Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Power Hooking A Secret

secret challenge rug
I can't believe I waited this long to buy a new rug hooking hook! Since I started hooking in 2006 I've used the same little $6.00 hook. I've hooked many a rug with that little hook. It never occurred to me that a hook could make that much difference in my hooking pleasure and also the way my hooking looks. Last weekend at the Hooker's Wood and Wool shop grand opening I purchased this Gene Shepherd bent shaft hook. Not an inexpensive purchase in my book. After a little gentle persuasion from Caroline, the shop owner, I opened my pocketbook and shelled out the $45.00 to take it home!
I've been doing a little power hooking on my "Forest Secrets" challenge rug(a little sneak peek in the above photo). The last few days (and a couple of late nights) has given me ample opportunity to put this new hook to the test. At first it felt a little awkward in my hand and the bent hook seemed strange after using a straight one for so many years. I kept hooking and at some point as I was hooking along and not really thinking about the hook it started to feel really comfortable and my loops seemed to improve with each row. Just for the heck of it I went back to using the old straight hook for a few loops. Nope....nada......no way.....no how was I ever going back to that old hook. Gene Shepherd has won me over with this new fangled funny looking bent shaft hook. After hours of hooking I usually end up with a painful bump on my third finger from holding the hook. With this new one the pressure is off that finger and my hand doesn't feel as fatigued.  I will be doing some more power hooking in the next few days as our deadline for finishing our challenge rugs is July 30th. We'll see how the new hook holds out!
So having spent all my "egg money" on this new hook I had to take it easy at the garage sales on the way home from the grand opening. However the bargains I stumbled upon made me think the garage sale fairies were watching over me. I found a gorgeous pair of Ralph Lauren wool slacks in a large size and light tan color and a nice camel hair jacket for $1.00 each. They are already washed and torn apart ready for the dye pot. Also a pair of Waverly cushions in a cute print for my patio chairs for.....are you ready for this.........25 cents each! Now don't tell me the garage sale gods weren't watching over me this time!


The flowers in my gardens are really coming along great with all the rain we've had lately. Today is muggy and hot and some storms are predicted for later. The chocolate mint is lovin' it! It is growing like crazy in the galvanized tub I corralled it in. The other smart thing I did this summer besides buy that new hook!

Choc mint progress


  1. Hi Cathy,
    That same little $6 hook is what I've been using for the past 15+ years, too! Hmmmmm! Maybe it's time for The Change.
    Your Forest Secrets has some lovely colors in it. Can't wait to see the finished piece. The end of July seems sooo far away!
    Hasn't this been a great summer for growing things? We have had nice rains and enough warm weather to make the plants ppop up faster than the weeds for once!
    Have a great weekend! Keep up the Power Hooking!!!

  2. Glad to know you like that hook ~ I'm going to try one myself sometime! I use a Hartman primitive hook which has a bigger shaft than this one but I'm anxious to see if it will be easier!! You deserve to treat yourself!!

  3. Yes, those better hooks are DEFINITELY worth the money spent! ....and those cushions...WOW....how cute!

  4. I have been eyeing a bent hook at Deanne Fitzpatricks shop for months. I think you have convinced me to grab it. I did try it to pull a few loops and like you said, it felt strange at first. But I trust your advice so I'll give it a whirl.

  5. I tried one of those hooks at a Hook-In a few months ago, I should have bought one by now I guess I just put it off. My hand gets very sore from hooking maybe that is the trick.

  6. That is a great little hook! I have one myself.

  7. Happy to hear about your new found hooking pleasure.
    I have a hook like that I found at my thrift store, only it has the name of Susan Bates, or Susan Bater on it. Haven't really taken time to try it.
    Maybe I should alto with all my arthritis, rug hooking has never hurt my hands.
    Your plants look great.

  8. Cathy ~
    I've never tried a bent shaft hook, but when I started hooking a bought a Hartman. I've since bought several other cheaper hooks, pulled a few loops and never used them again. A good hook is definitely a worthy investment!
    Your plants are lookin' good.
    Happy (power) hooking!

  9. Cathy,
    Welcome to the wonderful world of bent hook owners!! I have two different bent hooks that I bought from Gene Shepherd, My favorite is the bent hook with the right ergo handle. It has a wonderful handle with just a small indented place to place your thumb. Don't think I explained it right. But I have put aside all my other hooks for Gene's. Just wish my loops looked as good as yours! Just need to pull more, that's all.

    About that chocolate mint you mentioned, never heard of or seen it but would love to find some. Love chocolate mint ice cream. Would it grow in Florida?

    Love the sneak of your challenge piece. Great colors!!

    Trisha in Tallahassee

  10. I've used the same hook for years - makeby something new is in order. What is chocolate mint - Sounds great! Mements in Tine

  11. Cathy: I don't have the hook from Gene, but I got a bent hook when I was at Deanne's studio a year ago and it has really changed everything for me...I just love it. Glad to hear you feel the same!

  12. I have a Gene S hook as well and I can say that I absolutely love it!!! I wouldn't be without it. My hand just doesn't get tired and I love it. Have I said that I love it yet?? LOL!


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