“A hooker (rug hooker, that is) takes wool from the past (my mother’s Nova Scotia tartan skirt), and jersey (my daughter’s leggings from when she was three) and perhaps other neat yarns and cloth from their stash, to create a fantastic story on simple burlap.”
This need not be an expensive venture to reap rich rewards. It really depends on where you would like to go on your rug hooking journey. Mine began as a way to decorate the old refinished floors of our log home. I wanted them to be useable mats. Gradually I began hanging them on the wall so I purchased beautifully dyed wool cloth. I have been doing that now for quite some time, adding wool yarn to my growing stash as well.
Currently, my main focus is to use what I have to create vibrant memory pieces, reflective of the very early rug hookers. I want my rugs to be useful, to be trodden on and shaken out, repaired. Maybe then they will earn a place upon the wall! Eventually they may be tucked away by my daughter, given to a family member, friend, or cherished student. Perhaps they will be recycled by another rug hooker.
You will need a hook, and backing; that is, something to pull your fabric through to create a design. I use either burlap or linen. It is also good to have a hoop to place your backing fabric in to pull it tight, and to hold on your lap while hooking. For years I used a second hand wooden quilter’s hoop. As you develop your skill and interest, you will find upgrades in “the tools of the trade” may be something you might want to explore.
Cookie cutters, cardboard templates, the internet, and rug hooking books, are all ways to create original designs of your own. A black sharpie marker and a ruler are also necessary to make your pattern visible while hooking, and to keep your pattern straight.