There’s more than one way to hook a rug

Proddie Fleurs

Members gather around Gene to learn a new skill.

Dee-Dee Patrick

In early November, 20 members of the Rug Hookers of PebbleCreek attended a three-day workshop on geometric designs in the home of Karen Bogadi. Our instructor is a well-known and respected rug hooker who drove here from his home/studio in Anaheim, California. Gene Shepherd is director of the Cambria Pines Rug Camp which is where a couple of our members approached him about teaching his skills in hooking and color coordinating to our club more than 18 months ago.

We were thrilled to have such a seasoned and accomplished expert at our disposal for three days. Gene’s ability to take vintage, classic designs and reimagine them in vibrant colors is an innate talent. Attendees found him approachable, knowledgeable and passionate about his art. He had an ability to simplify the most complicated technique and encouraged us by telling us “there is no wrong way” when it comes to hooking. One of our members who is a former school teacher found him to be an excellent teacher with a great sense of humor, almost self-deprecating at times. The rapport must have been mutual as Gene stated he really liked “the vibe” he got in his first visit to PebbleCreek.

Some of the skills members learned included making a perfect circle, sharp squared corners, constructing natural-looking eyes and exploring another method to finish a hand-hooked rug. Every day we had a group session where we were introduced to something new including how to hook proddie which gives the wool another dimension – height and varied designs. Flowers really “pop” out with this technique.

Gene was eager to pass on his knowledge and share his expertise. It was as if he was thinking about things from his heart. A left-handed hooker with eight years of experience mentioned how difficult it was for her to hook geometrics. Gene asked what she found most comfortable and suggested she hook left to right versus the way she was initially taught (right to left). This made a profound and immediate change in her technique!

Members left exhilarated and eager to continue to fine tune their newly learned skills with the wonderful new shades of wool purchased or obtained in a raffle that Gene held the final day.

Come and interact with our energetic and creative group members. The Rug Hookers meet every Monday afternoon from noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Fiber Arts (Diamondback) Room in the Creative Arts Center. For further information, contact our current club president, Dee-Dee Patrick, at or phone her at 708-494-0008.