Dianne here….and Happy New Year everyone. It is even cold in California. Good weather to be braiding and rug hooking. I am making a round cushy chair pad for a friend’s piano bench. She has been going to the gym consistently and has ‘less padding’ for the hard bench!
But today I am writing about strip rugs. I had written a post awhile ago (this may be the link….or not http://wp.me/p4qaPu-7i) about my first attempt at a strip rug for the entryway of our vacation rental. It was hard finding someone to stitch the ends and the rug did not completely cover the area of the previous rattan rug so there is a slight discoloration you can make out on the sides. so I wanted the next rug to cover more completely (same rattan rug but in front of the kitchen door) and find a better way to have it stitched.
I liked the way I worked with the pattern of the first rug so I found a lot of old 3″ rolls in my stash of what was probably Pendleton jacquard upholstery fabric. I had made a large round rug a few years ago by using strips from both sides of the jacquard weave but still had a lot left. the 3″ rolls yielded two patterns when cut into 1.5″ strips and I separated them and began braiding, taking care to match the design in the 3 like strips as much as I could. I took the young rug to Methuen and was surprised it was widely praised for the design that was created by matching the braids. Friendly comments helped me decide to arrange the two sides of the pattern in groups of 2 and here is the photo at show and tell where you can see the pattern developing. I can’t say enough for the wonderful experience a Braid In such as Methuen New England Braids or Valley Forge or the Thetis Woolgathering, etc gives us in terms of community and welcomed advice!
So I continued and found a young man who recently bought a local upholstery shop in town and he agreed to try to stitch the rug as long as I was there to ‘lead’ him. He stitched twice and it worked! I took the rug out to the house and cut the fringe as straight as I could, then tapered the ends so they would not be as thick.
I am happy with the results, happier than with the first rug. The strips were 2 yds long and I was constrained to that length and to the width of the door. With flat wool there would have been more leeway and I could have cut the braids shorter but then I wouldn’t have been able to put the ‘design’ in the rug.
What these experiences have taught me is that strip rugs are easier than I thought; no increases and little problem with keeping flat. I think they could be a good project for a beginner; what do you think?