Retreat Projects

Some Possible Retreat Projects

We're going into our fifth year here at The Oxford Rug Hooking School and have learned a lot about what our students like best. One thing we've discovered is that ruggers are very independent and although you like classes where you make a specific project such as a bag or a footstool, not enough of you want to do something specific at the same time! To solve this dilemma we've decided to make some of our all-time favorite projects available to students in our three-day and five-day retreats. So now, in addition to the wonderful pastime of making a rug, chair pad, wall hanging, or other punched piece, you can choose from the following optional projects. If you have questions or want more details about any of these please ask! Supply lists available upon registration. Remember, these project are only optional suggestions. We want you to make what YOU want!

Important: Please choose early and give us plenty of notice so we can have everything ready for your special project!

Retreat Project #1: A Rug, Chair Pad, Trivet, or Wall Hanging

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Bring your own pattern, design one in class, or you're welcome to trace one free McAdoo Rugs pattern of any size in class (you provide the monk’s cloth). Each pattern comes with a color photo and a list of yarn amounts needed. We have albums with beautiful color photographs of hundreds of patterns to choose from. If you want to make a smaller project, we also have lots of patterns for chair pads, pillows, trivets, and wall hangings. The only hard part is figuring out what to make! We do sell McAdoo and other patterns all drawn up if you don't want to trace your own. Materials Fee: Will vary depending upon project chosen. A supply list will be provided upon registration.

McAdoo Rugs Light Leaf Chain Rug

McAdoo Rugs Light Leaf Chain Rug. 36" x 60".

Retreat Project #2: Make a Punched Handbag 

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

When you run out of floor space, table tops, wall space, and stool tops there is always... your arm! Carpet bags are all the rage and such a fun way to show off your handiwork. You're guaranteed compliments with a hand hooked purse. We liked this bag design by Certified Oxford Instructor Judith Hotchkiss from Judith Hotchkiss Designs and Dyeworks because it's a practical size, includes a lining and inner pockets, and looks very professionally made with lovely leather handles, an inner snap closure, and even sweet little metal grommet feet. Amy Oxford created this circles design based on an antique pattern called "tea cups" which gets its name because the circles were traced around... tea cups! Amy will use this design to teach you color harmony, balance, and value. A charcoal background would also be striking for this purse. 

You can use a #14 "Mini" Oxford Punch with fine yarn (as shown in Amy's Tea Cups purse) or a #10 regular Oxford Punch and rug yarn. The rug yarn will work up faster and make a heavier purse while the fine yarn makes your work go more slowly but creates a more delicate purse.

Please note that if you want a different design instead of circles we have lots of drawn patterns on paper that can be adapted for the project. We would be glad to help you with this! Or, you can always draw your own. 

Students will need to provide their own handles and other bag hardware. Bring your own or choose them from a website we recommend. There will not be time to complete the bag but assembling techniques will be taught. A finishing service is available if you'd prefer to have us construct your bag for you. ($75. Bag handles, hardware, and lining not included).

Materials Fee: You will need a #14 fine Oxford Punch Needle for fine yarn or a #10 regular for rug yarn ($32 unboxed/$39 boxed). Frame (21” x 29” Oxford Carpet Tack Lap Frame ($79) or 20” x 30” Oxford Gripper Strip Lap Frame ($199). Tea cup pattern on monk's cloth ($29) or blank monk's cloth to draw your own design ($19). If you use rug yarn you’ll need approximately 24 ounces ($60-$95 depending upon yarns chosen). For fine yarn you'll need roughly 13 ounces (prices will vary). You will need lining fabric, handles, a snap, and feet (snap and feet are optional). Punch needle and frame can be borrowed during class and purchased after class if desired. This purse is a GREAT way to use up your yarn stash! Amy's challenge: use only your leftover scraps! A supply list will be provided upon registration.

Teacup purse.

Carpet bags are all the rage! This Teacup pattern is fun to color plan and a great way to use up your stash. The finished bag size is:

Across the top: 16.5"
Across the bottom: 14"
Top to bottom: 10.5"
There is a flat bottom: 14" long x 4" wide

Teacup purse punched and waiting to be assembled

The purse is punched in one piece and then the sides are sewn together.

Teacup purse viewed from bottom.The inside pockets and lining of the purse.

The bottom of the purse has little feet to protect it. Other professional touches include a cotton lining with interfacing to make the bag more sturdy, interior pockets, snap closure, and buttons inside the bag to secure the attached leather handles. Intimidated by this part of the bag? We offer an assembly service to complete the bag for you. 

