Monday, August 9, 2010

Tips For Rag Rug Hems

I was curious how my rugs turned out, so last night I cut them off the loom after using Kati Meek's method of securing the warp for the next rugs.

I showed the start of these quite a while ago.  The first one is a little nondescript unless you get up close.  Then it looks kind of interesting, because the fabric I used had quite a bit of color in it.  From a distance, though, it just looks boring tan.

This rug was woven with five fabrics, with strips approximately 13-14" long and 3" wide.  I seamed them together in a set order, although I think I reversed it a couple times.  My loom was warped at 12 epi, in a 12 dent reed.  That allows me to weave a hem on harnesses 1-3 vs 2-4.  I weave the rags with harnesses 1-2 vs 3-4, which gives me doubled warp at 6 epi.  I had a friend teach me this technique, and I think it makes a good sturdy rug, with hems that don't pull in too much. 
Oh, and another technique I use with the hems is to arch the weft, instead of just angling it.  I play around with the amount of arch until I get it where it isn't pulling in.  If I owned a temple, I probably wouldn't have to worry about it so much.  I made the mistake of weaving one hem on this rug the way like I wove the rags with the doubled warp.  The doubled warp hem pulled in a bit.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Young weaver, sewer, knitter

I spent a nice couple days with two of my grandchildren.  Emily and David came over the other night and we worked on some projects, and of course, had to have a tea party or two.

I promised Emily that I would show her how to make a cloth wallet.  We went through my cotton calicos and she picked her colors she wanted to work with.  She is only 11, and I think just a little young to use the rotary cutter yet, so I did the cutting for her.  I suppose I could have traced the pieces and she could have used scissors.  Oh well, I never think of cutting patterns out that way any more.
Here is Emily, showing the inside of the almost completed wallet.

And the outside. 

She did a fine job with the sewing and pressing.  I did let her use the iron.  My old Pfaff 1229 is a great machine for children to learn on.  I've taught a lot of kids to sew on it.   I can reduce the speed quite a bit, and the one stitch at a time feature is great when sewing corners or anywhere a lot of control is needed.  I think Emily is going to take after her mother, Becky, since it seems to come very easy to her.

Emily did a bit of weaving on an ongoing project I have set up on my countermarche floor loom for the older grandkids.  It's just a striped twill, but they are learning how to walk the treadles and how to tell where they are in the pattern.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of Emily weaving.

A friend of mine that used to teach Montosori years ago, gave me a real nice rigid heddle loom so I could use it to teach.  I try to keep a warp on it for the younger kids that can't quite reach the treadles on the floor loom yet.  David took to it like a duck to water.

David is really concentrating on getting his angle and edges just right.

Emily recently made a sock monkey, and wanted to make a scarf for him, so we took a look at my yarn choices and she got started on that project after finishing her wallet.  She decided about how many stitches wide she wanted to make it, sampled a little bit and decided it was too wide.  It didn't bother her at all to rip it out and start over.  I think she understands that sampling can be an important part of the process.
Here's Emily, showing "Joe" how to knit.
It was a good couple days.  I love teaching anyone that loves learning.