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Rug Hooking
Volume XI, Number 5
March/April/May 2000


When Peggy Hannum tried hooking more than 20 years ago, she did it only to please a friend she was visiting who had recently begun hooking and insisted Peggy try it. But Peggy's the one who ended up being pleased by the fiber art. "I couldn't believe the wonderful range of colors and possibilities inherent in the dye pot," she recalls. "[My friend Lyn] had uncorked a veritable genie's bottle." Peggy's choice of pattern for her first rug—the 54" x 37" Irises—was ambitious, but she was determined to hook it.  She dutifully found a teacher near her Danvers, Massachusetts, home (Meredith LeBeau) and headed off to class with her pattern. "Meredith soon ascertained that I knew next to nothing about hooking and even less concerning dyeing," Peggy says, "and offered that most beginning students started with a small piece, a nice little round rose, perhaps.... I'm sure she saw my disappointment and probably couldn't miss the edge of a whine in my [wistful plea], 'But I really love irises.[Meredith] looked at the rug and at me, took a deep breath, smiled, and said, 'Then irises it shall be.' With her guidance, I was able to dye all my own wool, experimenting with novelty dyeing, jar dyeing, and spot [dyeing]." As Peggy worked on her rug, she learned how to hook strap leaves and, of course, irises. "I have done a great deal of hooking since then," she says, "but Irises is still my favorite rug. Thanks to Meredith's willingness to listen to her student and her sensitivity to what was important to [this] learner, I have been able to find years of enjoyment and growth in the art."

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54" x 37", #3-cut wool on burlap.
Designed by Heirloom Rugs. 
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1979.
Photograph by Impact Xpozures.



Rug Hooking
Volume XIV, Number 4
January/February 2003

Peggy Hannum our teacher from Lancaster, does mostly fine hooking. She is a certified McGown teacher and also gives lessons in her home. Peggy loves to dye wool, and everyone is amazed at the beautiful results she brings to our meetings. She is very helpful with her advice and shares with us a great many ideas. Peggy's kits are marvels of color planning, and her directions are always easy to follow. She is always willing to offer personal help if it is needed  (Peggy’s rug, Silver Compote, is featured in A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs, XII.)

Oak Scrollings
36" x 24",
#3-cut wool on rug warp
Designed by Jane McGown Flynn.
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2002

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Rug Hooking
Volume XV, Number 1
June/July/August 2003

"Silver Compote"

Upon looking at Peggy Hannum's lovely rug and noticing its name, an obvious question comes to mind: Why is tins Silver Compote gold? As Peggy easily explains, the answer lies in the frame. On one of Peggy's antiquing forays several years ago, she came across a lovely gold-leaf frame in fairly good condition. At the time, Peggy had no hooked piece for it, so the frame sat in her workroom for three years.  Later, white cleaning, she found some old patterns a student had given her, and there she found Silver Compote. This piece was just what Peggy was looking for—something with fruit and flowers— and it was the exact size of her lonely frame. The only change she would need was to make the silver bowl gold.  At Laurel Mountain Rug Camp, teacher Nancy Blood worked her magic with the color plan and the formulas. With Nancy's expertise, the project got off to a flying start, and Peggy had nearly completed the rug by late summer 2001.

"I thought it would be finished in no time, so I took it on vacation with me to my son's home in Maine," says Peggy. Once there, she hit the proverbial snag.  All that was left to hook was the table, but Peg soon discovered that the background and table, both being dark, blended  one another, and the table just disappeared! She and her son Bob, an artist, worked out the problem by using lighter shades of the background spot-dye subtly against the button-holed, darker edge of the table. "The effect we wanted to achieve was that a table was there, but not obviously so, and it worked," says Peggy. Peggy's Silver Compote now has a gold bowl that perfectly matches its gold-leaf frame. The elegant wallhanging graces the Hannum's dining room wall.  Peggy admits that, almost all of her rugs are hooked with #3 or 4 cuts, as she enjoys fine shading. Many of her students, however, hook primitives. "I actually have a few wide cuts in the works, although they say my definition of a primitive is somewhere between a #4 and 5 cut," laughs Peggy. Someday, with a little help from her friends, Peggy says she may get the hang of it.

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First Place
Silver Compote
Margaret "Peggy" Hannum, Lancaster, Pa.


Silver Compote
26 1/2" x 22 1/2",
#3-cut wool on burlap
Designed by Charlotte Stratton
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2001


Rug Hooking
Volume XVI, Number 4
January/February 2005

Rug Hooking
20th Anniversary
2008 Edition


Most rug hookers have photo albums documenting their rugs with dates, pictures, and appropriate information. Having put so much time and creativity into producing each piece, large or small, I wanted some tangible evidence or remembrance of each creation. Every now and again someone will ask me if I have sold any of my rugs. My rather shocked response has been, "No, and I haven't sold any of my children either!" Many of you have generously dispersed your rugs among family and friends from one corner of the country to the other. Each time I hear one of my students or hooking friends exclaim: "This one is for my son," or "I promised this to my dear friend," I cringe. Until two years ago, I had not parted with anything.
   I have been hooking for 28 years, and until I retired seven years ago, it took me an average of two or three years, and in one case, seven, to finish a rug.  At that rate, the hooked piece has become an integral part of the family and is not about to leave the nest without some kind of "empty rug syndrome." Now that I am retired, I find that I am able to hook two or three fairly large rugs per year. I am basically a night person and try to do some hooking each evening. It amazes me how much can be accomplished between 8 and 11:30 p.m. If I am too tired to concentrate on "that turnover" or "those bird feathers," I do background. And there is always background!

