Finishing Up Is Hard to Do

Sinuous Parallel Rug

Sinuous Parallel Rug

Christine here.  Sometimes, I admit it, I don’t like braiding.  Sometimes it just takes too long and I wonder why I didn’t end up totally immersed and obsessed by some other sort of craft.  Something quicker to execute each design, so that I don’t end up spending all summer doing one thing only!

Here is my latest attempt (above) to get the braided wavy parallel lines that I wanted.  You can probably tell that I have safety pins all over the rug, where I have marked off (by loop count) the same spots on each color.  I increase or decrease twice on each curve with the gray strands, and once on each curve with the red strands.  This amount enables me to have the curves I wanted while keeping the lines parallel.  If I make the curves deeper than this amount, I end up having to change the amount of increases or decreases to get the braids to lie flat, and the braids are no longer parallel.

DSC_2888Why, you may ask, was I so determined to figure this out — what is the maximal braided curve that can be laced in parallel? Sometimes I think I just have an obsessive personality.  I have 4 to 6 more braids to lace on before this will be a reasonably-sized rug, and I am not looking forward to it.  I’ve already figured it out, so now I want to move on to the next thing, and figure that out.

With any craft, though, there are the parts you enjoy and the parts that you just slog through.  At the moment, the next 4 to 6 rows are slogging.

One thing that I have been enjoying in this process, though, is using up my tremendous stash of gray wool skirts, pants, and the occasional really sumptuous jacket that I have purchased over the years.  (I don’t usually buy jackets because they’re such a pain to cut up, but occasionally a jacket’s wool sleeve will reach out and caress me while I am wandering in the thrift store, and I will be unable to resist it).  I had an immense pile of these medium grays in tweeds and herringbones and glen plaids, and I finally stripped them all and sewed them randomly together in huge rolls.  Each time I come upon a new color and the slip of the fabric changes slightly in my fingers, I enjoy the new gray’s softness.

This frustrated, angry, and distracted sort of completion  is always how it is with me — I can’t wait to finish things so that I can move on to the next project.  As if it is somehow the rug’s fault instead of my own, I come to loathe and despise the last few rows of anything I make because finishing this rug is keeping me from doing what I want — moving on to the next project.  Right now, I am mentally working out how to have the super-sinuous non-parallel rug (see sketch in earlier post) lay flat despite all of its monstrous curves, and THAT is what I WANT to be working on, not THIS.

6 thoughts on “Finishing Up Is Hard to Do

  1. Dianne here…..ah, my friend Christine, it is beautiful as ever and even more beautiful is that you have figured out another braiding ‘puzzle’ and will be generous in sharing the skill with others!
    As with a number of things, you and I differ (but still are very (another very?) good friends!)….I like to stretch out the end of projects, usually because I don’t want them to end, like a good book, but also I may NOT have another project in mind. Two in particular: The large hit and miss round I am doing in subdued greys and oddballs which I will post about when I figure out how to organize my PC and ios photos in some semblance of order (anyone who can help, please contact me at and a hooking project for the international hooking conference in Victoria BC in October…..I have struggled with it (promise another post) but now that it is done, I want to add another row of background hooking before I attach a velvet braid….Maybe 3 rows or 4?

  2. Peggyann here – Beautiful as expected..Thank you for all your problem solving. You make braiding easier for the rest of us and keep us motivated to try something new.It’s definitely not Your Grandma’s Rug. The Crafting Community is lucky to have you.. Hope you are taking time to enjoy this fast summer and your family.

    Everyone – please go to your local County Fairs and promote your beautiful craft work. Don’t keep it behind closed doors. You will be amazed at the interest that is out there.

  3. I understand, Christine, about the “hurry up and get finished” scenario! My solution to the ending of a project is to always have a few in the works at the same time. That way if you get frustrated with one you can temporarily move on to another, which changes the perspective on the first one. Sometimes I even – sounds weird – challenge myself to see which project I will get done first. It helps to get a small project done and then move back to the big one and say “ok – time for you to get finished and outta here!”

    Continuing to increase my inventory of small items for fairs – baskets, trencher mats, chair pads, and the like are fun projects. The major planning, figuring out, reverse braiding, re-braiding, and just plain genius of your work is amazing! That you are willing to subject yourself to that hard work (and all that math) is … well as I always say about your work … WOW! And I agree with Diane and Peggyann – We braiders are lucky to have you among us and that you are willing to share your knowledge is wonderful!

    Back to the rug room to work on my Methuen creation! Hope everyone has their thinking caps on for this one! Hmmmm….thinking cap????

      • Hi Peggyann … “Trencher mat” is just another name for a small oval for a table top! Sounds way more fancy than it really is … 🙂

        Jenn 🙂

  4. Hello Christine. I too thank you for working on the puzzle of “wavy pattern desired to lay flat” rug. Thank you for sharing your findings.

    As far as the frustration of wanting to finish a rug which has been a knot head of a challenge, I agree with Jenn. Having several rugs or projects going I find reduces the aggravation, boredom, monotony or brain drain that the one-of-a special-kind can give a braider. An easy one, a hard one, a fun one, a deadline one, an everything but the kitchen sink one, an exact precise (no seams showing) one, all mixed in and awaiting their individual finish time.

    Carry on!

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