Rug binding 101.

There are many ways to bind hooked rugs and I’ve tried a number of them. But once I ditched the twill tape and starting using cotton clothesline cord, I found the technique that suits me best.

I love the weight of the cord around the edges.  It gives the rug a good “plop” when thrown down on the floor.  I use cord for all my rugs, even those that hang on the wall.

Another plus for this technique is that the bound edge looks the same on the front and the back.

After steam blocking the rug I lay it right side up and trim the excess linen to 1 ½”.  I then fold the cut edge in to the outer row of loops and iron it down.  Then the following steps are shown in the photos below.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a neatly bound rug.

The completed rug in situ.

The completed rug in situ.

After pressing the excess linen toward the loops, I lay the cord on it and begin basting it in place.

After pressing the excess linen toward the loops, I lay the cord on it and begin basting it in place.

This rug has a curvy border.  On the inward curves I had to clip the linen and add some Fray-stop to the cut.  This allows the rug to lay flat.  If I didn’t use the cord, this area would be almost impossible to whip with yarn.

This rug has a curvy border. On the inward curves I had to clip the linen and add some Fray-stop to the cut. This allows the rug to lay flat. If I didn’t use the cord, this area would be almost impossible to whip with yarn.

I like to use Alafosslopi yarn, which is a heavy yarn with a loose twist.  There are many kinds of wool yarn that can be used for whipping.  I used two different purples together to add interest.

I like to use Alafosslopi yarn, which is a heavy yarn with a loose twist. There are many kinds of wool yarn that can be used for whipping. I used two different purples together to add interest.

I used two different purples for the purple areas.  One is a red-purple and the other is a blue-purple, so I used a strand of red-purple yarn with a strand of blue-purple yarn for whipping.

I used two different purples for the purple areas. One is a red-purple and the other is a blue-purple, so I used a strand of red-purple yarn with a strand of blue-purple yarn for whipping.

Ready to bind.

Somehow I managed to finish hooking my I Love My OCD rug.  The dog population was pretty good most of the past week, allowing me time in the studio.  Some days are better than others and I’m looking forward to taking Leo to his Manners Class, which begins in a couple of weeks. 

The photo below of my latest rug doesn’t show the irregular curvy border.  I can’t wait to start binding this [yes, I actually do love to bind rugs!]  The rug is about 32” x 39”, so I’ll have to stand on a chair to get a full photo of it.  In the meantime, I’ll take photos as I bind it to show my process.  I have one favorite way to bind and I’m sticking to it! 

I’m still pondering how to design the next piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  It will depict the ocean with plastic flotsam.  Such a sad state of affairs for the Earth’s oceans. 

As some of you know, I’m in the Magdalena Rug Hookers here in Perry County PA.  I’m also in a three-woman splinter group called, Maggie’s Meyvns.  We Meyvns are each planning on hooking a rug about one of our strong woman heroes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I just planned my rug out on paper and I hope to get it on linen soon.  Unfortunately, I can’t show it until all Meyvns have completed their RBG rugs and we have our reveal.  Our reveals usually contain a meal.  We shall see.

The months of July and August will be filled with activities, which will make summer fly by.  I’m already looking forward to autumn.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the hooked rug finishing process. 

The center area of I Love My OCD  32” x 39”.  Hooked with #8 and #8.5 cuts of wool cloth on linen.

The center area of I Love My OCD 32” x 39”. Hooked with #8 and #8.5 cuts of wool cloth on linen.

Here’s the tub of noodles after finishing the rug.  I didn’t use them all up, but I made a good dent.

Here’s the tub of noodles after finishing the rug. I didn’t use them all up, but I made a good dent.

I re-sorted the leftover noodles by color and put them back in their 2 gallon bags. This only took me 15-20 minutes, for those of you who think I’m crazy!

I re-sorted the leftover noodles by color and put them back in their 2 gallon bags. This only took me 15-20 minutes, for those of you who think I’m crazy!

Trashed.

Creating this Found on Beach project has been interesting and a bit unsettling.  I’m definitely an OCD neatnik type, whose personal motto is, “I love my OCD! “ So, trashing up a perfectly good hooked piece depicting a child’s pail and shovel on a sandy beach, was hard to do. I’m not sure I have added enough trash to it, but it will have to do.  I can only take so much.

Here is the finishing process that I did.  I bound the edges as I do with all of my hooked rugs [see my blog, “Binding the Cat”].  Then after hooking and prodding in most of the trash, I sewed the piece to foam core/board [recycled from another use] that was cut to the same dimensions of 18” x 24”.  I sewed on a few more of the trash elements at that point.

I knew the final stage would be to attach the entire piece to a wood frame that my hubby made me for another project, which I never used.  I wanted to use the colorful variety of buoy/ lobster trap rope that I found on a Cape Cod beach a few years ago.  I nailed the rope to the outer edges of the wood frame and added a child’s flip flop for good measure.  Then I carefully nailed the piece to the top of the frame by lifting the edges of the hooked piece and nailing through the foam board. 

This is the fourth installment in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  The next one will be plastic in the ocean, but first I think I’ll hook myself a rug with my motto “I love my OCD!”  A little respite from the sad state of our Earth Mother.

There’s a lot of beauty out there.  Let’s keep it that way!

Found on Beach 18” x 24”. Designed and created by Karen Larsen, Crow’s Foot Farm Designs, LLC. 2019

Found on Beach 18” x 24”. Designed and created by Karen Larsen, Crow’s Foot Farm Designs, LLC. 2019

Found on Beach before the trashing began.

