Dianne here….I am making a 3×5′ oval rug for a friend of my daughters. I had made her a basket for her baby shower with the baby room colors (white, brown, green!) out of some alpaca strips I had bought at Pendleton in Portland a year or so ago. Here is the unfinished basket. I neglected to take a pix of the finished row which had two green wool strips and the alpaca and I matched the plaid part on the last row….Apparently it was a hit because the husband has asked my daughter to ‘commission’ me to make a matching rug for the baby room….
Here are the strips I had thought I could have students use them for making baskets but they are a little difficult to braid so have not tried that. I have made a number of baskets myself including one for our 8# fox terrier Cisco.
But now the oval rug….I much prefer making round rugs to oval. There are many reasons for this; some negative (I don’t like lacing the center braid; I don’t like the straight lacing for the sides; I don’t like running out of fabric half way down a row) and some positive to rounds (I like the challenge of increasing just the right amount to have a flat rug; I like the ‘blossoming’ of the rug as it grows from a small coil to a round rug; you can change colors just about anywhere without worry) but alas they want an oval rug and so I will make one with the two versions of alpaca, the green and some brown later on. I plan to braid/lace about 5-6 rows then taper and butt the rest of the rows so I can change colors more readily. It will be a pretty random rug because of the variations in the alpaca but I really prefer that look to more traditional banded rugs for myself and hopefully they will like that. Here it is so far. I am pleased it is laying flat and pretty straight. I will keep you informed.