How to Be Sure a Rug Hooking Pattern is “Hookable”

Written by Cindi Gay

With lines and color

OK, hookable may not be a real word but it is a real problem. Have you ever gotten a pattern that you loved and when you apply color to it, it becomes a different pattern? I usually try to hook all the patterns I sell. Because I have spent the last two years hooking the room sized rug, I had to develop another way to be sure my patterns can be hooked. What looks good as a line drawing does not always translate into hooking.

I start with my line drawing and apply color. Then – and here’s the important part – I take away the lines. That is what happens when you hook, right? So here is the witch pattern with all the colors filled in.

With the patterns lines hidden

I use Adobe Illustrator.  It is a complicated (and very expensive) program, but one that I am used to and could not live without.

But you don’t have a fancy computer program?  No problem.  Use wide tipped markers, the fatter the better.  Put a sheet of tracing paper on top of your line drawing — not on top of the pattern in case the markers bleed.  Just transfer your pattern to paper and draw on top of that.  Color in the areas.  Then remove the tracing paper.  Now you can really see what it will look like.

The problems I ran into with this pattern during the color process:

  • Hair.  Looked wild and crazy as a line drawing, but just sad once I applied fat strands of color.
  • Wrinkles.  Not really a problem, but they added character, so I added them to the line drawing.
  • Hat.  It needed those wrinkle lines to give it definition.  Instead of just doing the wrinkles, I added a dark line down the right side of the hat and under the brim.  A slightly lighter shade of brown on the left side and across part of the brim finished it off.  Also added the dark to the bottom and right side of the patch.

Because of the nature of this pattern, you could also hook on all the lines with a thinner cut to keep the cartoon look.

So what is next?  I will develop the other Halloween elements of the pattern.  Once I have them all drawn, I can rearrange and resize them until the pattern is just right.

How do you judge a “good” rug hooking pattern?  Leave your thoughts below.

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