Day 426 – 659 Progress on Room-sized rug

December 10, 2008 3 comments | Updated February 28, 2021

Written by Cindi Gay

Day 434 Background progress

One question that I hear often is about background. What direction do you hook? To answer this question fully I would have to write a full article. But to show you my favorite way to hook a background is easy. The first picture below shows the first step I take. I am using my favorite dark brown background.

Day 434 of room sized hooked rug background step 1
Day 434 of room sized hooked rug background step 2

I am hooking an area that is about 2″ wide. I cannot hook the usual puzzle pieces that I teach in my classes because the area is too small. I do not hook to the end of each strip. I start and start whenever it feels right. I hook a little bit in one area and then go somewhere else to use up the rest of the strip. I find that hooking long strips will often give the background a streaky look. I like the background better when it looks more like bubbles.

Now I continue by hooking next to these initial rows, but I often break away to split up the space.

Day 434 roomsized hooked rug background step 3
Day 434 room sized hooked rug background step 4

Here I have filled in all the spaces but I have not cut the tails yet. I usually cut only when the tail is surrounded. It helps me to keep track of my progress.

I grab each tail individually and pull slightly upward. I look on all sides for gaps. If the area is completely filled in, then using offset scissors, I cut the tail off. If I need more hooked in that area, I leave the tail to remind me that I am not done in this area.

Day 436 Organization

Yesterday we heard that my husband will be getting a month long layoff over the holidays. Stress always makes me antsy. The side effect is that my home gets deep cleaned and organized. Creativity goes straight out the window.

When I got the call I was hooking so the table next to me was the first to feel the frenzy. I was frustrated by having to dig to find just the right green I needed to hook the scroll. I emptied the basket, sorted things out and used my Strip Sorter Rings.

Cut strips ready for rug hooking

These sorters are available on my website.

cut strips for rug hooking organized

Day 440 almost done with center

Day 400 rughooking progress on room-sized hooked rug
Yesterday I taught a class at the Black Swamp Quilt Shoppe. I took the room-sized rug with me and took the picture there. After working this morning, I have most of the area to the left of the center finished.

Day 442 center down…well, almost

I “finished” the center this morning. It is not not completely done because I need to check for holidays. This means that I will inspect the back of the rug and look for larger than normal spaces where I did not hook. They are easy to see on the back but impossible to see on the front.

Some of the early books I read suggested using toothpicks to mark the holes. I found that technique almost impossible. When I marked a bunch of them and then put the rug back on the frame, many of the toothpicks pushed out because they hit the grippers on my frame. Yarn is so much easier. You can roll the rug up, transport it and then get right back to filling in the holidays without any of the markers falling out. Below is the back of my rug with just two spaces marked. You can clearly see the spaces.

On the front, all you see is the yarn. I will find the holes by pushing up with my fingers at the spot marked by the yarn. A loop or two is all that is needed to fill most spaces. I usually do this when the rug is completely done, but I will not be able to reach the center once I hook all the borders.

Now why is all this important? It has to do with wear. As the rug is on the floor and walked on, the loops surrounding the holiday will fall over to fill in the space. Making the surface uniform will ensure even wear.

Day 659 Holidays plugged, border decisions…


I finally got some time to work on my room-sized rug. Thank you to everyone who has checked back frequently for updates. My schedule is much clearer for the next few weeks and I should be able to make some progress. I will have to take a break to finish the “Woman with Baby” and “Jackson as a Puppy” pieces because I want to take them to Sauder. I have to have something to show for the year.

I worked on drawing a preliminary design on the backing in May at the Cedar Lakes Rug Camp. I wasn’t convinced it was the best design for this rug. After having it on the floor all morning, I am going to rethink it. I’ll keep you posted.

Read More Articles:

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