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Peter's Mermaid, or How I Hook Rugs

Making the Best of the Best - and the Worst

By: Margaret Bruzelius
Peters Mermaid

To work with recycled wool is to hook à la Mad magazine’s Alfred P. Neuman: “What, me worry?” But with a little bit of luck (to find the right garments) and a lot of finesse (to keep them from fraying), we can all live the “reduce, reuse, recycle” life through our artwork....

I came to rug hooking with two rules firmly established before I pulled one loop. First, I was definitely going to buy a good base fabric to hook into—no brittle burlap bags for me—but everything else was going to be recycled. I have always loved drifting around second-hand clothing stores, so rug hooking was going to give me an official excuse for frequenting the thrift stores. My weekly sorties to the Salvation Army and Goodwill are now not merely an indulgence, but a virtuous quest to score old wool clothes in wonderful colors. I will never forget the day I found a Talbot’s size 16, 100% wool pleated skirt in magenta. Yards of fabric, great color. Bliss!

This article is from the Spring 2016 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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