Monday, June 28, 2010

Rags to Rugs

Dear Mom,
It was rags to rugs around here over the weekend.
On Saturday, two friends and I took a "Rug in a Day" class up at Tabby Tree Weaver. To prepare for the class we cut 5-6 yards of fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips to be woven into a rag rug. I didn't want to love weaving. Looms are expensive and take up space. I just wanted to like weaving and have a good rug to show for it. I wasn't too far into weaving the rug when I caught myself rearranging the house to accommodate a loom. I reigned myself in. A big part of weaving- warping the loom- was already done for us when we arrived for class and just thinking about setting up all those warp threads is pretty daunting. Before I fall headlong into turning myself into a weaver, I'll need to take a class that teaches every step of the process and I'll see if I still like it. I'll do That, and start saving my money.

As you can see, our rugs were all very different from each other. That is mine in the middle. TheNeverDullAlwaysCreativeBecky's is above mine and CarolWhoseHouseGotStruckbyLightning's is below.
Here are some close ups of the rugs-

After about 6 hours of weaving we all were really tired- not that any part of it was physically that difficult- I think it was a combination of learning and being inspired that left us drained. We all wondered if we would "feel it" tomorrow. Becky decided to forget about the Bow flex- working the loom was a good upper body workout! The only reminders of my day of weaving were a tender spot on my right hand where my middle finger meets my palm and another on my right cheek where I had it planted on the bench. (Surprising, considering the padding I have there.)

My rug is now home and after "trying it on" in different locations, I think this is where it is going to live-

in front of the kitchen sink. It is long enough to cover the width of the sink and dishwasher. It has also been claimed as a good resting spot by Patsy.

Then, on Sunday, as if one rug in a weekend wasn't enough, I decided to get on with it already and finish something in an attempt to clear off the project queue on my dining room table. The one taking up the most space and also the one most likely to be completed in an afternoon was the Rag Doily Rug I posted about awhile ago. Shorty after posting about it, I purchased some sheets at the Goodwill and tore them into strips. They were wound into balls and waiting for further action.
It felt better scratching this one off the list than it did in the actual knitting of the fabric strips. Fabric strips do not slide through each other and across the needles like yarn does, so this project was work. Not hard knitting, and the pattern is easy to follow- it was just the fabric that made it tough. I like the rug though, and wondered while I was knitting what it would be like to knit it in mop cotton, or that shiny rope stuff from the hardware store, or even lots and lots of strands of cotton yarn held together. And maybe the fabric strips would be easier to knit if they were cut and not torn and thinner.....(As if I need more rugs or more knitting projects. But sometimes these ideas wiggle around in my head and won't leave until they get some play time.)

After all that rug production, the house needs me to do some catching up. To be honest, I am surprised there isn't a pile of dog hair somewhere in those rug pictures. The vacuum cleaner is my friend.



Anonymous said...

I share Patsy's opinion of the rug--I like it!

Did you participate in that craze in the 80's (yowsah!) of making a fabric skirt, then knitting a top with strips of the same fabric? (I only ask because you began sewing and knitting as a very young child!) I may still have one in a storage box in the basement.

Michele said...

Oh, goody, Kim! Now, you just need to be thinking what applique project you want for when you weave me a gorgeous rug!!!! See, I don't knit, and I don't weave, and I can't crochet either, so we can barter forever. Patsy just keeps getting bigger, doesn't she? Michele

Anonymous said...

If you decide to take the plunge- I used to have a Schacht Baby Wolf loom that was part of the family for years. They fold up when not in use (or even when warped, but I never felt comfortable doing that)so don't require a great deal of permanent floor space. It did everything I ever needed it to do- until my back went bad and it wouldn't warp itself. Weaving is great fun- but knitting is easier on the body.

philogirl said...

I love this style of woven rag rug. I have many in my home. Too bad they are not homemade. These are so nice!

Carpet Rug Cleaners said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laurie said...

Looks like Patsy really loves her new rug! I'd love it, too - looks like a lot of fun to make. And I seriously have to check out the doily rug. I can see two of those on either side of my bed. :-)