was successfully added to your cart.

Category Archives: Contemporary rugmakers

Breaking boundaries

By | Art, Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity | 3 Comments

Alexandra Kahayoglou’s family runs a carpet factory in Buenos Aires. She takes scraps of leftover thread from the factory, and uses a hand-tufting process to create wool rugs that are inspired by nature’s surfaces – moss, water, grass, trees, meadows. Some, like the one shown above, break the boundary between wall and floor, between inside and outside.

And sometimes, she breaks the definition between furniture and rug:

Part tapestry and part rug, Kehayoglou has managed to take the leftovers of more standard carpetmaking, and go in her own direction.

Many of her creations remind me of looking down, from an airplane, to see the colors and forms of the earth-bound landscape:

To me, Kahayoglou’s work displays real creativity. Using cast-off material, useless for the purpose it had served, she sees something, and puts it together in a new way. In doing so, she gives us a new perspective of viewing what is all around us. She sees her rugs (“her grasslands”) as a statement of concern for our fragile environment, “like I’m flying the flag for mother earth”.

I have few details about the tufting method she uses – she calls it weaving or hand-tufting, using a “weaving gun” – but I love her work and her creativity. Here is a photo of her in the process of making a rug:

She writes, “I like pieces that can be used, that lie between design and art.” She’s had numerous shows, and coverage in international fashion and interior design magazines, and has her own website at alexkeha.com. May your own rugs fly the flag of your own creative spirit!

A Labor of Love

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | 3 Comments

Gayle Burton, of West Point, Utah, has been working on and off on this rug for over five years, and now it is done. It is her family story rug, and is pretty large – 48″ x 60″. She wrote that it was a labor of love, and it felt great to have finally finished it.

I have become more and more drawn to personal storytelling rugs in general lately. Yes, we can all enjoy making florals, or holiday rugs with Santas and pumpkins and Easter bunnies, and enjoy them for years to come. But taking your own memories and family stories, and making a rug design around them, as Gayle has, really puts your own experience and spirit into a rug. Let’s look a little closer at how Gayle did it.

She wrote, “Hubby and I moved into our home in Clinton, Utah, as honeymooners, and raised three children and a dog there, over the course of 37 years.

Lesson #1: Don’t stress about hooking people into your rug! It doesn’t have to be a fine-shaded, perfect-rendition portrait of them. If you could draw people when you were in the third grade, you can draw (and hook) them now. Gayle’s are charming, and all the family (the focus of her family rug) is right there and up front.

The Union Pacific Railroad runs right behind the house – the diesel trains aren’t very picturesque, so I hooked an old-fashioned steam engine instead“:

Lesson #2: Adapt as you see fit. “Artistic License” is a wonderful thing, and you own it! You can adapt reality to a symbolic level, to fit your taste and style, and everyone will know exactly what you are representing!

Gayle did the same thing with her little airplane. She writes, “We live near Hill Air Force Base, and F-16 fighter jets fly overhead often.” So she added a simple little red airplane to her design. Who cares that F-16s aren’t red?

“We are LDS (Mormons) so I hooked in the Salt Lake Temple as a symbol of our religion – there are flowers to depict the beautiful gardens that are to be seen in every season at Temple Square. The blue represents the Great Salt Lake.

Again, Gayle did not try to portray the gardens in their entirety, she just put in a few flowers to represent the gardens. Perfect!

Lesson #3: Get started by making a list (and asking family members to add to it) of significant places and features that define your story – both large and small.

Gayle’s list included the very large – the Temple and Great Salt Lake – to a quilt hanging outside, the flag, and what grew in her garden:

She writes, “Our home is surrounded by wonderful shade trees that provided great climbing opportunities for the children and their friends as they grew. We also grow a garden each summer, so I hooked corn and pumpkins to represent that.

Finally, she included the family name and date banner across the bottom, and then two borders on the upper part of the rug, which really give a finished look to the rug (I love the little dabs of hit or miss!) and she added, “The borders were fun to hook, and used up a lot of my worms, too!”

Lesson #4: Just begin. Maybe it took Gayle more than five years to finish this lovely rug, but she has it now, and I am sure it will always be treasured. If your kids had a pet hedgehog, google “drawings of hedgehogs” and then just try drawing one. Gayle drew all of her motifs freehand, and rughooking’s folk art style allows for each idea, place, person, animal or object to be pictured as a motif, not a perfect line drawing. If you need to, draw your hedgehog on newsprint a bunch of times until you get one you like, and then cut that one out and trace it onto your backing. But just begin.

