Tag Archives: rag rugs

What do I do with my Scraps?

Hi!  I have a lot of fabric! And I really mean A LOT! So what do I do with my fabric scraps? I LOCKER HOOK my scraps into functional and awesome things that I can use or give as gifts 🙂  I also crochet with my scraps (that’s another subject).

What in the world is LOCKER HOOKING, you say?

It is a long forgotten art, an “old rug hooking technique” thought to have originated in England in the early 1900’s.  There’s very little documented history about it. Locker hooking uses a locker hook, which looks like a 6.5 inch long steel metal crochet hook with a LARGE needle ‘eye’ on the other end (to thread the yarn through).  Also used, is latch hook rug canvas, yarn, and fabric strips (or thick yarn or wool roving).

A locker hook

Locker Hook

Inserting Locker Hook into Square

Inserting Locker Hook into First Square

The locker hook needle ‘eye’ is threaded with yarn and from the top of the canvas the hook is pushed through a square (with one hand), and from below the canvas a fabric strip is wrapped around the hook part (with other hand) and pulled back up through the same square to the top of the canvas again, making a fabric loop.  Keeping the loop on your locker hook, you continue to pull up fabric loops until you have about 10 loops on the locker hook.  Then...the locker hook and yarn are pulled through ALL the loops, thus  “locking the loops in place”.…. And that is it!

 What do you use the scraps for, you say? 

Well, you can locker hook all kinds of awesome things like rugs, wall hangings, blankets, clothing, baskets, bags & purses, pillows, lots of home decor, personal accessories, and much more!  Anything your imagination can dream of!  In 1999, I wrote and self-published a book entitled, Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips, which has tons of examples and ideas, along with teaching you how to locker hook.  Right now I’m updating the book and one of my 2014 goals is to get it out there as an ebook THIS YEAR!

Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips Book

Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips Book

Where are my scraps, you say? 

Let me show you a few out of the book that are very easy to do, have instructions, and you can do them too!

Locker Hooked Patchwork Quilt Block Rug

Locker Hooked Patchwork Quilt Block Rug

Locker Hooked Frame

Locker Hooked Frame

Locker Hooked Rag Rug

Locker Hooked Rag Rug

More locker hooking to come 🙂  In the mean time, available is my Beginning Locker Hooking Kit with an instructional booklet, canvas, steel locker hook, steel tapestry needle, and “Mug Rug” Pattern.  All you need is the yarn and fabric!  Oh, and you can purchase just the book if you want 🙂  For more information and shopping go to my website www.lockerhooking.com  🙂


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Recycled Rag Rug For Earth Day

Hi!  Years ago rag rugs were made from old clothing, stockings, etc. and rugs were used on beds to keep families warm and then went down to the floors and on walls to insulate their homes.  I’ve crocheted rag rugs for a long time but  I’ve always used new store-bought 100% cotton fabric.  I even have several rag rug crochet patterns that I sell.  But the prices for cotton fabric has gone sky-high here in Anchorage and I simply can’t afford to make rag rugs anymore.  So I got to thinking that I should give recycled sheets another try and succeed this time!  So I’m RECYCLING FOR EARTH DAY (tomorrow) and beyond!

I absolutely love going to thrift stores and looking for treasures!  I’ve never told anyone this, but my Senior Prom dress was from a lovely second-hand store and it was gorgeous, definitely something I’d never be able to afford if I bought it new!  So I’ve been having a blast looking for recycled bed sheets and I’ve found some nice colors and designs.  There’s not a huge selection to choose from but it’s a start.  I got a BIG SHOCK though at the cost!  I had no idea they cost sooooo much!  The lowest was $7.95 for a twin and then jumped to $12.95!!  These are used, and some with holes!  But then I remembered that some thrift stores have different colored tags–50 % off weeks.  Last week it was yellow and this week is orange.  And the Salvation Army sheets cost less but usually only have one or two, maybe.

