Challenge Rug Planning

Christine here. This is a simple, “What I’m working on” kind of post.

I have changed my mind about my Challenge project. The topic for the Rug Challenge this year (and everyone is welcome to enter the Challenge, whether you attend the spring braid in or not) is “Going Native” and whatever that means to you. It can mean Native American, native wildflowers, or acting like a member of a remote island culture.

Initially I was going to do a tiger theme, one of those rugs that is an animal skin, but out of braids.  I debated a lot about how to get the stripes to look good, whether to make the stripes switch direction around the legs as is correct in real life, and whether I would rug-punch the tiger’s face or try to make it out of braids. But, I kept hesitating because I wasn’t really comfortable with the project. Maybe someday.

leaf2.jpgFinally, abandoning it, I went back to a rug I was planning to make in the autumn, when I was enjoying looking at the maples all over my neighborhood and the many colors in their changing leaves. So, this is my sketch of what I will make:

I’ve already changed my mind about the color progression, since I don’t like the green veins standing out there by their lonesome, but something like this sketch. We’ll see what happens. Sketches and rugs are sometimes pretty different. And it’s much faster to draw a rug in Illustrator than it is to actually braid it.

I have completed the veins, and there are already a few problems to deal with.  See the short pieces coming off the veins?  I made them as individual pieces and finished the ends with the T-end that I showed in the recent newsletter.  The problem is, that T-end is slanted in such a way that it fits nicely against the central veins on the LEFT side, but the RIGHT side is going to require a little more creativity to make the join look neat.  I’ve got three places to test out different ways to do it, so I’ll keep you posted.

Kinda-sorta fits in the Going Native theme, right? Native trees… native leaves… OK, stretching it, but this is the rug I want to make.

9 thoughts on “Challenge Rug Planning

  1. I don’t know if you want suggestions but here is one anyway. As I do a lot of dyeing for rug hooking I thought a spot dye for the veins would help the veins to blend in with the rest of the leaf. an easy way I to put the green wool in a pan as a canning kettle if you are dying a lot at one time or smaller pieces of wool can be dyed in a smaller pot. Put the wool in a pan of water and bring it to a boil. You can put some pieces of wool of other colors in your rug in the pot and simmer for 10 or more minutes. Keep the wool crowded in the pan and the wool will bleed and create a spot dye. Now add 1 to 2 tbsp. plain salt and simmer About 20 min. Rinse twice and spin out in your washer and dry. In nature most everything is shaded except maybe some bright flowers or birds. Your leaf drawing braided with the bright colors would look good in a modern home or in Florida as the bright sun here washes out colors or fades them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love your ideas Anne

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    • Thanks, Anne! I agree that the mottled look is quite lovely in braids. For this project, though, I have in mind a clunkier, more geometric look with defined lines of solid color — but I appreciate your thoughts! Christine

  2. Oh my goodness, I was puzzling this shape out in my mind last fall also! You beat me to it! Only after my struggle of filling in around my snowflake, I was thinking of a simpler Canadian Maple leaf. So after you work out all the ‘bugs’, I’ll learn from you and give it my own stamp, eh?

  3. I’m thinking maybe T-starts could be tweaked to slant the correct way to use on the right side of the veins. Then T-end would be out at the point…?

  4. Great design Christine and I am sure it will turn out beautifully. Liked Anne’s’ idea on bleed dyeing also.

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