The Decision is Made

I have come to the point that I am hooking rugs because I want to see what can be achieved with color and form, not because I am trying to create a spot of beauty on a particular space of floor or wall. In that respect, I have reached "critical mass." "The thought of giving some of my cre- ations away to my family surfaced recently when I decided to draw and hook a rug featuring my grandson William's cat. I held on to it for a year or so, putting it in various rug shows. But having run out of those, I faced the fact that perhaps I really should part with it, and long overdue, gave the rug to William for Christmas.
   Having finally made the decision to give up one of my "children" for adoption, whole new scenarios presented themselves. I began thinking about the Chinese Butterflies rug that I had promised to my granddaughter when she graduates from college and has her own apartment or home. At one time that seemed a distant and safe horizon, but she graduates this spring, and I can see those Chinese butterflies taking wing as well. Then there are possible rugs for my sons and daughter, and I certainly don't have the excuse that, "Oh well, my daughter-in-law would probably put it in the garage." They all value my rugs as much as I do. My only lingering regret was that once they were gone, they were gone. I had an album of photographs, but some- how that didn't seem to have the permanence I wanted.

The Light Bulb Moment

Synergy does affect life, and things have a way of happening simultaneously. Two summers ago we were vacationing in Maine with our son, Bob, and his family at the home of David, one of his college friends.  David's avocation is painting and he displays his works in a gallery near his home in Santa Fe. He shared his portfolios with me, which were quite impressive and professionally done. This was the answer to my need to have a lasting illustration and record of my rugs before they were dispersed. My thought was that it would be wonderful to have something of this quality in which to display my own artwork, but I thought it would be out of my price range.

The Details

The process of creating a portfolio is not difficult or any more expensive than the cost of attending a rug camp or doing a large rug. By far the greatest expense was in the photography. Between 1977, when I started hooking, and 2002 when I decided to do a portfolio, I had completed 19 rugs and large pieces. If I included a first page dedication to my teachers, Meredith LeBeau and Nancy Blood, along with the nineteen color plates, I would have a nice sized booklet.
The cost of having rugs professionally photographed is in the range of $25 to $35 each. Since I chose to have someone else do my photography, I was fortunate to live close to Bill Bishop, who does the photography work for Rug Hooking magazine. I was able to take all of my pieces to his studio where they could be hung on a wall to be photographed.  I would refer readers to the excellent article in A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XIV, "Picture Perfect," in which Bill gives step-by-step instructions on how to take your own professional photographs. Even if many of your rugs have been packed off to family or friends, it is no longer a great task to have them photograph the rug and send you prints. Perhaps you could even first send them a copy of Bill's article to ensure the pictures will be of high quality.


I would refer readers to the excellent article in A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XIV, "Picture Perfect," in which Bill gives step-by-step instructions on how to take your own professional photographs. Even if many of your rugs have been packed off to family or friends, it is no longer a great task to have them photograph the rug and send you prints. Perhaps you could even first send them a copy of Bill's article to ensure the pictures will be of high quality.
   The next step after deciding who will do the photography is to find a copying service. I used Sir Speedy; David had used Kinko any will probably be comparably priced.
 To my good luck, what I found at Sir Speedy was a willing staff.
   They were very helpful even to the point of speaking by phone to the photographer and asking him to put the photos on a disk, which they then can put into their computers to be printed. Being a neophyte in both photography and computers, I had no idea of what was what or where to begin. The staff at Sir Speedy took the project and me in hand.
   Bill Bishop sent me proofs of the photos that 1 laid out on 8 V2" x 11" print sized paper and then hand printed, cut, and pasted my copy for each rug, page by page. I decided that each picture would be 5" x 7", but you can make them any size. Sir Speedy set up and typed the final copy. My son has an art background and suggested not using the same layout on each page, but positioning the pictures and texts differently. It was good advice, as visually each page varied.
   The layouts were done more hurriedly than I wanted, because I decided the portfolios would be nice Christmas gifts for my family and for that purpose decided to have 10 copies made. For most pages I had three brief texts positioned differently on each page: one with the name of the rug, the size and the designer; a second indicating whether the wool was hand dyed, the kind of backing, the cut of the wool, and the year the rug was completed. In a third blurb I listed any publications in which the rug appeared and awards it had received and lastly, if appropriate, a brief note about the  rug's inspiration. In retrospect, I would have added when I started the rug as well as the date it was finished. I find that one of the questions I am most often asked about a rug is: "How long did it take you to do this?"
   Other choices you need to make include  the weight, for the paper, kind of font for  your type, and how you wish to arrange  your text on the pages. I chose a good  paper weight, 65 Ib. for the text, and a  slightly heavier weight, 80 to 100 Ib., for the  cover. There will be a variety of tints and paper types for your cover ranging in price, but I chose the least expensive in a pale tint that, I felt was tasteful. Since my rugs are more formal in their design and execution, I chose a simple type using the same font throughout, bold on the cover, and others varying in size but the same throughout. If you look at the covers of Rug Hooking and Celebration, you will see a combination of simple and fancy types. Either works well and it is a matter of what you feel best complements your type of hooking. 
   For the binding I chose a simple spiral plastic binding which allows the book to open and lie flat, and also it was provided at no additional cost. I would probably make a few minor changes in the placement of text on the pages. The most important adjustment would be in the arrangement of the margins. I had not allowed for a larger margin. on the left, side to accommodate the spiral binding, so some of the left side text is almost in the binding. You need to set up margins on your page BEFORE you do a layout. It was suggested to me that leaving slightly more margin space on the bottom of the page than the top is more pleasing to the eye. (Again, look carefully at Celebration.') This is a small thing but adds aesthetically to the look of the finished product. If you have sold any of your rugs, another suggestion might be to indicate this in your text as: "in the collection of ——-" rather than the less professional presentation of "sold to—-."