Amy Oxford with teacup purse.

Retreat Project #3: The Oxford Cottage 

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

The Oxford Cottage mat is 10" x 16" and teaches you how to use all eight Oxford Punch Needle sizes, how to punch with fabric strips, rug yarn and knitting yarn, sculpting and clipping loops, and shading. Materials Fee: Will vary depending on which yarns you bring from home and which you purchase at school. A supply list will be provided upon registration describing the yarns needed. Punch needles may be borrowed in class or you can purchase them at the school if you wish.

Oxford Cottage by Shashtin Winchester

Oxford Cottage by Shashtin Winchester from Alexandria, Ontario, Canada.

Three students holding their Oxford Cottages

Christopher Hayden, Kim Scanlon, and Bob Wertz with their Oxford Cottages.

A selection of Oxford Cottage mats made by students

Oxford Cottages made by (from left to right): Pamela Tyndall, Amy Oxford, Phyllis Gagnon, Ann Densmore, Judy Seymour, Cyney Passavant, and Sioban McLaughlin. 

Retreat Project #4 - Make a Punched Foot Stool 

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Bring in an antique or modern foot stool and beautify it by attaching a hooked mat. Stools may be left plain, painted, or stained ahead of time. A beat-up yard sale find can be transformed with a coat of stain or paint and a pretty mat! Many patterns are available or design and personalize your own. Students who choose a small stool (14” x 14” or smaller) should be able to complete the project in a three-day class. Allow more time for larger pieces. Materials Fee: Will vary depending upon project chosen. A supply list will be provided upon registration.

Cow Jumped Over the Moon Foot Stool

Footstool made by Barbara Rosenthal using the McAdoo Rugs Cow Jumped Over the Moon pattern.

Betsy Warner and Deb Fuller with their foot stools

Betsy Warner and Deb Fuller with their completed projects.

Betsy Warner adapted her foot stool design from a painting made by her father.

Deb Fuller's stool

Deb Fuller's kitchen stool. 

Violet Barber with her feet on a bunny foot stool

Amy Oxford's niece, Violet, testing out a foot stool made by Amy with a McAdoo Rugs bunny design. Footstools make a great gift for children and babies. 

Foot stool with child's feet on top.

Retreat Project #5: "Wool on Wool" - Punching with Wool Yarn on Wool Fabric Backing

14” Pillow Project

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Did you know that The Oxford Punch Needle can be used to punch directly on a flannel weight wool fabric? The needle glides easily through the backing and creates a lovely effect! The real beauty of this method is that you don't have to punch any background - the wool fabric itself becomes the background! We'll use the #14 “Mini" Oxford Punch Needle and worsted weight yarn to make a small 14" pillow. Not only will you learn to punch on wool, you'll also learn an easy way to make a pillow. We have many designs to choose from or design your own. 

Materials Fee: Wool backing and yarn costs will vary depending on the wool fabric and yarn you choose and the size of the area you punch. You will need a pillow form ($12). This project works best with a gripper strip frame. The 18” x 18” Oxford Gripper Strip Lap Frame is recommended ($139). The frame and punch needle ($32 boxed/$39 unboxed) can be borrowed during class and purchased after class if desired. A supply list will be provided upon registration.

Pillow with Sheep design punched with wool yarn on wool fabric.

Two sheep pillows on a chair.

Wool on wool Midnight Sheep Pillow project. Designed and punched by Amy Oxford. 14" x 14". 

Wool on wool pink floral design.

Wool on wool floral by Amy Oxford.

Chickadee wool on wool project shown with hand punching on project with yarn and punch needle.

Ann Maclean from Atlantic Mine Michigan demonstrates how to punch with wool yarn onto wool fabric backing. She adapted her chickadee design from a photo she took at her bird feeder.

Wool on wool geometric pattern.

Wool on wool geometric by Judy Seymour from Glenwood, Maryland.

Retreat Project #6: Punching with Knitting Yarn

Level: Beginner-Advanced

We love our thick heavy weight rug yarn for high traffic area rugs but knitting yarns work beautifully for low traffic rugs, wall hangings, chair seats and other items. Bring your stash of knitting yarns and/or choose from our large assortment of free yarns (generously donated to the school by our students and friends). You'll learn which yarns are appropriate, how to thread multiple strands through the punch at once, and how to use different Oxford Punch Needle sizes for various effects. Make the project of your choice with one of our designs or use your own. Materials Fee: Will vary depending upon project chosen. A supply list will be provided upon registration.

