An indispensable rug hooking tool

I love my rug hooking floor frame. A good sturdy frame that has many adjustments for height and tilt is important for most projects. Gripper strip teeth that are mounted at an angle sloping away along the outer edges makes for a better fabric grip. Also notice that these teeth are mitered and fit into the corners. On many frames the teeth stop at the corners, leaving an open space that seems to catch on your sleeves or skin (ouch!).

My little tool of the day is for cleaning the gripper teeth.

This one was given to me by a thoughtful rug hooking friend. It is nice and small, with long bent wire bristles that reach all the way down into your gripper strip teeth. After hooking on a gripper strip frame, there is a build up of threads that can keep the teeth from getting a good grab. They also look messy. Brush through the teeth away from the center of the frame to get every little bit.

If you can’t find my little tool, a good runner up product is a wire dog brush. It has very similar teeth and works nicely to clean your frame.

Now that your frame is all cleaned up, you are ready to go on a new project!

What is your favorite rug hooking tool?

Happy Hooking, Karen

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27 thoughts on “An indispensable rug hooking tool

  1. I have been hooking for 5 years and my new favorite tool is my Oak Hollow Productions floor frame. I love the 18 inch by 28 inch work area which allows me such a large work space AND space to keep the colored wool strips right at my figure tips.

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  2. I use a dog wire brush for cleaning my gripper strips since I always seem to have dogs that shed. But my favorite tool is a small collapsible stool to rest my feet upon while I am hooking. In addition, the cutter stand with the bin for collecting strips as they are cut has made a difference in how many of my strips end up on the floor and then considered fair game to grab by said dogs. Wool strips are not approved for consumption by my four-legged buddies. Splurged on that goodie when I got my Townsend cutter.
    trisha

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  3. I use a lot of yarn in my hooking. Have been using a large hoop on a lap stand but find it awkward. Wondering if gripper strips would pull yarn out. I’ve been looking at the Anderson floor frame as it is unique with steel pins. Do you ever use yarn in hooking?

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    • i have hooked one piece with yarn that was very small. however i do know many people who do hook with yarn and have no problem with the gripper strips pulling it out. gripper strips are the state of the art tool and i highly recommend a frame with them for hooking.

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    • i was wondering how the gripper strips don’t pull out the work as you lift it off. i tried working with the gripper strips on a frame i got, and it kept pulling out the yarn. ended up covering the grippers, and using clamps. very awkward!!

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      • Hi Stephany, Re-reading my post about using a gripper frame, I find I wasn’t very clear with my explanation. I only do projects that don’t require moving my work. I read that Amy Oxford said if you’re extremely careful it is possible to move your work. I can’t testify to this as, like I said, have never tried. I sold my Anderson frame and the person who bought it is very happy with it. As a matter of fact she has since sent a picture of her rug that she is working on. Hope this helps.

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      • Stephany, I use a gripper frame. I like how it keeps my weavers cloth drum tight and seeing how I only do smaller projects, it’s the best solution for me as I turn my work alot. You might contact Cindy Wilson. She is the person who bought my Anderson frame. I’m sure she’d share her thoughts on how the Anderson works for her.

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      • Hi stephany, i do know that the company that sells the gripper strips have 3 kinds of gripper strips for different backing; open weave, middle weave, and fine weave. it could be that you are using a wide backing cloth (open weave), and hooking with fine yarns. this combination may be more easily pulled out. this is just a guess. other than those two considerations, i am not sure why your work is pulling out. i would try to pull my work off the frame from the corners, peeling it back a bit at a time.

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      • I am currently doing a punch needle rug 38″x48″ with wool yarn on the Anderson frame puncher model . A tighter fabric surface could not be possible. Stays tight untill through with the area working on is complete. A pleasure to work on this beautiful handcrafted wood frame. Very user friendly and i have had no issues with this frame.

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      • i’m looking into the anderson floor frame…
        the grippers are dangerous for me. like the spaced nails, and the apparent quality.
        thanks for your help
        stephany

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      • i do traditional hooking with yarn. i have to move the work as the frame isn’t big enough. when i first heard about the grippers, it sounded ideal, but then they grabbed the wool and pulled out sections.

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  4. I bought the Anderson frame a few months back for punching with the Oxford needle. It’s the largest one Mr. Anderson makes. It seems very awkward to work with. I have since read that Amy Oxford said you can use a gripper frame, just be very careful when moving your work. I must say though it looks lovely sitting next to my fire place!
    πŸ™‚

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    • thanks for your comment. if you are not happy with the frame consider selling it. frames keep their value, and someone else might really like to buy your frame. then you can buy something you really love. it really make a world of difference to have tools that are suited to you.

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  5. Thank you for replying . I would gladly put it up for sale and at a considerably less cost, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to go about selling on e-bay or any other internet site. I’m a bit of a computer illiterate ….. a big bit! πŸ™‚

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    • Hello, I am considering purchasing a lap punching frame , gripper strips or steel pins? Could you possibly be so kind as to explain why your experience with the Anderson punching frame seemed akward to you to work with? I am new to needle punching with yarn but do love it . I am now using a large wooden hoop frame and it is a bit difficult. However I do have to watch my pennies , and any input before my decision would be most helpful. Thank you , Cindy

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      • cindy, someone else commented about the anderson frame, and i do not have any experience with it. it looks like amy oxford gives it high marks. i have always used a homemade frame for punch hooking. you might look into making one yourself with carpet tack strips.

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      • Hi Cindy,

        Yes, I purchased the Anderson frame, 9 x 22 (inside measurement). I too was new to this type of rug hooking. The problem I had was I couldn’t turn my work when changing directions. With a hand held gripper frame I can maneuver it any which way. I presently use a larger gripper (13 x 17 inside measurement). I tend to be drawn to smaller designs, by that I mean anywhere from 11 x 15. Mr Anderson is a lovely man and an expert craftsman. The frame is a beauty. It is pictured on his web site next to a fireplace. Hope this helps you in your endeavor of finding the perfect frame.

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  6. so in your case the grippers never tough the actual work? that seems to be the only way i can see that would prevent the strong grippers from pulling out the work it touches from the bottom. unless the piece remains in the size of the frame, it’s going to grab the wool, right?

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  7. Yes, correct. If you want to do a large project in yarn, but don’t want to spend the money for the Anderson, then it would probably be best to use a frame that you can tack down your work with carpet tacks ~like Karen or Amy Oxford. Please remember I’m far removed from an expect on this topic, only suggesting what works best for me. πŸ™‚

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