Printing Problems

One of the most important factors in the whole publishing process was that Sir Speedy did a proof run before printing all of the copies. I would not have assumed that they did this, but it turned out to be critical. The pictures printed with a decidedly green tint that was not accept- able to me OR to them. As the young man who was working with me said, "We want a product you can be proud of and that we are proud of." After they conferred with Bill, it was discovered that the problem was not in the photography but in the particular copier that they were using. 
  Again, I was learning more than I ever expected to know about the copy-printing world. Copying services often use several types of color copiers and some are more equal than others. They redid the proof, using a. second copier after they had the machine fine tuned by their repair service.



After the glitches were worked out and another proof run, all of us were very sat-isfied.  If you decide to do a second or sub- sequent reprinting as I did, be sure to ask for a proof as I ran into the same situation several months later with the green tint.  Again, remember that there are multiple copiers at each business place, and they need to achieve the acceptable color before printing all of your books.
    Many of your choices will be your per- sonal preference, but I was not aware of how many there are for the taking. Since I was looking for the most economical way of producing a booklet, I only worked with printers. However, there are also designers that can do an artistic job of arranging and doing your layout before you take it. to the printer. I was looking for a Ford rather than a Cadillac, but discovered that there are some pretty classy little economy jobs out there.
   A portfolio can be as inexpensive or elaborate as you want to make it. I have updated current costs at Sir Speedy—as of September 2004, their initial cost for the type setting for a. 20-page booklet is approximately $200. After this one time set, up, the cost of printing, if you want, 1C) copies of the portfolio, is $1.24 per page; for 20 copies, $1.07 per page. The more one prints, the cheaper the cost per page. It will be possible to add to this existing volume because of its spiral binding, but since I've dispersed over 50 copies, that is not an option for me.  I have in mind doing a second volume when I have accrued another 15 or so pages. I already have completed five more pieces since the portfolio was printed in 2002.

Behind the Wool

When I was working on this article, we were vacationing with Bob, and his family in Maine, so I brought along my portfolio, which I had done two years ago with some hurried telephone advice from him at the time. I asked Bob to sit down with me and critique my portfolio with an eye to improving it.
   Several issues perhaps more important than the 'how to' of producing a portfolio came from this conversation. First of all, we realized that people are always amazed at the amount of time it takes to complete a hooked piece, not just hours, but months and sometimes years. A lot of living occurs for us as artists during this time, and each piece we create not only carries its own story but also ours.
   My hooking hours are my reward to myself at the end of the day. They are my quiet time for reflection and creativity. My rugs all take an immense amount of hours and life is happening in all this time, and as my son reminded me, people, not just family, are interested in this. Our rugs and their stories will be around long after us. The stories may become even more interesting than the rugs.
   The tale behind the Grenfell rugs of Nova Scotia is one of those. Being a missionary doctor, Dr. Grenfell attended to the fishermen and attempted to give the people another source of income. The silk stockings his wife collected from New York socialites to make the rugs became unique, original, and collectable works of art.
   When I was hooking Pearl McGown's TJze Unicorn, in Captivity, I assumed the drops on the unicorn's coat were blood. After all, he was chained and fenced and looked rather doleful. However, after doing some reading about the original tapestries that hang in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, I discovered that the drops were pomegranate juice from the fruit on the tree above his head. I had to "rethink" those oranges that I had hooked on the tree and do some reverse hooking to make them pomegranates instead.
   Charlotte Stratton's Silver Compote, which hangs in my dining room, began with an old gold leaf frame I had found in an antique shop in New England. The frame sat in my basement studio for over two years looking for a picture. I accidentally found Silver Compote when I was rummaging through a pile of old patterns someone had left with me quite a few years before. It was perfect for the frame and has become one of my favorite pieces.
   The reason that the center of Heirloom's Salem is dated 1993 and the outside scroll border is dated 2003 is because we put everything in storage for four years and went to live in Jerusalem as the liaisons for the United Methodist Church. In those years I did no hooking, and it was 10 years before I returned to finish Salem, mostly because the big upstairs hallway in our Federal home in New England, for which I was making it, was no longer part of our lives. These are all stories that add to the interest and the provenance of the rugs.
   As fiber artists too often we do not give enough credit to our art or to the fact that we ARE artists, painting with wool. Each kind of hooking—wide-cut, primitive, fine shading, original or commercial design is an equally valuable form of our art, just as Impressionist, Modern, and Classical are all valuable types of painting. Whether we are beginners or have been hooking for decades, our works are unique; they are a part of us, and our lives, and deserve to be documented and passed along in a lasting form.

