Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Making Rugs Newsletter

Making Rugs Newsletter

There are a few hints, tips, stories and workshop dates on this blog. Once you have scrolled down click on OLDER POSTS and it will take you through to the end. 
Enjoy the information and 
Happy Hooking Proddy and Punching

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Hooked Door Curtain

The Hooked Door Curtain
I decided to make a hooked door curtain for the door into my studio to keep  the draught out. I hooked it up pretty quickly using material cut too a generous 1/4" wide and used a variety of materials. From recycled skirts, jumpers, blankets and nylon hose. Yarn and new wool material. Some of the material is hand dyed and some as it. It certainly does it jobs and the chills out. The design had to be big, bold and colourful!... It was also a good piece to use up some scraps of material too.

2020 Workshops

2020 Workshops 


Time 9.30am - 3.30pm   
The Rug Studio 
(unless otherwise stated)

There are plenty of workshops to attend through 2020 from beginners to experienced Rug Makers 
The workshops include Hooking, Proddy, Punch Hooking, Specialised classes in Design, Appliqué with Hooky and Proddy, Hints tips and techniques.
My studio is a bright light and cheerful place to work. The classes are usually limited to about 5 or 6 students. 
If you would like to come for a workshop and the listed dates are not suitable please email or telephone to arrange a suitable date.
Once your class/es have been paid an information sheet and receipt will be sent. 
If you have any questions on any of the workshop please email

Oxton Rug Group meet at The Rug Studio Monday 9.30 - 12.30 £6.50 per person. You are welcome to join us but please email to let me know you would like to come along. No teaching. Not suitable for beginners

Every Monday if you would like to come please email beforehand to let me know

Hooky and Proddy £60 per person Learn both techniques, design a rug, wall hanging or cushion. Lots of hints and tips to make rug making fun and easy.  You can choose which technique you like or you can put both techniques together to make some texture. If you prefer you can purchase a pattern to work on they are listed on my website www.ragrugsuk.co.uk (order before class) this workshop is Suitable for beginners to experienced.   

Hooky and Proddy 
£60 per person
March 4th - 1 place has  become available
June 3rd - 3 places left
November 7th - 5 places left

 Hooked Rug 

Proddy Mat

Dye workshop £64 per person 
Learn lots of dye techniques to transform ugly duckling material into beauties!. Simple dye techniques make fabulous jewel coloured pieces that are exciting to hook, prod or punch with. Yes you can learn to dye like this wow! Fee includes some material and dyes.                                                                     

March 18th - 2 places available
May 8th - 2 places available 
June 10th -  2 places available

Punch Hooking £60 per person
Punching is an easy technique using a punch needle yarn and/or material. Punching works up quite quickly and is suitable for making cushions, hangings or rugs. All equipment can be purchased at the workshop

March 7th - 3 places left
June 6th - 3 places left
July 4th - 5 places left
September 23rd - 5 places left

Spring Flowers Punch Hooked

Abstract Punch Hooked

Bumble Bee Cottage Workshop £60 per person
March 21st - 5 places left
Design a piece about 8”x12”. House, Cottage, Beach Hut or a shape of your choice. The shape will be appliquéd onto hessian or linen. Basic running stitches are used as well as extra embroidery stitches and embellishments. The background is hooked and prodded plus techniques to make texture.  
For more information please request the full brochure. Suitable for beginners to experienced. 

Hooking Yarn £60 per person
April 25th - 4 places left
This workshop will concentrate on Hooking a design with Yarn only. Design a piece any patternyouwould like to choose. Hooking with yarn is perfect for making a Wall Hanging or Cushion using textures and colourful wool

Pick a Posy £60 per person
October 24th - 5 places left
Flowers are a lot of fun to make. Using Hooking, Proddy and Punching techniques. You can add embellishments and have fun making texture

October 9th - 11th Reeth Rug Retreat Rug School in the Yorkshire Dales near Richmond. 
Choice of 4 workshops, hook in, Punch Hooking demonstration, taster session, Exhibition. Please email for Brochure. Bookings commence January 14th 2020

B&B available in Lowdham at Cockerbeck Cottage where Cath looks after you very well and loves having Rug Makers stay from all over the world. There is a train station at the bottom of the village about a 5 minute walk to Cockerbeck Cottage. I can pick up and drop off at the B&B or the station on the day of your workshop/s.
Lowdham is a 5 minute drive from my studio.
There are other B&B's locally  I send a full list with receipt once workshops are booked.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Carrying Materials

Carrying Materials

Rug makers are a carrying breed we love to carry  a massive stash of wool and other material to workshops and Rug School just in case we need a bit of this colour or a bit of that texture. We fill bags, boxes and more bags packing and re-packing the car boot, backseat and even the passenger seat. Having reached our destination the stash is  unloaded with several trips back and forth. ( I know I was that person)

The easiest way I have found for carrying material is a suitcase on wheels or Holdall on wheels for many years I have transported equipment and materials in these when I have been going to shows and to teach workshops. Oh it is so much easier than carry! 

For smaller occasions I use a small or medium case/holdall again on wheels it carries my frame, cutter, hooks, rug and materials. All materials are keep together it makes life much easier than hauling those bags and boxes. 

