“When my friend and I started the hobby, we
couldn’t find supplies, so I thought other people must
have had the same problem,” Julie said.
They started offering classes, and it became quite
popular with the customers. They decided to sell their
store and pursue rug hooking full time, and they
opened Searsport Rug Hooking in 2004.
Customers came from many miles away for the
Chris and her husband have been snowbirds
for years, and have a place in Port
Charlotte. Julie and her husband were
getting tired of the cold winters, so
they decided to move the
business to Florida in April of
2017. They opened a new
studio on May 16,
about an open
house, 56 people
signed up to attend.
Since July, a full schedule of
classes has been offered at the
Chris draws the patterns for the
rugs, and Julie dyes the wool.
“I love to cook, so I enjoy working with the
dyes,” Julie said. “From start to finish the process
takes about three hours for one yard of wool.”
Traditionally, the bases for the rugs were made of
burlap, but Chris finds that linen works well and has
a tighter bind.
“And it lasts forever,” she said.
Searsport Rug Hooking is one of the top resources
for hooking supplies in the county. Chris orders wool
from Europe. The natural wool is cream in color and
sold by the bolt, yard or by the pound. Wool is priced
cut and uncut. Patterns are shown next to finished
samples, and kits are available if you prefer something
pre-selected. Classes offered include beginner rug
September/October 2018 GASPARILLA ISLAND 17
Top: Shop owner Chris Sherman orders the wool from a
distributor in Europe, and it is hand-cut in the store. She is
pictured here with customer and hook-rugging instructor