Found on Beach before the trashing began.

I just can't stop!

I finished hooking my Barn Owl with Moon2 rug this past week.  I was going to wait to bind it at the Brandywine Hook-In later this month, but I. Could. Not. Wait.  I actually love finishing rugs, so the desire to hold off was overwhelmed by the desire to bind and whip the edge.  I guess I’ll have to find something else to hook at the hook-in.

There’s a spot on my kitchen floor that has been waiting for this rug, so that, coupled with the fact that I will be hosting my Breakfast Club ladies in a couple of weeks, really gave me an irresistible urge to get this rug done and down.

What’s next?  I will be hooking my new design, Harvest Moon, in the near future, but I need something else in the meantime.  Maybe another piece for my Mother Earth Speaks series?  I do have a few ideas bubbling around in my head for that.  I’ll see what grabs me.

Autumn is here at Crow's Foot Farm, but the temps are still a bit too mild.  I hope your autumn is beautiful where you are.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in having a new rug for my kitchen floor.

Barn Owl with Moon2 in situ.

Barn Owl with Moon2 in situ.

I whipped the edge with two strands of wool, one charcoal grey and one burgundy.

I whipped the edge with two strands of wool, one charcoal grey and one burgundy.

 

Oil and Water, the big finish.

The second hooked piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series is finished. This one titled, Oil and Water, represents the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which was a truly devastating man-made ecological disaster.

After looking at many photos showing the massive oil spill on the water in the Gulf, I chose one for my model as I designed and color planned my piece. I spent a long time online trying to find the photographer [I had her name], but was unable to find where I could contact her. Because of that, I’m not posting her photograph.

This piece is 22” x 28” and is hooked mostly with a #8.5 cut of wool cloth on linen foundation. I also used many #8 cut noodles from my always-full noodle bin.  I also dug out a beautiful skein of sari silk in a variety of colors and added that here and there to add a bit of shine and a “bubble” effect.

I wanted an irregular shape for the border to add to the oil effect. I did my favorite binding technique with the excess linen folded up and basted around cotton cord and then whipped with some exquisite dyed yarn from Deanne Fitzpatrick.  I bought that skein of yarn when I went to a weekend workshop at Deanne’s studio about five years ago. I had never used it until now when it was the perfect yarn for this piece. As I’ve said before, having a good stash is worth its weight in gold.

My next project, after making a large custom pattern for a customer, will be to remake a rug from my pattern titled, Barn Owl with Moon. More on that next time.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a stash containing some real treasures.

Oil and Water, 22" x 28” wool cloth and sari silk on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by © Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC.

Oil and Water, 22" x 28” wool cloth and sari silk on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by © Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC.

Finishing the irregular edge on Oil and Water.

Finishing the irregular edge on Oil and Water.

Time to fly.

My Tombstone Angel rug is finished.  After the hooking was completed, I steam blocked her and bound the edge my favorite way with cord.  I had some charcoal grey wool for whipping around the edges, which was just right.  To see some photos of a previous rug bound this way, click here.

I still need to buy some Velcro® for attaching the angel ‘s head.  I will hand-sew strips vertically on the linen and horizontally on the back of her head.  This way I can roll up the rug to store it if needed and keep her head separately in a box.  That sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?

I hurried to finish this rug so that I could spend time with an old friend, who was going to visit from Connecticut.  Unfortunately, her plans fell through and she was unable to come.  So, I spent a lot of time this past weekend beginning a gift rug.   The design has evolved and it should be a fun one to hook.  I’ll share the progress next time.  I hope the progress will include some hooking and not just the pattern drawn on linen.  I have picked out some very colorful wool to use, which will be quite a change from this angel rug.

We have had a couple of nice days recently, so perhaps Mother Nature is warming up to the idea of springtime.  Let’s hope so!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in planning a colorful new rug.

Tombstone Angel is ready to fly!

Tombstone Angel is ready to fly!

This is my Snow Angel rug that I also designed and hooked for the Magdalena Rug Hookers rug show in August.

This is my Snow Angel rug that I also designed and hooked for the Magdalena Rug Hookers rug show in August.

Binding a Resistance Rug.

I finally finished hooking my rug titled, Women’s March 01-21-17.  It is a tessellation of pussycat hats in various shades of pink to honor the Women‘s March last January.  I knitted at least seven of these hats last year and some made it to the march in Washington DC.  It was a small way for me to participate in what was the largest and most peaceful march in US history.  It was also a march around the entire globe!

This rug has a couple of feminist buttons pinned on it and I will be looking for a few more to add to it.  It also has some velvet, sari silk, and strips of other colors that were donated by rug hooking friends, who wanted to contribute to my effort.

I wanted to do a different binding combining a cord edge with a crocheted outer edge using some bright pink yarn left over from one of the knitted hats I made.  After steaming the rug, I laid it right side up and arranged the cord [I use cotton clothes line] next to the outermost row of hooking and whipped it in place with dark red-violet wool yarn [I give a nod to Nancy Parcels' multi-cord edging technique here].  I then trimmed the excess linen to 1 ½” all around, folded it in towards the cord two times and then started to crochet.  This didn’t create the coverage I wanted, so I decided to whip around the rug with the yarn using a blanket [or buttonhole] stitch.  This created a nice beaded edge. 

Now I will continue hooking my Down to Earth2 round meditation mat and begin a super secret rug for a group project.  So much to do!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in details that make a hooked rug special.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.