Peggy Hannum's lovely Lancaster County, Pennsylvania home and her rug collection were featured in A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XIV. Her rug Istanbul was also a finalist in the Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XIV competition.

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Rug Hooking
Volume XVII, Number 1
June/July/August 2005


A retired missionary for the United Methodist Church, Peggy Hannum and her husband fell in love with the mysterious and exotic aspects of the Middle East as they traveled and worked there over the past 20 years; most recently living in Jerusalem as liaisons for the church. "We also have visited Istanbul several times in our travels," Peggy states. So, it only seemed fitting that her friend and mentor, Nancy Blood, would suggest to Peggy several years ago that she might want to hook the Istanbul pattern. Then two years ago at the McGown Northern Teachers' Workshop, where Peggy's roommate, Julie Mayo, was disposing of some patterns, one of which was Istanbul, her immediate reaction was, "The minute I saw it, I knew it had to be! Too many events had converged."
   Once she decided, Peggy sent the pattern to Nancy Blood to do the color planning. Because of all the colors involved and the intricacy of the pattern, it took Nancy three months to color plan the rug—beginning in April and finally finishing at the Northern Teachers' Workshop in July. Nancy sent an array of formulas to dye—16 different 8-value swatches. Peggy found the dyeing to be great fun since she enjoys the dyeing process as much as the hooking. From there it took Peggy seven months to complete the rug, start to finish.
   Working with an "all-color" palette, and intermingling colors and their complements was one of Peggy's favorite parts of hooking Istanbul, especially since no motif repeats itself. The most difficult challenge she encountered was how to bring definition to the birds' feathers. Remembering a. technique that, her teacher, Meredith LeBeau of Danvers, Massachusetts, taught her many years ago, Peggy took a thread from a darker piece of wool and hooked around each feather giving the illusion of an edge without it becoming a definite outline.
   Peggy,  a retired English teacher, has been hooking rugs for the past 27 years and teaches regular classes in her studio to over 40 students. Although she has hooked all types of rugs, she prefers working with the fine-cut #3 and #4.  Her rugs have won numerous awards and have been featured in Rug Hooking magazine's A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs I, XI, XII, XIII, and XIV.

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Second Place
Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

60" round #3- and #4-cut wool on linen.
Designed by Pearl K. McGown. 
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2003.

A Celebration of
Hand-Hooked Rugs XI

2001 Edition

When asked how Chinese Butteries came into being, Margaret Hannum is quite frank. "Panic is the mother of inspiration," she says. One of her students had selected this unusual, intricate pattern and asked Margaret to plan and dye it for her. Working with the design led Margaret to hook it herself.
   Margaret knew that color would take center stage in this glorious celebration of nature's beauty, but didn't feel that her color skills were up to the challenge. So she called one of her teachers, Nancy Blood, for some thoughts. Nancy suggested that Margaret use transcolor dyeing; read about primary colors in Maryanne Lincoln's book Recipes From the Dye Kitchen (Rug Hooking magazine, 1999); and experiment with Cushing's Cherry. Canary, and Peacock dyes. Nancy also encouraged Margaret to use all of the colors in the butterflies as fine outlines for the Chinese clouds in the border. This would unobtrusively reinforce the colors in the palette. Working with these luscious, delicate colors, Margaret says, was "sheer delight." The first transcolor included the three primary colors, and after that Margaret went with any color that struck her fancy. "One dye just flowed into another to achieve the gossamer fantasy of a Chinese tapestry."
   Margaret found that as Chinese Butterflies took shape, the planning and dyeing were both a reward and a challenge. "After Nancy's initial, crucial, advice, I was on my own to plan and dye." Her own instincts for color, it turned out, were far better developed than she realized. The project's successful outcome has increased her self-confidence far more than she imagined. "[And so,] a pattern that I had not really chosen for myself has become the favorite project of [my 23] years [as a hooker.]"
   This complex project took only eight months to plan, dye, and hook. Margaret finished the rug by overcasting the edges with tapestry wool. Chinese Butterflies won two awards, Jurors' Choice and Best Traditional Piece, at a juried craft show held by the Pennsylvania Guild of Designer Craftsmen. The rug currently graces Margaret's bedroom, where its delicate colors and subject matter are a daily delight. Eventually it will be given to her granddaughter, who is now 18 and going away to college.

