Rug Hooking: Creativity Meets Simple Frugality

Just about everybody who is living frugally is living creatively. Creativity is a must when devising frugal solutions and applying them to everyday living. We learn a lot from the early Canadian settlers who were very creative in adapting to life in North America.

Log cabin building, while seen as cozy and picturesque now, was a necessity then. And it wasn’t very cozy in the beginning — often  no windows and a hole in the roof for the stovepipe — tad chilly and dark that first winter! Women who later had sheep for wool were very lucky. Spinning, knitting, weaving and sewing all started with those sheep. And when the woollen clothing was too worn to patch any more, it could be turned into winter quilts and later, mats to warm the floor.

Frugal with resources as well as money

Living involved hard work, but the results are what we admire in museums and “pioneer villages.”  I’m sure they didn’t see it as creative at the time, but we definitely recognize all that creativity now. Perhaps that’s why the hand-made “primitive way” is so often copied today. And, rug hooking is frugal with resources as well as money.

Cobourg rug-hooking group
Some of the Northumberland Hookers

Today there are thousands of women and men happily hooking away alone or in groups. There are on-line groups as well. Rug hooking can be an expensive hobby if buying supplies new, or it can be a way of having beautifully creative floor coverings (and seat cushions, etc.) for next to nothing if using old, rag bag clothing!

I’m a new hooker. My sister in Cobourg joined the group there and my friend, Ruth, joined the group in Lakefield, so you can easily see why I couldn’t hold out any longer.

My first hooked rug: Jack the Rug (with Jack the Dog)
I call my first mat “Jack the Rug,” obviously named after its subject, “Jack the Dog.” My friend, Ruth, is working on her second project. She was addicted immediately when she began her first one, a cushion cover.











Rug hooking: a creative, simple, frugal activity that’s been a part of the good life for a very long time.


Loon hooked rug
A delightful small mat of our Canadian symbol, the loon

2 Replies to “Rug Hooking: Creativity Meets Simple Frugality”

  1. How do you choose fabric to use in rug hooking. How do know it won’t just unravel and fall to bits when you cut it into strips.

    1. I use a fairly wide cut (#8, I think) so that means less ravelling. Old wool shirts, skirts, coats, even blankets can be used. The border of the stars & outside border on Jack the Rug are herringbone tweed from a man’s jacket.

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