Poor Man’s Rectangle

Dianne here: I think we can agree that my co-blogger Christine’s multistrand rectangle featured in the last blog post is stunning and her description of ‘fixing’ it a lesson in ingenuity and perserverance.  I vote for it to replace one of the those Oriental rugs she describes as covering her floors! Enter my first attempt at a rectangle rug, in this case a continuous rectangle. We three co authors had every intention of making all braided/hooked items that we provided instructions for in our book “Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding; Basics, Borders and Beyond”, we really did….but after a couple years of writing and writing and writing (more time in editing truth be told), we just wanted to meet our publisher’s semi-annual submission deadline of August 1 and not have the “book albatross” around our collective necks for another 6 months….

The rectangle instructions in our book (pages 63-66) were drafted and diagramed by Christine and

edited by Kris McDermet and myself, but I had not made one until now…..My goal was for a smallish 34 x 21″ rectangle in dark colors for a high traffic area between my kitchen and garage entry.  I had bought this remnant fabric at Pendleton a few years ago in 3″ wide, very long strips separated by short fringe from the loom.  Perhaps it was bedspread or throw fabric, not sure but the colors reverse on the other side and it is very soft.

Pendleton remnant

Pendleton remnant

I have not washed it and have cut it in half width-wise for 1.5″ strips and have made baskets with black and red strands and made a large round rug for an extra room over the garage we keep saying we are going to rent out….. So I thought this would be perfect for the high traffic area rectangle. I began the continuous rectangle at home, and then had the good fortune to spend a few days with Christine in Atlanta and got her expertise as I went along. Those of you who read this blog know I am very partial to round rugs rather than oval but this rectangle was a pleasing challenge ONCE I got the hang of the braid, stop, count, braid, lace, unlace, relace, repeat!  The alternate lacing became somewhat second nature as I went along but it is still much more slow going than ovals or rounds. As you can see, it is NOT perfect and despite some steaming, pulling and prodding and one extra ‘fudge’ loop, the NE corner is not as clean an angle as one could wish….but I am pretty pleased and want to do another.  The last 3 rows are butted and the last 2 have a strand of black although that only provides a subtle change to the experienced eye!

finished!

finished!

I think you can enlarge it to see the fabric design.  As Christine said, using the same fabric for all 3 strands makes it more challenging….agree, but it is also such a pleasure to work with all the same weight wool.  Counting loops, ensuring loop sequence would be easier with contrast however! Here it is almost finished with Cisco, the wool loving fox terrier, who jumps into my wooly worm and odds and ends bins for naps in my fiber room when my lap is not available (hard with a hooking frame on my lap!)  Interested in hearing and seeing your experiences with rectangles. Are butted rectangles any easier? 🙂

Cisco guarding the butt!

Cisco guarding the butt!

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