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"Chinese Butterflies"
" x 30", #3-cut wool on burlap
Designed by Jane McGown Flynn
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2000

Margaret (Peggy) Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Margaret Hannum knitted and sewed, but didn't discover hooking until a visit to the Dorr Mill with her friend Lyn Lovell. Twenty-three years later, Margaret is a member of the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists and a certified McGown teacher whose rugs have won Best in Show at the McGown Northern Teachers Workshops. Margaret, who teaches classes in her home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, credits Meredith Le Beau and Nancy Blood as being teachers and mentors to her. Their willingness to share their talents and techniques have given her the courage to experiment with color and design.

A Celebration of
Hand-Hooked Rugs XI
2002 Edition

"Silver Compote"

Peggy Hannum describes her life in hooking as a series of lucky finds, and Silver Compote is one of them. Antiquing for interesting old frames to complement her hooked pieces is one of Peggy's favorite pastimes, and she found this one in a shop in Massachusetts. For three years, the frame waited patiently in Peggy's workroom for its occupant.
   Then one of her students brought in some old patterns that, she wanted to get rid of. Peggy's friends and students snatched up most of them, but a few languished on a shelf until Peggy decided to do some cleaning. "I looked through the little pile of burlap patterns and unfolded Silver Compote," Peggy says. "Not only was it just what I had envisioned—something with fruit and flowers—but it was the exact size of my gold-leaf frame!"
   Silver Compote was a lucky find for another reason as well—Peggy needed a project for the upcoming Laurel Mountain camp. She sent the pattern off to her teacher, Nancy Blood, who was happy to help color plan the project, and Peggy began dyeing the wool. "The colors blend so well because they are a single family of Triple Over Dyes over different shades of new wool," Peggy says.
   Nancy's expert guidance at Laurel Mountain gave Silver Compote a jump-start, but then Peggy hit an unexpected barrier. "I thought it would be finished in no time because all that was left was the table, so I took it with me on vacation. But both the table and the background blended into each other!" Peggy admits. "This time my son, Bob, was the 'lucky find.' His avocation is art, and he helped me work out the problem. As hooking artists, we are indeed painters with wool." Peggy hooked a slightly lighter shade of the background spot color against the buttonholed darker edge of the table, providing a subtle outline without making the distinction obvious.
   The final stroke of luck occurred when Silver Compote was framed. One of Peggy's students is now retired from museum textile work and does custom framing. She professionally restored the damaged gold leaf and created a museum-quality framing of Peggy's lucky find. Silver Compote now hangs proudly in the Hannum dining room.

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Silver Compote
26 1/2" x 22 1/2",
#3-cut wool on burlap
Designed by Charlotte Stratton
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2001

Margaret (Peggy) Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Margaret Peggy Hannum was introduced to rug hooking by Lyn Lovell, who gave her a copy of Louise Zeiser's book, Heirloom Patterns. When she met teacher Meredith LeBeau in Danvers, Massachusetts, it was "the luckiest find in my life," Peggy admits. "In addition to hooking, she taught me how to be a good teacher." When Peggy moved to Pennsylvania, she studied with Nancy Blood, who taught her color, design, and dyeing. Two years ago Peggy received McGown certification and is now the national guild historian. Her rug Chinese Butterflies was a finalist in Celebration XI.

A Celebration of
Hand-Hooked Rugs XI
2003 Edition

"Unicorn in Captivity"

Peggy Hannum actually began Unicorn in Captivity almost 20 years ago. She even took a trip to New York City to see the actual tapestry hanging at The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art because she wanted to duplicate the color scheme of the original. Upon arrival, she found that The Cloisters was closed for renovations. so instead she purchased the poster from the museum gift shop.
   Peggy started out by dyeing the wool for the unicorn, the fence, and the pomegranate tree and in the following years hooked the rug off and on between other projects, finishing the unicorn and half the fence. She then temporarily put aside her interest in pictorials and instead hooked other kinds of rug designs. "As it goes with hookers, our projects run far ahead of our hands, and the unicorn took a very long vacation," Peggy explains. "In the ensuing years, my husband admired each new finished project, and he would ask, 'When are you going to finish the unicorn?'"
   Peggy finally took the hint last year and picked up the unicorn again. She had postponed the project for such a long time. however, that she had run out of the wool used on the fence that she dyed almost 20 years before. She still had the formula, but with the new dyes the shades were slightly brighter. To resolve the problem, Peggy wet the original piece and dipped the new swatch in a tea bath until it matched. The experience taught her to keep good notes on dye formulas in the future. Peggy originally thought that hooking the numerous little flowers would be tedious and was prepared to just do them quickly with very little shading. Instead she found herself getting caught up in shading each one. "It was kind of relaxing to do one or two small clumps of leaves or blossoms each evening," she says. "In about four months I had it finished."
   The commercial pattern for Unicorn in Captivity had been discontinued years before, and Peggy considers herself fortunate that she purchased it long ago. The rug was completed just in time for Peggy to present it to her husband for the couple's 50th wedding anniversary and is now displayed in their home's front hallway.

In the Judges' Words

"The colors of this piece work very well
with the dark background."

"This is a complicated design for a rug hooker, but it's extremely well executed."

