook letters! Just hook straight on the lines and don't think of them as letters.

As I said in my previous post, I used #8 strips to hook my letters which gave them more clarity and crispness. I hooked right on the line that was drawn. First I hooked the longer lines of the letter, then I went back and hooked any lines that intersected, for example, look at the "t". Don't cross under the longer lines with your strip...start and stop your strip on either side of the long line. Then I hooked a row of my background around all of this to hold the shape. Sometimes I crowd things a little and hook real close to the letter to help define its shape. This is definitely one time when it's OK to crowd your loops if you need to. Look at the "H" in the picture...its left "leg" is wider than the rest of the letter. While all the other lettering was hooked in a #8, I'm going to hook this wider part with a #9 strip to make it fatter. I could have hooked it with 2 #8 strips but I think that might have made it TOO fat, so that's why I opted for a #9.
You may notice that as I was hooking around my letters, I was getting pretty close to the wavy outside border. I needed to get a line or two of that wavy border hooked in so I could safely continue around my letters.
Here's a great plaid for the wavy outside border. I like it because it is going to bring a lot of the tones that I am using in the main part of the design, out to the border. This will be very pleasing to the eye...sort of helps your eyes "walk" around the rug and ties things all together in a harmonious way. I have hooked two rows of it, as shown in the picture below (it looks dark in the photo, but trust me, it works well and I like it).

So here you have it! The lettering is completed and I didn't even break a sweat! It looks like a lot of brown values going on here but I am going to start working on the house. Once I get some red wool in there, things will start to change dramatically.


Rugs and Pugs said...

Kris ~
Thank you! I've only hooked letters once ~ and only 3 of them ~ P - U - G, and I really didn't like doing it, but you've inspired me to try again.
Thank you again for the sharing your knowledge.
Pug hugs :)

woolwoman said...

Kris these are great tips for my Peace and Plenty since I had you put the lettering in for me on that canvas. I never hook with anything wider than a 6 but I think I can manage lettering in an 8 cut - thanks - Melody

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Kris ~ you're on a roll!! Lots of hooking in the last few days! Your point is a good one ~ that letters are just lines ~ I'm not fond of hooking letters either ~ so now, I'll use your theory!! I love that border wool ~ it look good anywhere!

Gayle said...

Wow Kris! Thanks so much for the lesson on hooking letters! Your rug looks just wonderful - can't wait to see the finished product!

Mary said...

Kris, love how your rug is turning out. And thanks for the mini lesson on lettering. I have fallen in love with the wool you used for your roof. You don't by any chance have any of it in your shop waiting for a new home, do you?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouraging words to try letters and the explanation on how to do them. I am new to hooking this year and have not summoned up the courage yet to try lettering but will now.