After living in Clinton for 37 years, three months ago Gayle and her family moved to a neighboring town in Utah, and, as she puts it, “We’re starting new stories here now!”

Thanks so much, Gayle, for sharing the story of your wonderful story rug with us! It is a terrific rug, and your labor of love comes through.

This is Gayle’s original work, it’s copyrighted, and used here with her kind permission. Please ask her before you copy, pin or share it on the web. Gayle wrote much of the process of making her rug on her own blog, online at themiddlesister.blogspot.com.

A Hooker’s Will

By | Contemporary rugmakers | 4 Comments

A while back, my friend Jeni mentioned how much she worried about what would happen to her rugs after she was gone. Since then, I have mentioned this to several rughookers, and every one of them shared Jeni’s concern. The thought of them ending up in a yard sale, in an auction for a pitifully low price, or even tossed away brings sadness and grief.

I am lucky to have a niece who understands my rugs and values the work I put into them. She will be my “rug trustee”, and once family and friends have been given the ones they want, I have told her to donate the others – to our town library, volunteer fire department, church, local conservation group – to raffle or sell off as they wish. At least someone who likes them will bid on or buy them, and for a good cause. That’s the best I could come up with!

But how about the stash? Of course you have heard the good old joke, “Don’t ever let my husband sell my wool for what I told him it cost…”?

A while back, I came across The Hooker’s Will. It was not signed so I really don’t know who wrote it, but I copied it, added names, signed it, and it is now in with other important papers. Here it is:

Hooker’s Will
Being of sound mind and body (a statement that does not bear close scrutiny), I, —————, do hereby record my last stash will and testament. Knowing that ——————, my (husband, sister, daughter, son) has no appreciation, or for that matter knowledge of my extensive wool collection, which by the way is deposited in various places throughout my home for safekeeping (look beyond my wool room, check backs of closets, under the beds, etc.), I make this will.

Knowing that the likely scenario of the relative mentioned above might be to just call the local goodwill store (should I precede him/her to that great hooking shop in the sky) to pick up and dispose of the aforementioned collection, I therefore do will this collection and all other collections of tools, frames, cutters, worms, scissors, sharpies, red dot, linen, patterns, works in process, etc. to my dear fellow wool preservationist ——————-.

It is my wish that she, upon hearing of my death and obtaining clear proof that I did not manage (although goodness knows I tried) to take it with me, will come to my home, before said goodwill store searches it out. That she should rescue said collection and stack it in my hooking studio. After she has done that, she should purchase refreshments for all my friends not yet departed, which friends are also her friends, and every last one of them should be in that room, and they should hold a wake and say lots of lovely, lively and kind things about me until they run out, and then they shall divide my wonderful collection amongst themselves in a highly congenial manner.

Be forewarned – I shall be hovering over that very spot until this is done. Said appointed friend shall then leave this spot and close the door, leaving the car, house, stocks, bonds and other worldly nonsense to those who don’t understand or know any better. This is my wish on the matter.
Signed:
Dated:

The spectacular rug pictured at the top will go on sale by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates of Mt. Crawford, VA on June 17, 2017, 9:30am. It’s Lot 1230, described as: AMERICAN FOLK ART PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG, stylized depiction of a long-tailed brown dog set against a striated ground. Professionally mounted for display. Dimensions: 30 1/2″ x 34 1/2″. Late 19th/early 20th century. Estimated price $200-300. Online at www.jeffreysevans.com

A fine rug, and blessed wool

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Making rugs | 6 Comments

At rug camp there was a great display of over 100 rugs, and this one really made me gasp. It is Reflection, by Mary Hays, of Bass Harbor, Maine. Happily, the part of the exhibit with Mary’s lovely rug was hanging in my classroom, so I got to look at it throughout the week at Sebago Lake Rug Camp. There were so many beautiful and creative pieces, but I just could not stop looking at this one. Such a natural landscape… and though I heard many viewers comment on how well Mary caught the trees and mountains reflected again in the water (certainly true!), I just kept looking at the way Mary caught the rocks that gradually disappear as the water gets deeper! What a great effect in wool!

