Written by Cindi Gay

How to rug hook a cat eye is sometimes simpler than hooking the fur. Hook well inside the line to avoid making the eye too large and choose realistic colors.

This video is only 1/2 of the full video. If you are a member of  The Rug Hooking Journey, visit this page for the full lesson with all the links and questions and extra photos.

How to hook a realistic cat eye

To rug hook a cat eye or anything and make it look real is all about hooking what you see. This is a skill you can develop over time and it only comes with practice. One really great method is to use your ipad and an app called Graphic. This app can be confusing so I created a course to help rug hookers how to use it to their advantage.

Using Graphic to create and plan your rug hooking patterns
Design and plan your rug hooking patterns

Start with a good pattern for the cat eye

All you really need to do is to trace the animal. I use the Graphic App on my ipad with an Apple Pencil. Fancy, sure, but it is a pleasant experience and an efficient way to do it. I can resize the tracing to any size. I can turn off the image I used to trace and I instantly have an image I can use as a rug hooking pattern.

Choose realistic colors

Be sure to choose the colors you see in the photo, not the colors you know to hook the cat eye. Matching the wool to the animal itself will be difficult, because you will be working from the photo, right. Take the time to get a good photo of the cat eye and be sure to use your own photo. Using someone else’s photo without permission is stealing.

You can use a photo you see on the internet for inspiration. For instance, I plan to hook this cat eye using the coloring in the eyes in the photo I found on a Google search. Once that happens the video included in  The Rug Hooking Journey will be updated. The room that I used to photograph Gracie did not have good lighting. It was difficult enough to get her to look at the camera when I was trying to snap the photo!

Hook in the direction that seems natural

For animals, hook the fur in the direction that the hair grows, in the direction you would pet them. I prefer herringbones for animals. The varied threads make it so much easier for the fur to look like fur.

Cat’s eyes do not have a clear direction for hooking so follow your instincts. Hook the iris in rows around the semi-circle. Look at the sample photo.

cat eyes closeup, how to hook cat's eyes

There are almost lines in the green area of the cat eye. Hook in the direction of those lines.

Hooking the eyes of Woman with Baby

How to hook eyes

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