- Add a strip that is a slightly different hue. If you are hooking with red, add a strip of red orange or red purple. Something just slightly off.
- Add a strip of a completely different color, but in the same value. If you are hooking blue, add a green that is the same value. Value relates to the darkness of the wool. Take a photograph of your intended wool. Change the photo to black and white. If they look the same in that photo, then they will blend.
- Add a strip that is the same color, the same value but is a texture instead of a solid. If you are hooking with textures, insert a strip of solid.
Hook 5 strips of background wool every time you sit down at your frame.
This is a challenge that is really more a habit, but it will transform your rug hooking. I never leave my background until the very end.
- You never truly know how the background will work until you see it hooked.
- Your motifs look different with background hooked around them.
- I love hooking colors next to each other. Hook a strip of background as your second strip!
- With your background hooked in your rug, you will make better choices for the motifs.
- Every strip I hook today is one less I have to hook after all the motifs are complete.
Imagine hooking a rug where you never have “just background” to hook. What would that feel like? How would that help you to actually finish your projects?
Here’s the secret
Every time you sit down to hook, hook 5 strips of background. The phone rings. Hook 5 strips of background. You get up to answer the door. Hook 5 strips of background.
I think you can easily see how this method would finish your background in no time.
The Jig Saw Puzzle Method
Hook a squiggly line all around your rug. Quilters will recognize these shapes at stipple quilting. The important thing is to be sure that you do not create a repeating design. Keep the loops big and small. Point them in different directions. Keep it random.
You can hook this on Day One, even before you have any of the motifs finished. Once your motifs are complete, just hook an row of background around them and then continue to fill in.
I play a game with the process and try to hook the initial wiggly line all over the pattern completely before beginning to fill in, but I never quite succeed. I never fill in one area completely before moving on to another. This way if I need to bring in more wool, I can do it without any ripping out — and without stress.