Once you know what knitting yarns work in the punch needle, yarn stores will take on a whole new meaning!

Detail of texture in a rug made with knitting yarn

Using knitting yarn is all about TEXTURE!

Strands of gorgeous knitting yarns to show texture.

A sample of knitting yarns that work in The Oxford Punch. If you love beautiful fibers you'll love punching with knitting yarn!


Retreat Project #7: Punching with Wool Fabric Strips

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Do you love the look of primitive traditionally hooked rugs made with strips of wool fabric and a rug hook? Do you prefer using a punch needle to a hook? There’s an easy solution to this dilemma – you can punch with wool strips! Learn how to combine the gorgeous textures of wool strips with the speed and ease of the punch needle for beauteous results. We’ll work with a #10 regular Oxford Punch Needle on cotton monk’s cloth using #7 cut strips. These are 7/32” tall (just slightly narrower than ¼”). A small 14" project is recommended to start with, such as a chair seat, wall hanging or pillow top. We’ll also learn to combine fabric strips and yarn in the same piece. Our Bee Line-Townsend strip cutter makes stripping your wool a joy! We have a nice selection of gorgeous solid and spot dyed wool fabrics from Fluff and Peachy Bean Designs. 

Materials Fee: Monk’s cloth ($8). Punch needle ($32 boxed/$39 unboxed) and frame ($24) can be borrowed during class and purchased after class if desired. Wool fabric price will vary depending on what new wool you purchase here, what you take from our free pile, and what new or recycled wool you bring with you. Students are encouraged to bring in recycled wool fabric collected from home, friends, and thrift shops. A supply list will be provided upon registration that will include what types of wool fabrics are suitable.

 Clamshell Mat

This traditional Clamshell pattern is just one of the many to choose from for punching with strips of wool fabric.

Oxford Punch Needle and wool fabric strips.

Strips of wool fabric and the Oxford Punch Needle were meant for each other!


Retreat Project #8: Make a Christmas Stocking

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

What a special heirloom to make for a baby! We make ours with the #10 regular Oxford Punch Needle and rug yarn. Fluffy white knitting yarn may also be used for Santa's beard, collar, cuffs, and along the top of the stocking. Over a dozen patterns to choose from including Santas, Snowflakes, Snowmen, Reindeer, Cherubs, Poinsettias, and more. Pattern pictures sent upon request. Assembling the stocking will also be taught. Hate to sew? We offer a "finishing service" to take care of this for you. Note that a stocking can't be completed in a 3-day retreat. An experienced puncher could probably complete the punching in a 5-day retreat and get a start on sewing it together. They are not lined but a lining could be added. 

Materials Fee: Will vary depending upon stocking size chosen (smaller designs are also available). The stockings shown here are approximately 8" across the top and 20" long. They take roughly 20 ounces of rug yarn ($50-$85 depending on the yarns you choose). You'll need a frame (21” x 29” Oxford Carpet Tack Lap Frame ($79) or 20” x 30” Oxford Gripper Strip Lap Frame ($199), monk's cloth ($19), and a #9 or #10 Regular Oxford Punch Needle ($32 unboxed/$39 boxed). Punch needle and frame can be borrowed during class and purchased after class if desired. A supply list will be provided upon registration. 

Amy Oxford's grandson Jonas holding his Snowman Stocking.

Amy Oxford's grandson Jonas holding his Snowman Stocking. He could almost fit inside it! He will appreciate the roomy stocking when he gets a little older! The stocking size is 8" across the top and 20" long. The baby size is adorable.

Front of Jonas' Snowman StockingBack of Jonas' stocking.

Front and back of the stocking.

The front and back of the stockings hemmed and ready to be sewn together.

The front and back can be punched on the same frame. Each side is hemmed individually and then the two are sewn together. 

Jennifer Moeykens and the stocking she made for her grandson Josh.

Jennifer Moeykens and her stocking for her grandson Josh.

Bunny Lavallee and her Santa stocking for her newborn granddaughter Nora.

Bunny Lavallee made this stocking for her newborn granddaughter Nora. 

Retreat Project #9: Surprise us! Let us know if you want to do something else. We'd love to help you!

The Oxford Company, LLC 
4174 Route 30
Cornwall, Vermont 05753
(802) 462-2011 |

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