And late in the week, during the show and tell “throwdown”, I found one rug that again made me gasp in appreciation – this time because in the bottom corner of the border of this just-begun landscape, someone had added a small, beautifully rendered hand, hooking. Yes, it was Mary’s current project. I just fell in love with the creativity in adding in that small hooking hand:

Happily, I found Mary and had a chance to talk a bit with her, express my admiration for her rugs. I was also surprised, on her new project, at how sketchy her initial drawing is – she said she just wants a rough outline, and does the rest as she hooks. Here is the whole rug, showing her “outline”:

When I complimented her on the sky in her new project, she said she finds skies easy to do, because in nature, there are so many infinite variations on the sky and clouds, that nothing really will look wrong!

One other thing. Three women, by chance, sit next to each other in their class. All had projects well underway. One of them, a different Mary, decides that she has hooked the vase in her rug in the wrong color. It needs to be lighter – but she does not have the right wool. She looked at all the wool for sale (and there was a lot of beautiful wool for sale) and couldn’t find anything just right. Then the woman sitting next to her, Kathy, glances over, reaches into her wool bag, and pulls out a piece of wool, just the right shade of maroon, with just the right small dots of color. “Try this”, she says, “I don’t need it, I just stuck it in my bag for no particular reason.”

And Kathy’s wool worked perfectly for Mary’s vase. So then Mary has a big pile of the wool that had not worked – the wool she just pulled out from her rug and replaced. And the woman on the other side of her, Diane, looks at the pile of rejected wool, and looks again. She asked Mary if she could use it, and Mary said “Of course!”. And Mary’s pulled-out wool turned out to be the perfect wool for the dragonfly that Diane was working on. I call this a case of blessed wool.

Many thanks to Mary Hays for permission to show her work here. Both rugs pictured are her own creative work, so are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, paste, pin or pass them on, as a courtesy to her. Many thanks to Gail Walden, for running a wonderful rug camp, and to my teacher, Loretta Scena, for her talented guidance! And a quick hello to blog reader Priscilla McGarry, who actually searched me out just to tell me she likes this blog – how nice it was to talk to her!

Breaking boundaries

By | Art, Contemporary rugmakers, Museums | No Comments


The other day I told you a little about the Textile Museum of Canada, and oddly, enough, through a completely separate search, this morning I ended up on the website of the Textile Museum of Sweden. It’s located in the town of Borås. I found a photo of this work, shown above, online, and just had to track down it’s creator.

The creator of this piece is Faig Ahmed, and the museum’s new exhibit for the summer highlights the work of Ahmed, who is a rugmaker and sculptor from Azerbaijan, in the South Caucasus. Bordered by Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Iran, it is a region where hand-crafted carpets have been made for centuries.

The catalog from the museum show gives more information about this wonderful work:

Entitled Virgin, by Faig Ahmed. This is a hand-woven carpet with a traditional pattern that gradually transforms into a thick red mass. The work continues on a series of signature textile works by Ahmed and reveals unspoken local narratives on male-female gender relations hidden inside the crafts and artisanal practices. More specifically the work draws from the early practice of unmarried girls producing one exquisite textile as part of the treasure she brings into the marriage. In other words suggesting the transition from a girl to a woman.”

I’m not sure I can get the full gist of the cultural symbolism, but the work itself dazzles me. Talk about breaking borders of a traditional craft!

Here is another work of Ahmed’s that is also in the show, and also dazzling:

“”He doesn’t answer questions, he poses them”, says Medeia Ekner, curator at the Textile Museum of Sweden, of the artist, who is known mostly for his unique way of transforming traditional Azerbaijani rugs into contemporary sculptural shapes. His method of deconstructing conventional patterns and symbols and reshaping them into original compositions often results in new, dramatic expressions.”

Yikes! And here I was thinking “breaking barriers” meant something like using extra-bright colors in a primitive design!

The museum’s web page about this exhibit is here.

Images copyrighted ( copyright enforced), and used courtesy of Faig Ahmed Studio. The artist’s own website, featuring other works, can be found here.

Enjoy the day, everyone, and be brave.

Stopped by for a good visit

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Rug Community | One Comment


The other day I was up in Vermont, and decided to drive a few miles more to see if there was anyone home at Lucille Festa’s Lollipop Farm, in East Rupert, VT. I was lucky – the studio was dark, but when I knocked on the house door, Lucille came out and said she’d be happy to open it up and let me look at her wool! Happy me!