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Unicorn in Captivity

24" x 36",
#3-cut wool on burlap
Designed by Pearl McGown
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1999

Margaret (Peggy) Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Peggy Hannum took up rug hooking 25 years ago as a diversion from the demands of her high school teaching career.   Now retired from the school room, Peggy teaches rug hooking to about 35 students and through them has learned a great deal about primitives. She loves using #3- and #4-cut wool and enjoys dyeing even more than she does hooking. She is a historian for the National Guild of Pearl K. McGown Rug Hookcrafters and has written numerous articles for their newsletter. Her rugs were selected for three previous editions of A Celebration of Hand- Hooked Rugs and have won, six awards in four years at the juried Pennsylvania Designer Craftsmen's Annual Gallery Show.

A Celebration of
Hand-Hooked Rugs XIV

2004 Edition

(click to enlarge & read)


   Call it kismet or coincidence, but Peggy Hannum says she was meant to hook Istanbul, a pattern that originated from a birthday card mailed to Pearl McGown from a friend who was visiting the Turkish city.
   Several years ago, Peggy's rug hooking teacher suggested that she hook the colorful design. Just hearing the name conjured up the mysteries and exotic aspects of the Middle East, a part of the world she and her husband have been traveling to for the past 20 years. "We lived in Jerusalem for three years recently as liaisons for the United Methodist Church," Peggy says. "We also have visited Istanbul several times in our travels." Last summer, Peggy's roommate at the McGown Northern Teachers' Workshop had some patterns she was disposing of and one of them was Istanbul. Peggy decided right then that she would make this rug her next project.
   Peggy found the rug a delight to hook because there were no parts of the design that were repeated. She sent the pattern to her workshop teacher, Nancy Blood, who did the color planning and came up with 16 different 8-value swatches. Peggy loves the dyeing process almost as much as the actual hooking so she had a lot of fun dyeing the wool and spot dyeing the rug's background. But as she hooked she found it difficult to hook the two birds and their mass of feathers. Peggy found that because there was not much definition in the 8-value swatches the feathers just seemed to melt into each other. Then she remembered a technique taught to her years ago where thread from a darker piece of wool can be hooked around each feather. "It's a process that sounds deadly, but in fact is easy and fast," says Peggy- "One hooks in existing holes and not in every one, giving the illusion of an edge without it becoming a definite outline."
   Peggy's Istanbul was an award-winner at the Gallery Show for the Pennsylvania Designer Craftsmen last November including Best in Show and Excellence in Craftsmanship. The colorful rug is now brightening Peggy's family room, along with many of her acquisitions from decades of travel and living in the Middle East. Another bit of proof that Peggy was meant to hook this rug was her chance meeting with the friend who originally sent Pearl K. McGown the card that inspired Istanbul. "She still had one of the cards and has provided me with a color copy of the original," Peggy remarks. "Now, one of my students is planning to hook the original colors, I can't wait to help work on the dyeing for this one!"

In the Judges' Words

"Good control of colors, shows
movement without being busy"

"Incredibly rich and complicated
color scheme-balance is a subtle green"

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60" round #3- and #4-cut wool on linen.
Designed by Pearl K. McGown. 
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2003.

Margaret (Peggy) Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

After 27 years of teaching high school English, Peggy is now retired and has enjoyed a second career teaching rug hooking to over 40 students from her home studio.  While she loves hooking rugs, it's dyeing and playing with color that she calls her "passions." She prefers fine shading using #3 and #4 cuts and has completed about 25 rugs, pictorials and many smaller pieces. Peggy is the recipient of numerous awards in the fiber art and credits rug hooking teachers, Meredith LeBeau and Nancy Blood, for her more than 25 years of success. This marks Peggy's fifth appearance in A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs. (See Peggy's beautiful Lancaster County home decorated with many of these rugs - click here to visit this web page)

A Celebration of
Hand-Hooked Rugs XVI

2006 Edition


When Peggy Hannum was first introduced to rug hooking by a friend about 30 years ago, she chose as her very first project a large pattern depicting irises. Her hooking teacher took one look at the 3' x 4' pattern, gasped, and gently suggested that most students began with a smaller piece, perhaps a cushion, and that irises were rather difficult. "She obviously sensed my disappointment and perhaps a bit of a whine when I replied, 'But I really love irises,'" Peggy-says. "'Then irises it shall be,' was her reply, and with that began my first dyeing and hooking instructions, and my love affair with rug hooking, thanks to a gracious and most talented teacher." Now decades later, Peggy's fondness for flowers has come full circle---literally. The oval and vivacious Entice is abundant with rich colorful blossoms and is also rather large in size (54" x 61"). She also loved the scrolls in the rug's design and the flouncy tulips presented a nice challenge for this very experienced and award- winning rug hooker.
   Peggy and one of her teachers at the Maryland Shores work- shop, Nancy Blood, planned the colors for the rug. Swatches were used for the flowers and scrolls, and the rug's background was spot dyed. "Nancy is a master teacher from whom I have learned so much over the years," says Peggy. This particular project was no exception. Nancy taught Peggy how to do the ripples and folds on the rose and tulip petals. Nancy also suggested that white be added on the little flowers. Peggy agreed and saw that doing that added the necessary brightness to the rug. In fact, that touch of light in a basically dark rug was the most important lesson she learned in creating this rug. She discovered that the tiny white flowers and fuschias really added the important sparkle needed in this dramatic design. Peggy also had to redraw the fuschias to be more delicate and she worked a bit on choosing their colors.
   Peggy's Pennsylvania home is filled with her wonderful rugs and she has now added Entice to the family room. The rug won best in design at Pennsylvania Designer Craftsmen's juried show and marks her sixth appearance in A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs. "I credit whatever skill I have acquired in rug hooking," says Peggy, "to my excellent teachers, mentors, and friends over the past 30 years, Meredith LeBeau and Nancy Blood."

