Category Archives: rag rug

New Beginnings

Yes, I’ve been away from my blog for far too long, and yes, this is the same warp that has been on this loom for a long, long time.  I am happy to write that this warp is nearing the end, and this possible last rug is underway.  I love the effect from the graphics on this sheet, giving a nice random effect with the colors.  This rug will be navy, the print, wine, and hunter green, it is all laid out on graph paper, the sketch laying in my loom basket for easy access.  Strips are being divided up so I don’t run out of enough of a color at the other end of the rug.  The rug will have sewn hems.   

 Soon,.. a new warp, in the form of an 8/2 cotton navy warp for towels.  I have 8/2 cotton variegated blues for the weft.  I plan to keep several of these towels for my kitchen.  Although a 92 year old woman I know recently mentioned she needs some rag rugs for her kitchen, I really want to weave these towels before warping up for rugs again.  I won’t allow myself to order anymore cotton, cottolin etc. until I use up some of what I have on hand. 

Louise, a weaving friend of mine, will be here two days from now to help wind a cottolin warp on a loom.  She will return to help warp the Glimakra Standard as soon as the rug warp is done and a new warp made.  Louise and I are going to help each other warp our looms.  I helped her with a couple looms two or three weeks ago, and now she’ll help me out.  Nothing like good weaving friends!

Another new beginning, or rather re-new, is I’ll be participating in Art in the Yard again, both in June and September, so in addition to working on my home, I need to make time again for weaving and sock-cranking.  I am way behind on getting my work done on the house due to both procrastination and dealing with life issues.  Now, though, the days are sometimes sunny, I’m feeling more energetic, the urge to spring clean is hitting me.  I’m anxious to start scrubbing walls and ceilings (all log and/or wood) then treat them with linseed oil.  After a much needed break, I’m ready to get back to work, both in and out of the studio. 

This morning I received a phone call from the Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) in Antigo, WI.  Could I go get an eagle that was on the ground?  Yes.  However, when I arrived, the eagle decided it would rather be in a tree than in the back of my Honda, so I sat observing it for two hours, followed by nearly another hour after it moved to another tree.  I believe it was hit by a car, as it has a slightly drooping wing.  The tree the eagle moved to is not as close to the highway, and has fuller branches so I believe the eagle feels safer, more protected.  It was still high up on its branch at 4:15 PM this afternoon.  The one thing it could not do today was hunt and eat.  I’ll go back and check on it again in the morning, sending updates to REGI.  

Also this afternoon, yet another new beginning, I became a volunteer rescue driver for the Raptor Education Group, which takes in sick/injured birds from eagles and other raptors down to hummingbirds.  I was invited to come visit and be given a tour, and I fully intend to take that offer some nice day when I need to get away for a bit.       

It is nearly Spring in the Northwoods of WI.  There are buds coming out on the lilac tree, and tiny buds on my little apple tree. The yard needs raking and general cleanup, and I’m looking forward to my herbs appearing and greening up.

Most of the snow is gone, thanks to recent rains.  The snow that is left is mostly in areas of shadow in the woods.  The ice on the lake is turning gray, definitely not safe to be out on, and before long we’ll have open water.  I heard a couple mallard ducks quacking as they flew over a couple days ago.  After the lakes are open, the loons and Great Blue Herons will return.

I am choosing to ignore what I heard on the radio today, the “s__w” word in a possible forecast for the coming weekend.  “Think Spring!”

Back in the Studio Again!

Today, I am back in my weaving studio!  I began with a bit of rearranging and dusting, followed by tensioning the rug warp on the Glimakra Standard.
Checking through sheet strips already cut and sewn, colors were pulled that
will work for this rug, now piled on the warp beam (away from my cats).
Then I searched through my considerable sheet stash, pulling more of the colors needed.  The first rug had a teal emphasis, this one will focus on wine/navy/green, with lesser amounts of other colors used in the striped warp to pull the whole thing together. 

I’ve set up a table in the Studio Annex (my upstairs living room) where I can cut and sew strips, work on quilts, along with other uses.  I’m cutting these sheets now and later will set up my sewing machine and stitch them together.  Then, folding the joined strips in half, I’ll fill three or four ski shuttles so I can begin weaving this rug tomorrow.  