She showed me all around the home of American Country Rugs, including her most recent rug, shown above. The studio was warm from the stove on a chilly day:

and there was plenty of Lucille’s hand-dyed wool to look at, touch, consider and, basically, revel in:

It was wonderful to meet Lucille after seeing photos of her rugs for many years, and we talked about rughooking, making patterns, websites and blogging. The studio, she said, was pretty tidy because the following day (yesterday), she was holding an open house there, and today, was hosting a big hook-in in nearby Manchester, VT. So my timing could have been better if I had known, but I was happy to wander the studio by myself, and have a nice visit. Lucille showed me all around, and I loved seeing the many rugs and patterns she sells, hearing of how she cleans the baskets hanging from the beams, and, of course, finally deciding on and buying some wool.

Lucille’s website is at americancountryrugs.com, and if I had checked it before I went, maybe I’d have been able to go to the hook-in. But if you around the Manchester/Dorset VT area, check the website and stop by the studio, or go there on purpose to take a class. You will find it feels like a wonderful rughooking home.

Thanks for letting me make an impromptu visit, Lucille, and I am sure everyone there is having a great time today at your hook-in!

The rug designs shown are Lucille’s own, and so protected. Check out her website for many great primitive and country patterns.

Best Rug Photos Award!

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity | 6 Comments

This year’s Best Rug Photos Award goes to Leah Karo, a rughooker from Pennsylvania. True, I just made that award up, but when have you seen a more creative and charming photo of a rug on display? That’s Leah’s horse Spirit, (who will be celebrating his 14th birthday this week) and he seems quite content to help show off Leah’s rug!

Leah comes from a family of rughookers, starting with her great-grandmother, who hooked rugs in her native Nova Scotia. Her mother, Irene, has been hooking rugs for about 50 years, and now aged 89, has stopped dyeing her own wool, but is still hooking. Now Leah’s son is at it, too. Let’s pause here and send Easter greetings to Irene, and take a look at one of her many wonderful rugs:

Leah herself started braiding rugs, but then turned to hooking. She writes, “Twenty-five years later, I create my own designs and dye my own wool. I love to see a rug in creation, to feel the wool slipping through my fingers to become a beautiful piece of art. I think that is what we all get out of rug hooking – a creation of our own, an original work of art.” Leah now runs Wooley Mountain Rug Works, where she sells patterns, finished rugs, and takes commissions.

Here is another lovely photo of Leah with a big geometric rug, taken at the Quabbin Reservoir:

Here is a closer-up view of the rug itself:

Credit for the lovely photographs goes to Michelle Benoit, her daughter-in-law. Leah writes, “She is very good at photography and will take a hundred photos to get just the right one.” Here is one more example of Michelle’s rug photography, showing off Leah’s Sunflower Trellis rug (a Fraser pattern):

Leah’s rugs and patterns can be found online at wooleymountainrugworks.com. She has mandalas, geometrics, floral, and (my favorites) a series of “Majic Carpet” designs. I will leave you with a photo of her finished pattern, Majic Carpet #3:

Many thanks to Leah, for letting me share her work with you here. Her designs are her own, and both patterns and photos are protected by copyright. So look and enjoy, but, of course, do not copy.

Have a lovely Easter weekend, everyone!

Two more rugs in the world!

By | Composition, Contemporary rugmakers, Making rugs | 4 Comments

Sometime along about last June, I showed you this original design created by Sarah Jansen, of Westport, MA. Sarah had been asked by her daughter to do a rug for her “with different farm animals”. What an interesting design problem – do you make one farm scene with all the animals in together, or something different?

I loved how Sarah went for “something different” – she placed the groups of different barnyard animals each in their own little tableau, but unified and tied together each scene with the flowering vine that connects them! Just a great design solution!
So I heard from Sarah the other day, and this rug is done:

Sarah said she used a #6 cut of wool for all the animals, and a #8 cut for the rest of the rug. And the red flowers and the yellow birds combine well with both the individual animal scenes and the mixed coffee colored background.

It seems to me that Sarah could sell this pattern complete with the animal scenes, or just sell it with the different tableau areas blank, for people to fill in with their own personal “scenes” – maybe of family stories, or scenes from family trips, different family homes, or their own animal friends.

