After my first rag rug experiment came out a bit misshapen, I decided to try again.
Rug rug number one had a couple of problems, the main issue being that it came out sort of pear-shaped. This was because I kept pulling the weft too tight across as I wove, so the final row was a good few inches narrower that the starting row. The other problem was the fringed sides – I just didn’t like the way it came out. However, my niece Melody quite liked it, so it’s hers now and that makes me happy.
With good intentions, lots of hope, and a different type of loom, I started again. Here’s a pictorial essay of how that went. I cannot call this a tutorial because you really have to show a successful outcome to call a pictorial process a tutorial.
Balls of t-yarn (strips cut from cotton t-shirts) look awfully pretty in the basket. I especially love the tie-dye.
About $5 at Home Depot got me what I needed to make my loom – PVC pipe, 4 elbow joints, and some household twine.
It is well to remember that cats (especially young cats like Minou) are very much attracted to string. No amount of scolding can dissuade him.
The warp is all tied on and the weaving begins. Good start, neat and tight.
Here’s the trick for joining colors – cut a small slit in both ends of each strip.
Green strip feeds into slit of pink strip…
Then the tail end of green strip feeds into the head end of itself.
Pull snug for a nice neat join without a lumpy knot.
About a week into the project I can see that my attempt to keep the rug from going pear-shaped is not really working. So I decide to flip it over and start weaving from the other end so that at least it might end up more or less symmetrical.
So here it is… more or less. OK, less. Hardly symmetrical. And the colors – a bit of a mish-mash. Mark thinks it looks like a rainbow threw up. At least Lima seems to like it. But Lima eats bugs and licks his own butt.
A few thoughts: perhaps next time I should plan a color scheme. Also, if I paid closer attention to my work, I could probably have managed to keep this rug more evenly shaped. Melody suggests simply starting tighter, i.e. keeping the warp more tightly spaced to begin with. Mark has an idea for an additional piece of PVC that slides along as you weave and helps keep the warp evenly spaced (too complex to properly explain without a diagram).
If anyone knows any good methods for weaving a simple rag rug with a simple hand-made loom and keeping it neatly shaped, please post comments – I’d love some feedback!
in central NJ