After weeks of working on the exterior of my home, I am happy to report I was able to finish staining my log home.  Why is there snow fence next to the house?  The porch floor isn’t dry yet, and I need to keep Keesha (and myself) from walking through wet stain! 

There are a few areas where I’ll need someone, in the spring, to go much higher on a ladder than I am willing to go, but for the most part, it is done.  It took three 5 gallon pails of stain, and there is a fourth one waiting for spring.  Now, it’s time to begin sanding, staining, and finishing the storm windows!

Adding a Bit of ZING!

Three days ago, I started weaving again for the first time since my little incident with a rotator cuff injury. I’m back in the studio, and will now be back posting on my blog. I like to keep this blog focused, for the most part, on weaving and related fiber interests.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can weave off a rag rug in 45 minutes, like one weaver I know, not the months it has taken me. I’m still learning to love it, but it’s coming easier now and I keep myself focused on what is happening with colors.

I’m also finding it easier to weave the rag rug while standing up, easier to hold the shed open while I “futz” (is that a word?) with the weft before beating, changing sheds, and beating again.

I love the colors in this warp, and the sheets/strips that are blending in nicely,
but decided it was time to add a little ZING, just a few rows, and used a brighter solid Copper or Burnt Orange color picked up from the plaid sheet just before it.

My “design,” has the colors reversing at the center. I’ve redrawn my color plan and measured each color as well as counted the number of rows of each. I’m about 8″ from the middle, and anxious to get to the second half of this rug (as well as the next two). There should be a photo of a completed rug on here before long! After several weeks of not being to weave or crank, I want to be DOing again. My upper arm still has a fair amount of pain, but I can use it again, and must, to keep mobility.

I may have mentioned it before, but the next warp will be 8/2 navy blue cotton, with 8/2 cotton in variegated blues. Hhmmm, solid navy warp, or stripe them for more interesting towels? Thinking I might want to get a bit of white, ivory, or a natural linen color (or both) to add in the warp as I have quite a number of large cones of white/natural cotton/linen blends to use, too. It’s time to sit down with graph paper and color pencils and work out stripe warp options and see what I like best.

And now? Something has changed on Blogger, my photo shows on the compose page in code so I cannot move it. Posting this, but must find out what changes Blogger has made recently!

Northwoods Art Tour, Day 1

Today was my first Art Tour day, lots of fun, great conversations with visitors, and good questions about what I do. One woman, though, said it all,… “This woman has thousands of dollars worth of looms, and we’re all fascinated by the sock machine!” Totally True!

I had about 20+ people here throughout the day, more than I expected, given this is my first year, and sales were better than I hoped they would be, so feeling good about both. A number of pairs of socks sold, along with four towels. Tonight, I’m wishing I had had a lot more socks done to sell, but I wanted so badly to get the drawloom going that I gave that priority.

For myself, a good part of my reason for doing the art tour was to provide an opportunity for people to see the looms, spinning wheels, and sock machine, and ask questions/get answers. Sales of my work are just a happy bonus.

I did get three socks cranked today while demonstrating and talking with people, along with demonstrating weaving and explaining the drawloom. There would have been a fourth sock, but one of the yarns caught, snagged and broke while finishing up the toe, darn!

I have Art on Main coming up on Aug. 9th, Art in the Yard on Sept. 19th, and the fall art tour Oct. 2-4, so sock-cranking will be a high priority in the coming weeks. With the coming cold winter weather coming, there will probably be even more interest in wool socks.

Today, between visitors, I started my first rag rug. The stripe warp has been sitting on the CM loom patiently waiting, so I’m now looking forward to my first rag rugs. The drawloom is nearly ready to go, the reed is half sleyed, though I’m considering waiting and ordering a 15 dent reed on Monday which would be here probably by Thursday.

The lighting isn’t great on this, given this is a dim log home/studio, with an Ott floor lamp for light. These rugs will certainly go faster than some of the weaving I’ve done lately, at least the weaving part, not forgetting there is weft prep, too. I do like the effect of the “ticking” stripe in the sheeting as it is woven in, with thin random green stripes coming to the surface.

So, I’m looking forward to Days 2 & 3 of the Art Tour and meeting more people with an interest in, or curiosity about fibers, looms, and sock machines.