Space at workshop venues can sometimes be limited with health and safety issues so carrying several boxes and bags can be a waste of time and energy.



Just packing our rubbish into different containers and sending it off, we know not where, is not to me very satisfactory recycling. Actually making our waste into other things, using our leftovers as raw materials is what I call recycling. Instead of transporting our waste hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to be recycled (if indeed it actually is) adding huge pollution costs to the planet we should recycle in the local community. I have seen wonderful recycling of metal, plastics and textiles in African and Arabic countries which have really inspired me to try to do it too.

Rag rug making is a great technique to use in recycling as you can use just about anything. I have made ragrugs entirely from plastic bags, using huge heaps of them. I have made rugs from old clothes- T-shirts, tracksuits, coats even knickers! I met one lady who had made a ragrug entirely from odd socks. I have used denim and cotton and silks. In the old days stockings dyed in bright colours were popular for hooked rugs.

My wallhanging "Recycle it"  was intended as a sort of sampler to show how many different materials can be used in ragrug making. It incorporates T-shirts, old sofa covering, bin bags, carrier bags, ring pulls, old toys, felt tip pens, Christmas lights, and much more. I have tried to convey the message that we can look upon everything with a creative eye to see what we can make out of it.

Prodding can use huge quantities of materials making anything from a beautiful and valuable piece of art to a practical and useful mat from a pile of "rubbish". This is what I call real recycling ; adding value to the materials with the minimum use of extra energy( as in transport, petrol and machinery) except of course your own!

Sue Clow 

Student Tips

Jean Schroderus wrote this article for The Rug Maker back in 2007 and it is well worth a read and note how important preparation for a class is for both Student and Teacher. I recently taught a class when one student clearly hadn't read about the class and was a tad bit disgruntled and was quite rude to me.

Student Tips
Over the past few years, there seems to be an ever increasing interest in rug making.  It is no longer fuelled by necessity and has become a popular hobby and art form unto itself. Recycling still looms large within the craft, but individuals have become more interested in learning technique, design, drawing inspiration, utilizing different materials and dyeing to realize their own personal visions. Hence, there is more demand for workshops for new and advanced rug makers.

I have had the great opportunity to study with many well known American and Canadian teachers at rug camps and workshops in many areas of the US. In 2001, I earned my teachers accreditation through the Western McGown Teachers Workshop in Oregon.  Since moving to England over 3 years ago, I have attended whatever retreats and workshops I can.  As this is a new experience for many, I find it interesting to listen to the feedback of other participants.  I offer the following tips and hints to get the most out of your classes.
Workshops are an investment in both time and money. Make sure you understand what the class you have chosen is offering.  Talk with others if you are unfamiliar with the teacher’s work.  Most workshops cater to all abilities, however, those who have no experience at all may benefit from a beginners class.  Conversely, if you know how to hook/prod a beginners class may be redundant.  Read the details of the class carefully so you know the subject matter or theme and the materials you need to bring. Will there be materials available for use or purchase? Do you need to have a pattern drawn beforehand or is design part of the class?  Take along enough fabric to cover your needs or contact the teacher if you need something specific. Communication with your teacher can make all the difference in your satisfaction with the class.  

With several students in a class, it is hard as a teacher to plan for all eventualities. It is better to ask beforehand than to be disappointed on the day. At the workshop, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Bring problems with accommodation to your facilitator’s attention as soon as possible. No use moaning about things later that could have been rectified on the spot.  When you are in class, remember common courtesy.  While there is a social side as well, use the limited class time to get the most out of the teacher. When the teacher is addressing the class, be respectful. You may know what she/he is talking about, but others may not. A quiet question to the teacher by one student can be a benefit to the entire class. I have never been to a class where I haven’t learned something new by just listening.  

Save the idle chitchat, singing and jokes for after the class. It wastes time if a teacher has to explain the same thing 3 times because she/he couldn’t be heard. Class time is a valuable commodity not to be wasted.  Everyone in the class deserves equal attention from the teacher.  Try not to monopolize the teacher’s time so she can get around to help everyone. 

The best workshops are those where both the teacher and the student comes prepared. Attending rug schools and workshops expands your horizons giving you new ways to look at the craft, new social networks and increased knowledge in enhancing your skills as a rug maker. 

Jean Schroderous 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

An Exercise in Colour

An Exercise in Colour

It is always interesting to see how different material and colours look when hooked or prodded into a rug.  A piece of material with a big ugly pattern and brash colours can often turn into the most perfect piece of fabric once it is  cut and worked into a foundation, the big pattern and colours are reduced to tiny dots!
Here is an exercise that will help you to understand the colours and material once reduced. 
Choose a design and draw it on to 4 separate pieces of   Hessian about 12”x12” each. ( you are going to hook 4 samples so you probably don’t want to make them too large). If you have enjoyed the exercise you can repeat by prodding 4 samples)

Now choose four different materials in a selection of lights, mediums and dark
Primary colours eg. Red, Blue and Yellow
Monochromatic eg. One colour from very light to very dark

You are ready to  hook No 1 with Tweed,  2 with Pastels,  3 with primary and 4 in monochromatic this will give you 4 sample pieces you can refer back to. Keep a sample of materials  and attach to the hooking and prodding or label and keep in a safe place.