And for those of you who have not already seen this on facebook, I did finish my big (for me) hit or miss rug. Here it is:

After the riot of color in the hit or miss center, the wide charcoal gray border was pretty boring to hook, all in one dark color, but I do like the width of the border, and the darkness of it, now that I am done with the hooking and can stand back for a good look.

Sarah’s rug is her own design, and protected by copyright. It is possible that her design will be available soon as a pattern to buy, so if you are interested in it, let me know and I will pass that along to her. My rug was based on an antique rug, and I re-drew it to have clusters of flowers in all four corners. If you want to use the same idea and draw it out for yourself, feel free. I can tell you that drawing the ovals, both for the inside and outside borders, was the hardest part! I finally solved that by taking an old oval cheap “wipe your feet on it” rug and tracing the borders. I was still worried about whether it would look like a true oval when done, but I steamed it after taking this photo, and it looks ok to me!

Hook on, and happy Spring!

One thing leads to another…

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | No Comments

Because I had the flu, I actually looked at a postcard that had been tucked in with a piece of wool I had mail-ordered months ago. It was about a rughooking place in Iowa, called Old Friends Woolens. If I hadn’t been down with the flu, I would not, most likely, have come across it again, and actually looked it up. But that is how I found Catherine Tokheim’s website and rugs. Cathy is a long-time rug hooking enthusiast with a passion for passing on the craft. She lives near Swea City, Iowa and enjoys traveling to meet up with rug hooking groups from all over the Midwest. It is always a pleasure to see what is going on in rughooking, in different areas of the country!

Above, you can see her design, Prairie Spirit. Catherine drew out this pattern for a friend, whose husband was instrumental in the introduction of peregrine falcons to the downtown Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic campus. The rug was a retirement gift for him. The first male peregrine introduced was named Chase, and so the name was included in her hooked rug. Look for the name, subtle but there, worked into the background on the top right side.

Catherine writes, “It’s a big rug pattern, 38″x66″ to allow for the detail in the bird and botanicals. I loved the story of the peregrine’s introduction to Rochester, MN and loved that my friend Jean Bartel wanted to commemorate that introduction for her husband. I know and love them both so this design, hooked by Jean, has a special meaning for me. The colors and style just make the rug shine.

Here is another lovely primitive rug by Catherine, called Gentle Words:

“Dew is to the flower what gentle words are to the soul.”

Catherine writes, “This design comes from a quote that I found that really rings true for me. Words have an effect and gentle words have an uplifting effect in a person’s life. I hope to hang on to that quote and use it daily. Flowers gathered from my gardens are a gentle, beautiful activity and their presence in my home always bring a smile to my face.

And one last rug of Catherine’s that caught my eye right away, Sheep In The Poppies:

Sheep in the Poppies was an exploration of favorite colors and their hues along with my attempt at primitive shading. Animals and flowers are favorite subjects for my designs and sheep, as you know, are just a joy to hook. A big, bold sheep as the focus is fun too!

Catherine has many patterns for sale on her Old Friends Woolens Etsy shop here, (at very reasonable prices), as well as wool. And she has a website and blog at www.oldfriendswoolens.com. She teaches around the northern midwest, so if I were looking for a class or hooking event in the area of South Dakota, Iowa, or Minnesota, that’s where I would look! Two day Old Friends Woolens retreat coming up, Jul 21 – Jul 23, in Ormsby, Minnesota! Wouldn’t you just love to go?

Catherine owns her own creations, of course, and they are copyrighted and protected as her own designs. Thank you so much Catherine, for permission to show them here! And as for the “many more primitive designs yet undrawn” you mentioned, keep drawing them! Your rugs are a delight! Greetings to all your rughooking friends in the Midwest, from a bunch of New England rughookers – have a lovely spring and summer!

Let’s talk about hit or miss rugs…

By | Color, Contemporary rugmakers, Design, Making rugs | 10 Comments

Quite a few people ask me a lot of questions about doing hit or miss rugs, so I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about making them. I love doing hit or miss from time to time – watching odd color combinations of wool find their way together into a whole. I am always surprised when I meet an experienced rughooker who has never done a hit or miss!

