Rug Hooking Techniques...Hit-n-Miss...and More...

I’m often asked how to prevent twisted loops…this is what I share with my students…

May people like twisted, uneven loops and that is fine! However, if you don’t and are struggling try this…

My #1 tip is what I call "scooping" works with any width wool and any type of hook on any foundation!.

Begin by holding your wool strip/yarn FLAT between your thumb and forefinger underneath your foundation. Hold it close to the foundation, my thumb nail often scrapes against the underside of my linen.

To avoid twisted loops or splitting the wool, insert your hook so that the handle touches the top of your foundation. The shaft of the hook is completely underneath, tilt the hook slightly, catch the strip and pull the loop up, tilting slightly toward the beginning tail or previous loop. This way your loop is formed on the shaft, the “hook end” just keeps the wool from sliding off. If you only insert the tip of the hook, you’ll have difficultly pulling up a loop, it may twist or the wool may split and your loop will not be nice and full.

By tilting your loops toward your beginning tail, the new loops are fed from the strip/yarn you are holding. If you move in other directions the loops are fed from previous loops, resulting in low, uneven pile.

Some people prefer large shank hooks and that’s fine. I think most of those hooks are too heavy and fatiguing, and in my opinion not a substitute for good technique ;)

The easiest way to keep ends from looking messy and forming a ditch is to stagger your cut ends. Hook your first row normally having a trimmed end on each side. Begin your second row by pulling up your tail in the hole where you would normally pull your 1st loop. Now go back and pull a loop in the hole you skipped, ignore your tail and pull your second loop on the other side of it. When you reach the end of the row, leave a bit of slack in your strip, make sure the strip is not twisted and pull the tail up in the hole before the last. Now pull up your last loop. Keep your hook in the loop and gently pull on the tail to tighten the strip on the under side of backing. Hook the rest of the hit-n-miss section by repeating this “staggering of tails” Trim tails even with loops.

Another method is to actually “hide the tail” inside a loop. This is a bit tricky to get the hang of at first, but I know some hookers who hide or bury ALL of their tails. This technique is especially good when there isn’t a bordering row. The downside to this method is it is a bit bulky. Not so pleasing with thicker wool. Another word of very careful when trimming, it’s easy to cut a loop!

a great technique for beauty-lines, flowers, bird wings


  1. This was a great way to nudge my memory on how to hook wool strips, as I hadn’t pick it is in years! Thank you.

  2. Thank you for assisting this beginner!

  3. Thank you very much for your time explaining techniques.I have been hooking since 1970 and even though they say one stitch I learned neat ideas from your lessons. Very grateful

  4. Thank you for these tips. I wish more people would include the so-very-helpful underside photos. Well done!

  5. Thank you for taking the time to provided such excellent pictures with notes, and the explanations!

  6. Thanks Colleen, glad you found this helpful! ~L


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