In the Judges' Words


"Scrolls and Shading are Magnificent."

"Superb Scrolls."

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53" x 6' oval,
#3-cut wool on linen
Designed by Pearl K. McGown
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2005

A Celebration of
Hand-Hooked Rugs

copyright 1991

by The Staff of


Seven feet by Seven feet
An Heirloom pattern, #663A

Designed by L. H. Zeiser  

   Gardening is my first love. My childhood memories of growing up among the Amish farms of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and working with Grandpa in his victory garden, are intertwined with those outrageous dahlias and first peas. It isn't surprising that I gain most pleasure in hooking flowers, fruits and vegetables.


   Mrs. L.H. Zeiser's "Wildwood" captured my imagination as soon as I saw it pictured in the Heirloom catalogue, and no less than a 7' x 7' room-sized rug would do!  Seven years later, off and on between many other projects, it is finished and on the floor. "Wildwood" is a quiet companion that knows me too well and does not disappoint. The pinks and rusts, purple violets and orange lilies are combinations that surprise and work.
   Ask an addict how it began, and you might get the same mumbled replies and furtive evasions: two closets full of fabrics, bags of yam in the attic, wardrobes of handmade clothes, and boxes of hand-knit sweaters replete with personalized labels. You are talking to a woman who cannot walk past a fabric store, who derives enormous pleasure from meandering up aisles just feeling fabrics from Boston to Paris and from Cairo to Damascus. 
   Fifteen years ago, Marilyn Lovell, my friend and fellow collector of bolts and skeins, said she'd just discovered a wondrous new world, full of wools and mills and, best of all, dye pots. She was "hooked" and soon so was I. My next step was to find a teacher. I must have done something right in a previous life to have found Meredith Lebeau. I arrived in her class with a 4' x 6' piece of burlap for an "Iris" rug. Meredith commented that most students begin more simply with a "Sue's Rose" cushion, but I naively said I preferred the irises. That then, she said, is how you shall begin. It is still my favorite rug and has won a blue ribbon in our local art association show. Hooking is now part of my life: my relaxation, my therapy, my way of satisfying the need to create something subtle, colorful and tactile.

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"Hooked on Rugging"
by Leslie Hay

Senior News
Volume 9, Number 3
March  2003

   Peggy Hannum has always enjoyed working with her hands. She loves gardening, knitting, and sewing, which is plenty to keep her busy. So when her good friend Lyn Lovell tried to interest her in rug hooking, she did not feel she needed another craft. However, to humor her friend, Peggy bought a rug hooking kit, and quite literally, became, "hooked on rug hooking."
   This happened 26 years ago, and her life has taken many twists and turns, but the path has always led back to rug hooking. Peggy immediately began taking classes with veteran teacher,  Meredith Le Beau. She laughingly recalls how innocently she jumped into this new art. "1 showed up with an iris pattern that was about 3x4, and Meredith gulped and said, "We usually suggest that students begin with something smaller," and 1 wined, "But I like irises!" and she said, "So irises it must be!"
   Peggy's motto may well be THINK BIG. She completed four rugs in nineteen years. This may not sound like a lot if you didn't know that one of them was 7 x 7, and it took her seven years to finish! Over the years, Peggy has experimented with a variety of techniques. "I am always trying new and different things, even though fine shading excites me the most. I love colors, I love dyeing wool, and I love the way it all takes shape under my fingers."
   Several years later, she attended a rug camp with Nancy Blood. Nancy is renowned for her work with colors. This has shaped Peggy's outlook as well. "Last year, I went to Naples, Italy, and was able to observe closely some wonderful tapestries. I saw that everything started off as camel- colored wool and had been dyed, so I decided to try that myself." She enlisted Nancy's help with the project, and together they came up with recipes for dyes. "Everything turned out beautifully," she says. "It never really occurred to me, then or now, to be concerned about doing something to go in a particular spot in my home. Working with color has become a way to express myself."
   Shortly after her trip, Peggy obtained her teacher's certification. For about five years she has been instructing from her Lancaster home. "The experiences 1 have had shaped the way I teach, but I've never forgotten that first experience with Meredith. What a student likes is what they will do - not necessarily what someone else thinks they ought to do." She now has over thirty students who range in age from their twenties to seventy-plus. They all have different backgrounds and professions. Peggy delights in giving them as much individual attention as possible. She aims to provide her students with a positive experience and see the craft continue to be handed down to a new generation.
   It's easy to see how much Peggy enjoys teaching and how much pleasure she gets from passing on her beloved craft. "I really feel so blessed to have these wonderful people as my students. And I have seen lots of lifelong friendships blossom and flourish in my years of hooking. Everyone is so willing to share and pass on their love for and knowledge of the craft."
   What's next for this busy Lancaster retiree? Certainly more teaching and more hooking are in the cards. She and her husband remain involved with peace and justice in Middle Eastern countries and regularly go abroad with different groups working to bring peace to Israel and Palestine. Whatever Peggy Hannum's future holds, however, it's certain that wool and a hook will be part of the plan.

