Getting started

The hooking technique is easy to master and appeals to the beginner or experienced crafts person.

We recommend that you read all the instructions before you start on your design.

Your design must be worked on a frame, the purpose of which is to hold the hessian taut while freeing both hands to allow you to hook correctly. Hooked by Design can supply you with a custom-built frame measuring approximately 13″ x 11″  which makes the hooking very easy to and enjoyable to do.

To prevent the hessian from fraying, bind with tape or zig-zag stitch around the raw edges.

Secure the hessian tautly to the frame, using drawing pins as required. It is best to work from the centre of the design outwards, so place the centre of the hessian over the working area of the frame. Make sure you include as much of any large motif within the working area as possible.

The hooking action may seem awkward at first, but with practice you will soon build up speed. Hold the hook above the hessian in your favoured hand while holding a length of yarn close to the underside of the hessian in the other. Push the hook through one of the holes in the hessian and catch the yarn you are holding. Draw the end of the yarn up through the hessian until about 1″ (25mm) is showing. (Figs 1 and 2)

Insert the hook into the next hole as required by the design (right-handers work from right to left, left-handers in the opposite direction). This time, pull a loop of yarn through to the height of the finished pile – about 1/8″ (3-4mm). (Fig 3)

Continue pulling loops through the hessian in this manner. Do not hold the yarn too tightly in the hand underneath the hessian or you risk unpulling the previous loops. When you near the end of a length of yarn or want to change colour, pull the end of the yarn through to the top of the hessian .

Begin a new length of yarn in the same hole in the hessian that you finished on. It is not necessary to hook in every single consecutive hole because this will strain the hessian. The loops should not be crammed too closely together, but should be just touching so that no hessian shows through the pile when your design is laid flat. The underside of the hessian should feel smooth, with no lumps or loose ends. (Fig. 4)

You should hook the outside edges of a motif first, then fill in the motif as required. You may change the direction of your hooking simply by turning the frame. Complete all the motifs on the section of the hessian stretched over your frame before hooking the background colour.

NOTE – All ends (starting and finishing) should come to the right side of your work and then be trimmed to the height of your loops.

Finishing your design
When you have finished hooking lay the completed design face down and press the underside with a hot iron, using a damp cloth to protect the yarn.

You will find that you have roughly 3″ (7-6mm) of hessian border – do not trim this off!

If you are working on a cushion, simply make up in the usual way using your chosen backing fabric.

If you are working on a rug, turn the hessian underneath the pattern, leaving a fold of about 1/ 4″ (7mm) showing at the edge. Using a darning needle and the colour of yarn suggested in your pattern, whip-stitch over the exposed fold on all sides of the rug.

Hand-sew the woven tape over the raw edge of the hessian on the underside of the rug.

Keep any left-over yarn. Hooked by Design uses hard-wearing 80/20 carpet yarn but if you should stain your carpet or cushion, you can simply pull out the affected area and re-hook it with the saved yarn. For normal cleaning purposes, the finished products should be dry-cleaned or hand washed in cool water.

You may notice slight variations between the colours in the photographs and the yarn in your kit. Don’t worry this is only to be expected with a natural fibre. We have made sure that all the yarn within your particular kit is a consistent colour.

Happy hooking!