Proddy Frame DIY

The traditional proddy or proggy frame consists of four pieces of timbre with 4 pegs. It is a relatively simply frame to make and use and can be used for both prodding and hooking.

Specifications for the larger traditional proddy/proggy frame - generally braced between two tables or set onto two saw horses.
Specifications for the larger traditional proddy/proggy frame – generally braced between two tables or set onto two saw horses. Diagram: Miriam Miller
Traditional proddy frame on saw horse supports
Traditional proddy frame on saw horse supports

Traditional Proddy/proggy frame showling how the backing fabric is installed.

Traditional Proddy/proggy frame showling how the backing fabric is installed. Diagram: Miriam Miller
The basic proddy/proggy frame for small projects: Four pegs; two horizontal bars (overall 810mm or 32 inches long) wwith a working space of 540mm. The slots for the side stretchers (the pieces with evenly spaced holes) are 45mm x 20mm - they should be slightly larger than the side bars so the bars will move easily.; the "block" area that holds the side pieces are 50mm or 2.5 inches high.   The side pieces (with holes) are 700mm or 28 inches long with 10 holes at each end; these bars are 20mm thick and 45mm wide..
The basic proddy/proggy frame for small projects: Four pegs; two horizontal bars (overall 810mm or 32 inches long) wwith a working space of 540mm. The slots for the side stretchers (the pieces with evenly spaced holes) are 45mm x 20mm – they should be slightly larger than the side bars so the bars will move easily.; the “block” area that holds the side pieces are 50mm or 2.5 inches high. The side pieces (with holes) are 700mm or 28 inches long with 10 holes at each end; these bars are 20mm thick and 45mm wide..

Close up of pegs holding stretcher bars in place.Close up of pegs holding stretcher bars in place.

Judi using traditional proddy frame

8 thoughts on “Proddy Frame DIY”

  1. Hi, thanks so much for your blog. I have been making rag rugs for a few years on home made frames but always end up with sore neck, arm , shoulders after hooking for any time. I will chat up my partner to make me this frame. What’s your opinion on the lap frames with gripper strips? I assume they are mostly used for small projects. I mostly use old tee shirts etc for my rug making, all experimental but I have had some good results although only small “door mat” type rugs. Will follow your blog, i was so excited to discover it!
    Love to hear your comments.
    Thanks
    Ali

    1. G’day Ali!
      Thank you for your kind words and your good questions.
      The proddy frames shown here can be made larger or smaller depending on how you plan to use it. If you are having someone make you one of these frames give some thought to making sure that the overall length of the upper and lower pieces (the ones with the webbing tacked to them) are at least 20cm longer than the inside dimension. This is so you have room on either end to set the frame between two tables or a set of sawhorses to provide support.

      If you decide to make the smaller proddy frame, it is designed to rest on the tops of your thighs (like a lap frame) while you lean the frame against a table. Again you could have the two pieces made slightly larger so you can use it between two tables.

      The best solution I think (although I don’t have mine designed this way!) is to have a set of legs designed to hold your frame so you have a free standing floor frame. Do whatever suits your needs.

      I will answer your other question in two parts:
      Lap frames: I have never used a lap frame (although I have purchased two) as a lap frame….I simply drilled two holes in the base so I could anchor the frame onto my worktable or onto a small timbre TV table. Since I have trouble sitting for long periods, I find it a hassle to “unload” my lap when I want to stand up or need to get supplies. That’s just my preference.

      Gripper strips: I was sure where you are located…I assume Australia? I would love to know where you are and add to to my group or someone else’s if you aren’t already involved! At any rate, since Australian hookers have really returned to our “roots” in terms of this craft, it mean that the majority of us use “odd, recycled” fabrics. That means we are using any available fabric from panty hose and lycra sunsuits to T-shirts, rovings, knitting yarns and anything thing else we like the feel and colour of! With that in mind, gripper strips can be very, very unkind to our work!

      I do work with a large octagon shaped frame with grippers. I love the frame but have had to put up with the fact that the grippers will pull out some of the more delicate fibres I use (mohair, rovings, panty hose, etc.) so I will have to rehook areas after I move the piece. There is a gripper floor frame on the market (very expensive and from the US) that I hear does not do this because of the way it operates but I own so many frames now that I’m not willing to invest any more money!

      So…it depends on what fabrics you are using and how fine a cut you use for the frame type. You may find that if you work mostly with T-Shirts in a wide-ish cut that grippers will be no problem. You might be wise to borrow a gripper frame and try if out for a while to see how it works for you.

      I hope this helps.

      If you want, let me know where you are or your personal email address, it’s always nice to find another Oz hooker! Andjust so you know, if you make a comment in this section it will not go public (comments aren’t automatically published on my site…I control them so I don’t get a lot of spam and junk material).

      Regards,
      Judi (QLD)

      1. Hi Robyn, great to get a reply! I am far down the country on the border of NSW and Victoria so I think a bit far from you. I also use old tee shirts , woollen jumpers etc and love to recycle materials.
        I was glad to hear your comments on the gripper strips but I think I’ll stick to the frame which I’ll get my partner to make.
        I did put my email address on the WordPress login site. Also wanted to be notified of blog entries but it doesnt seem to have worked as I just looked at the blog in the chance there might be a reply!
        I bought my hook from Narrawilly Farm at Milton NSW, it’s a long story involving Scotland where I am originally from.
        Thanks for your reply once again and I look forward to further chats.

        1. G’Day Ali! (This is Judi replying, not Robyn!)
          I’ll check on the blog notices..I thought they were working OK
          I know Miriam Miller where you bought your hook…she’s a got person to talk to if you need materials or equipment. She also does some very nice rug retreats at her home.
          Regards, Judi

          1. Oops sorry, just reading back I have been saying Robyn. Thanks Judi! I will get onto the frame thing as I would love to make a bigger rug. Mine are all 1 m long and 50 cm or so wide. Just like a door mat size. It is just trying to get something you can work on in comfort without getting RSI on your shoulder!

        2. Hi Ali
          Looks like you are a fair distance from everyone rug hooking. I live in Sth Gippsland Victoria, but probably also too far. I read that you are interested in a proddy frame. Are you wanting it for prodding or hooking? I made myself a cheticamp frame which is a bit like a proddy but has legs. It works on the same principle as the proddy frame by rolling up the rug from both ends and securing it with gears on the side of the frame. If your partner is a bit handy he can make it himself. I have lots of photos if you are interested? If you give me your email address I can email photos.
          Cheers
          Chris

          1. Hi Chris, so nice to talk to rug people! I would like to see your frame too. My email is alicowie@gmail.com
            It would be good to get some pictures to see if the frame is different from what I have already seen.
            I have just incised a small rug of colorful squares which I really like. Not sure if I can add pictures. Probably not. I have a cousin in Traralgon but don’t get down that way much!

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