All those blues!

Dianne here….

I am out at our CA coastal vacation rental and only brought knitting and denim rolls. I have recently made two medium (~25″) round rugs out of denim jeans for our master bath to replace a large oval from towels I made as a new braider  The towel rugs did not age well and so the denim ones hope to be a good replacement.

I was lucky to buy 11 pairs of denim jeans at our thrift store during their periodic $1 pant sale and then Colleen Blaisdell offered a number of jeans she had been saving when we’re both at the Valley Forge Braid In last year.  Bonanza!

I brought several rolls of the denim to the coast this trip planning to make a round or rectangular rug for the area going into the garage, but once I got here I realized a denim rug would not go with a couple of wool rugs I had made for nearby areas.

What to do on a cold day? Why not braid some denim baskets to sell at a rug hooking show next summer. I have found that rug hookers are impressed with small, non-rug items especially if braided with other fibers and/or narrow strips. As I began the first base, I was reminded how unforgiving denim is in terms of tweaks and how hard braiding and lacing is on the hands. The thought of tapering then butting a last row and side rows for each basket began to depress me, so I decided to make continuous mats in various sizes…..for trivets or for table center mats or even mats for under house plants.

I have always loved the way braiding brings out the various blues and textures of jeans . So here they are…..what do you think?


Ruffled Candle Mat



Christine here.  This is a candle mat — the center perfectly fits one of those scented candle jars that my daughter loves.   There are two rows of ruffling, and some yellow “pollen” loops.

I was thinking about teaching this as a class.  Is there any interest?  I can’t recall when we’ve made anything ruffled before.  And using the braids as a hooking foundation for the pollen was kind of fun.