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Pennsylvania Guild of

July/Aug/Sept  Issue 3, 2004

Graces the cover of the 2004 issue on the left
Hooked Rug by Juried Member Margaret Hannum
Last Year's Craftsmen's Choice, Excellence in Craftsmenship & Best in Show in the annual "Best in Pennsylvania Crafts" Gallery:
November 27 & 28, 2004

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Atha - Association of Traditional
Hooking Artists

Volume XVII Issue 124   Aug./Sept. 2000


   When I was introduced to rug hooking twenty years ago, my first thoughts about the whole endeavor began with the notion that a rug is a rug, after all, isn't it? Therefore, if it is to cover a floor and be walked on, it needs to be sizeable. Somehow, I suppose that is where my notion of "big" rugs began. My first rug. Heirloom's "Irises" was 3' x 5', my second, "Gainsborough", OSV#440, was 60" round, and as experience grew, so did my vision of "rug". My third opus was Heirloom's "Wildwood' which is 7' x 7', and since it was finished in 1990 has graced our family room with grandchildren et al, and is holding up nobly as a "rug" should. What I haven't yet said, however, is that it took me seven years to complete "Wildwood", and that I have a rather impressive collection of large unfinished rugs, notably Heirloom's "Baghdad" and "Salem" waiting in line while other large rugs like "Queen Mary", 3' x 6', have jumped ahead to the finish line.
   When I sit and look at  "Gainsborough", which I enjoy doing in odd, spare reflective moments, what pleases me most after many hooking years have passed, is the precise detail in each petal and flower. When I first began hooking, I was very fortunate to have found Meredith LeBeau as my teacher and mentor. I was teaching high school English full time, and my hooking became a wonderful diversion and relaxing after working my way through stacks of essays and myriads of lesson plans. I found it relaxing to spend the whole evening of our weekly classes doing a few petals of a chrysanthemum. Now that I have retired and have more time for hooking, I do not spend years on one rug! ("Gainsborough" was a three year project.) However, there is perhaps something to be said about the slow careful process. I still take pleasure in the meticulous detail of each turn of a petal in those chrysanthemums.
   I cannot guarantee that the following formulas for "Gainsborough" will be exact. As we all know, some of the new Cushing Acid Dyes have changed. However, I have recently tried to recreate the gold color in the scrolls for one of my students. After several bouts with the dye jars, I can say that the gold formula, which I have readjusted, is pretty accurate.

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60" round,
#3-cut wool on burlap
Designed by Pearl K. McGown
Hooked by Peggy Hannum, 1983

Gold Scrolls:  a lovely soft, clear gold (Meredith's variation on TOD 28-94 which was too greenish).
       1/8 + 1/16 t. Canary                   1 CBW
       1/16+1/321 Bright Green
       1/16+1/321 Rust
       13"xl5" pieces of wool - TOD gradations
Chain, ferns and foxgloves:  a greyed light blue to deep green.
       CF 73         Color Flow measurements
Chrysanthemums:  M22 (Meredith LeBeau)
       1st color; 1/32 t. Canary in 1/2 CBW
       2nd color, 1/8 t. Old Gold in 1/2 CBW
       13" x 71/2" pieces of wool - CF measurements
      Also a gold swatch from scrolls intermingled with M22.
Tulips: very pale green to green: El 80 (Ethel Bruce).
       1/4 t. Bronze Green        1/2 CBW
       3/32 t. Medium Brown
       2/32 t. Nugget Gold
       13"xl5" pieces of wool - Measurements:
       1/8, 1/4, 72, 3/4, 1, 1-1/2 t., IT, 2T.
Center Rose and buds: a pale blue to greyed rose
       E278 (Ethel Bruce)
       1st color: 1/16 t. Aqualon Blue - 1/2 CBW
       2nd color: 1/8 t. Orchid - 1/2 CBW
       3rd color: 1/8 t. Crimson + 1/16 t. Medium
       Brown - 1/2 CBW
       13"xl5" pieces of wool - CF measurements
Red Roses: almost white to dark red:
       TOD 31-102
Greens: TOD 1-3 and
       M27 (Meredith LeBeau)
       1/2t. Bright Green                       1 CBW
       3/32 t. Canary
       3/32 t. Rust
       12"x24" pieces of wool
       Connie's measurements for 6 values.
Center of mums and leaf veins: spot dye with
       M27, gold and red.

Intelligencer Journal Article
Hooked on a 'truly American craft'

December, 20, 2004

(click on article to enlarge and read)

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Peggy Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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