Friday, April 23, 2010

First Rag Rug

Here it is, my first real rag rug completed and on the floor! Looking at it now, I like the warp stripes and colors, as well as the weft colors. It lays quite flat, selvedges are nicely even, and only a tiny bit of "smile."

It seems to meet the tests of a good rag rug ~~ you can't put your fingers through anywhere, and when rolled up and stood on the floor it stands. Another "test" I read in the book "Finnish American Rag Rugs" is hold the rolled up rug in your hand, palm up, at shoulder level, the rug should not droop, and happily, it doesn't.

The rug passed another test here, too, right after taking these photos, I walked over to the computer to download them, turned around, and there was a cat already laying on the rug. No, I'm not ready for a 50 pound Keeshond and five cats to enjoy this rug just yet, so yes, I picked it back up off the floor.

Another view of my first rag rug.

Details: 8/4 cotton rug warp, sett 12 epi. Good tension when weaving, beat hard, change sheds, beat hard again, and I used a temple. Weft strips are sheets purchased at thrift stores, cut into 1 1/2" strips and the strips were sewn together. When winding the ski shuttles, I wound the weft on folded in half and when placing the weft into the shed, made sure it was still folded.

Hems at each end are cutton rug warp, two threads per shed using a double-bobbin shuttle. I started by weaving an inch or so of string, then 3 1/2" hem, and reverse at the other end. I cut the rug from the loom, machine sewed each end 3" from the first "rag" row, rotary cut just outside the machine sewn line, then pin and sew the hem. The finished rug measures 28" wide, 55" long.

The warp has been tied on again. I'll use some of the same strips/colors so they are ready to use, but I'll need another three or four colors so must get those cut into strips and ends sewn which shouldn't take long. The second rug shouldn't take as long now that I've gotten a bit of experience.


Laura said...

Very nice. :)

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

It looks great! I love the colors. And cats are never wrong!

MadCityMike said...

It is BEAUTIFUL! I know you took a longer time to make sure everything went as you wanted it to and the extra time/effort was definitely worth it.
I'd heard of the "rolled rug/standing" test, but not the hand/drooping one......thanks for that bit of knowledge.
Hope all is well for the eventual move?

Laritza said...

Very pretty! Love the colors

C from MN said...

Wonderful!!! I love it but then again..... I am partial to rugs and weaving!

Valerie said...

Lovely!! May it serve you (and the cats...and the keeshound...) many long years!!

Judy said...

Nice rag rug! Thanks for mentioning the tips on testing the rug-I had never heard of either.

Anna said...

I want to try rugs too...and this post may just be the push I need! Thanks for that. The rug is beautiful.

Restless Knitter said...

This is a little late as I'm way behind on my blog reading. I love the rug. I'd never heard of those tests which are good to know.

Susan said...

I meant to comment on this pretty rug last spring. Seeing it again, just now, I want to say how fresh it looks. I'm smiling about your cat on the new rug. As soon as I would cut a rug off the loom and lay it on the floor to see it, there would be 3 kids and the cat all crowded on it.
I do miss them