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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What About Loop Height?

A question of the day on Wanda Kerr's site was, "Do you think loop height is something to be concerned about?" Most of us were taught in our beginner classes that the loops should be as high as the cut is wide and we strive to make the loops even in height. Here are three interesting responses to the question. What is your opinion?

1) With beautiful hooked rugs being mass-produced (by hand) and offered at retail, I choose for my hooking to be easily identified as an individual work of labor and love. Slight variations in loop height, irregular sizes and shapes, color mix as well as incorporating names and dates do this for me. Many of the antique items we own - rugs or other treasures, show all sorts of "amateurish" or questionable execution but have stood the test of time and are probably as appreciated today by their lucky owners as they were by their proud or practical originators. While they may have strived for perfection within their skill level, their lack thereof is what would have attracted me to their pieces.

2) I love Barbara's answer about the variations, and individualism in contemporary, and older rugs. While I admire even polished rugs, but don't do them(a lot of it is can't), not with the varied, recycled materials I have to work with because they are not all the same weight, thickness, or texture. They pull up and hook differently even if they are all the same cut. I use thick to thin fabrics from coats, jackets, skirts, pants, sweaters, blankets, and almost no new fabrics along with commercial and hand spun yarns, sheep fleece, and other non wool materials and yarns. I like using the different materials as to me it's what I can afford, and i get interesting effects, textures, and looks to my work. I'm not a perfectionist who has to color in within the lines, and have perfect, even loops, or I feel I've failed as as a hooker. A lot of the old primitive rugs, and hookers I admire like Deanne Fritzpatrick do not do even polished rugs and do encourage variety in hooking and materials. Maybe if I used all the same weight or type of fabrics, like all new Dorr, etc. my loops and their appearance would be more even, but it'll be awhile until I can find out. When I have focused on trying to have perfect, even, polished loops I have ended up frazzled and hating what I'm working on out of sheer frustration, and almost gave up completely on hooking. I'd much rather enjoy what I am doing and not worry about even height, straight rows, or perfect consistent loops.

3) I strive to make my loops even because I personally like the way it looks. I'm not a grand master at it, but pressing usually takes care of the little variances. I find it especially important to watch my loop height if I am mixing different widths of wool. That said, I would vary loop height in projects that are not meant for the floor depending on the effect I want to create. This is especially true if I am using materials other than cut wool strips.

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