And of course, “hit or miss” can mean doing just a section of hit or miss – just a border, just an internal element – or you can do a large hit or miss. Above, you can see “Jane’s Remains“, by Jane Ploof of South Starksboro, VT. I loved seeing this one, because it is a hit or miss boiled down to the essentials – just running rows of color, with a simple border!

In this next rug (of mine), I combined hit or miss circles in various sizes on a plain hit or miss background, with a vine-and-leaf border element, also in hit or miss:

One of the beauties of doing a hit or miss is that you can start with the simplest design – the varied colors will supply the fascination. For this rug, I used three sizes of circles – using a coffee can, drinking glass, and small bowl to trace – and just scattered them inside a rectangle. If you are an “unsure” designer, just trace the circles (or other elements – stars, etc.) on newspaper and cut them out, then move the newsprint circles around on your backing until you like the placement.

First hint:
Look at your worms (cut wool). If like me (and 90% of my rugs are hooked with a #6 cut), you have a lot of wool cut in the same size (whether it is a #6 or #8 etc.) you have a pretty good shot at doing long rows of random wool and having the rows stay straight. But even with good cutters, there are always some pieces slightly wider or narrower. And some thin wools hook up narrower than really fat, plushy pieces. So in the defined area you are hooking in straight rows, make guidelines every so often, to keep your lines reasonably true.

Second hint:
Using hit or miss inside smaller units is a good way to begin. Find a basic geometric pattern or a quilt pattern with repeating blocks, and just use hit or miss for some blocks, and maybe do something else (flowers etc.) in other blocks. When you are doing hit or miss in a smaller area, whether in straight lines, circles, or swirls, you can use worms of different cuts much more easily – one leaf, block or circle can have thick and thin pieces mixed together quite easily.

And by “hit or miss”, we mean using random colors, right? No. C’mon, I can’t believe that anybody, ever, really just stuck their hand in a basket of worms and hooked, in order, whatever came out. You are not going to have your cut wool stored evenly distributed by color, anyhow. You finish a rug, and all the odds and ends left over get tossed in the basket, with a clump of blues, or a handful of reds landing together. So let’s forget the word “random” and think of hit or miss as using a mixed variety of the cut wool that is at hand.

Unless you are going for a special effect, you want to aim for a balance of your colors as you hook, and yet you don’t want to dither over picking each piece of wool, either. Seeing the unexpected color combos is the biggest delight of working on a hit or miss! Here is what I do:

Third (and most important) hint:
Remember, like a mantra: dark, light, dull, bright. Dark, Light, Dull, Bright. Think of it as you choose colors. You don’t have to really pick one dark, then one light, but you want to think about the few colors you just hooked in, and see if one of those elements is missing and needs to be added. Most people tend to leave out the “dull”, especially when you have a big basket of lovely bright solid colors. “Dull” does not just mean your neutral tans or grays, but just a dull version of any color. The hit or miss needs dull, just as much as it needs those really bright colors to be a bit separated from each other, and the mediums and lights to be set off with the real dark pieces. Dark, light, dull, bright.

And to that mantra, I would also add “texture”. Make sure you use worms of plaids or multi-color checks or tweeds. You don’t want all solid colors, and the plaids or textures give hints of several colors in one worm, and really add depth and breathing space to the many solids you are bound to have.

Here is a hit or miss rug that I did, in a very basic blocky pattern I just drew out – but I added a few blocks of all-one-color hit or miss. There is one block where I used just blues, one of just various reds, another using all greens. So this is one of the “special effects” you can use, and still have basically a hit or miss rug. Note how I added in zigzags and arches, and had the lines of the hit or miss going horizontal here, and vertical there:

Here is a close-up of the “purples” block in the same rug:

Maybe “all one color hit or miss” is stretching the concept of hit or miss a little but hey, it’s my rug, I can do what I want, right?

And even for the zigzags and arches, I made sure I drew guidelines every few inches to keep the shapes true.

Finally, because you are using the worms “at hand”, remember the origin of hit or miss – these are the rugs to use up what you have. So if you get 2/3 of the way across the area (block, etc.) you are hooking, and you want all your rows to go across the entire block, and that yellow piece of wool is not long enough, just find a more-or-less similar piece of yellow to finish the row. It works! If you are doing longer, running rows of color, like Jane used in her rug, you just switch to another color.

What you do really need for a hit or miss is a basket (or three) of wool worms. There is just no getting around that! Relax and have fun!