Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rag Rug

These are the cottons that my sister-in-law gave me last New Years, given to her to quilt with by other quilters who didn't like them. I got my rug warp on finally yesterday and wove the first four inches and then went back to reading. I reread the book twice the book that Hilary sent me last year. Then I reread the online article I found from the Pikes Peak Weavers Guild on rag rugs. One place I read said to plan on 3-4 pounds of fabric for a woven square yard. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough fabric.

I realize now my cottons are different weights and I can torment myself forever about how how wide to cut them and how long and if I can get enough tension on a rising-shed loom. I read more from the Finnish-American Rag Rug Weavers book and decided to try cutting 36" strips, pick a stripe sequence and then just lay them in. I totally hated that after the first sequence. I went to Hilary's site and studied her rugs.
I took her advice and started cutting and sewing strips. The sequence is on the ironing board. For this rug I've cut 2" strips and will fold them in half.
All the strips are cut and sew together and it was so (sew) easy to do. I was surprised at how little endorsement I read for this method. I figure Hillary does this every day, every week. You know, you can't believe everything your read~ She emailed me twice this morning with hints - great stuff, insider tips. I wish I had called her yesterday - it would have saved me a lot of angst.
So here's the first part of my rug. I am thrilled. I don't know if I'm packing well, don't know if I'm twisting the selvedges right, don't know if the colors are good. What do I know? I know that next week I'm going to be walking on my rug, and spite of myself, I am having fun with this.

I went over to Mim's this afternoon - it's our Wednes-
day semi-date. She wanted to see Sven, the fleece that Kathy went me and she loved it, all soft and lustrous.

I came home with this stack of blue jeans. They're from her gardener husband who never throws anything away. Jo Winkler was also visiting and commented that her girl scouts were making purses from jean pockets. I said - you want pockets? I can give you pockets. It turns out that the girls use the entire top of the jean to sew into purses. Nothing will be wasted here. The tops will be purses and the bottoms will be rugs. Feeling virtuous here.

Mim helped me out to the car with my mound of stuff and Bob, just home from work, asked if we were sending his jeans to sop up the oil spill. I told him no - I'm going to make a rug and I'm going to walk on your jeans. These jeans were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do.... Okay, that was really bad.


Michelle said...

I have made a few of those jeans-bottoms purses and love them!

Beryl Moody said...

The rug is lookin good! Isn't it wonderful how fast this kind of weaving goes?

LA said...

Your rug is beautiful!!! Isn't it fun (especially now that you're not fretting over the small stuff!)

Evelyn said...

The rug is beautiful. I like the allover randomness of it. You can tape a heavy iron bar to your beater to help - easier on the body.

marion said...

The rug looks great! This is one of the things on my 'want to do that sometime too' list. I suppose that will happen on that Saturday that lasts at least seven days. :-)

Valerie said...

I know what you mean on those deliberations. Just remember: "perfect is the enemy of good enough". It is so very pretty.

If you happen to have some of those cuffed weights around that you can strap around a wrist or an ankle, they can be put at either end of the beater to help get a heavier beat. Of course, you need two of equal weight. I've used two 2lb. weights.

If you are doing more than one rug on the warp, you might want to go 'round your loom and tighten up the nuts and bolts after you finish the first rug. Certainly do so when you are done with this warp.

The jeans rug will last forevever....I know this from experience.

Theresa said...

Oh that was bad! ;-) The rug looks great and I'm glad you are having fun with it. I liked rug weaving but not all that much. Sounds like you had a wonderful day though and those jeans, kudos on using every single part of them.

vlb5757 said...

Such a great idea for the rug. I love the idea so much I might try my hand at it! I want all yellow and white but will crochet it instead. I want two little round rugs to put on either side of our bed. I am sure the dogs will think they were made for them. The jean purse idea and then using the rest for rugs is such a useful way to use what was useful to someone else. Great idea. Have you seen the roving that is made from jean lent? I hear it's really neat stuff.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

That is so cool Sharon!

Robin said...

I LOVE rag rugs! I have several neat totebags where the woven rag piece was folded side to side and seamed up. Add straps for handles and you're got a cool bag.