Recycled Sheets

Recycled Sheets for my Rag Rugs

I started my new recycled rag rug in my usual spiral fashion with crochet hook size Q and it was terrible!  The color joining was horribly uneven! I couldn’t figure out what I was doing so wrong?  And I was so close to being done!

Uneven color changes

Spiral Rag Rug and Uneven Color Changes

I ripped it out and tried and tried again and again.  Nothing worked!  So I ripped it back to the second red circle and joined each round. But it still didn’t work, so I ripped it back to the center red circle and it still sucked!  So…….I guess the lesson is, rip it ALL out and START OVER! I knew that!!

Finished-more even color changes

Rag Rug with joined rounds and even colors

And this is how my recycled rag rug FINALLY turned out! I can live with this one, OK 🙂

1. When working with such contrasting colors it’s better to join each round to minimize color changes.  With similar colors you can use the easier spiral method just fine.

2. When it doubt, RIP IT OUT!

3. Trust your gut and do it right the FIRST time!  I knew that!

4. Happy EARTH DAY 2012 and hooray for RECYCLING!

♥ Donna

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Crocheting at night in Alaska

Hi!  I love to locker hook or crochet in the evenings, relaxing and watching the news. I am a night owl. Jake is an early bird.  Sometimes I’ll stay up after he goes to bed and hook into the night.  It is so quiet and peaceful!  We live up and on the side of a mountain.  We are in Anchorage and there are many who live up here, but we have lots of trees and privacy.  It feels like we live in the wilderness when we drive down our dirt road to home.  Nights are when I get a lot of things done. This is when my creativity juices flow.  I know I am not alone as many artists and crafters enjoy the nights solitude.

About two weeks ago, I was crocheting and watching a scary movie (I don’t very often at night!).  Jake and the animals were downstairs sleeping when I thought I saw a large black figure go past our front door window panel. I absolutely froze! We don’t get visitors here, especially at night.  And because we live in a dome home, we don’t have curtains.  It went up the stairs to the deck.  I shot up off the couch but my legs got caught in the yarn!  I could see he was coming back and by the time I reached the front door I came eye to eye with this huge black bear.  Scared me to death! I gasped and he went back to the deck while I flew downstairs yelling for Jake.  Well, by the time he came upstairs the bear was gone.  I was really freaked out! We have black bears here in the summer but NEVER that close!  Well apparently our neighbors left their garbage out the night before and they don’t have a bear protected garbage can.  Jake said there was garbage spread all over the street in the morning.  Also bird seed attracts bears (we found that out the first year we lived here!).  Several days later we hear that a bear nearby tried to enter a home and was shot.  Wow, it could have been me!

Last week I went back to crocheting on my couch and enjoying the solitude of the night, feeling safe again.  The dog started barking (she doesn’t very often) and I turned to look and we both looked right into the face of a black bear!  AGAIN! The bear went up and down the stairs to the deck.  When I got down to the front door window, I was looking right at this huge bear’s face, eye to eye!  We were both standing.  Then he suddenly leaned over towards us and took his huge paw with long claws and took a swipe at the dog, scratching his claws against the glass, then slowly walked away!  This time I came running downstairs yelling “where’s the shot-gun”!!  I love Alaska, but this is ridiculous! I knew if that bear came back again he would definitely bust the door down and come in.  I haven’t slept well since!  Jake didn’t think he could.

A few nights ago Jake and I were watching the news and they reported that for the last two weeks they have had trouble with bears trying to get into people’s homes on the hillside.  Last Thus. three black bears broke down someones door and came into their home and they had to shoot the bears.  But one got away!  Jake and I looked at each other.  I was thinking “I knew it could happen!” and he was thinking “Maybe I should have believed her!”.  At least I hope he was thinking that.  So……one is still roaming around!

Everyday living in Alaska is an adventure!


Some of my crochet rag rugs

Some of my crochet rag rugs

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