Thursday, December 31, 2009

Question for the weavers

Partner was complaining the other day that there were not enough rag rugs to always have a clean one on hand for when the dog goes out and in. Portland is really wet in the winter.
I of course immediately began thinking on how to turn all my old fabric scraps and worn out clothes into rugs. I know almost nothing about weaving but was willing to give it a go. As my mind worked on solving problems that were occurring there I began knitting a rug from old T-shirts, (see below). I wasn't really pleased with the resulting fabric but was having problems resolving the issue of joining the strips end to end without having to stop and sew them on as I went. A single long strip sewn together beforehand seemed like a bad idea as there would then be a lot of "tail" to pull through with each pass through the loom and I didn't want to build a complicated loom. I finally stumbled on to the idea of slitting the end of each strip and then joining the kind of like joining two loops. No bulky knots!
For the loom I just took 4 boards, two of which were drilled with pilot holes every 1/2 inch and screwed those two to the other two. A double strand of string was then strung on to the frame and with the use of a bamboo "collar pointer" weaving commenced.

I'm getting an "hourglass" shape thing going on though. Should the nails be closer together? Is there a trick I need to know to avoid this situation?

Here's the knit rug start. It's old T-shirts cut in continuous spirals and wound up as "yarn" and garter stitch knit on size 11 U.S. needles.


Frank said...

The hourglass shape comes from pulling too hard on the weaving strips. There should be slack in the end where you turn to weave in the other direction.

Lars said...

Thanks Frank. That's kind of what I thought but wanted to know if there were techniques other than experience that might also help.

Anonymous said...

I could give you a lotof tip but there are so many words I can´t explain. However if you use a horizontal loom, a cotton warp with cotton yarn that can be knittid on needle 3mmm and a "sked" 30/10 1 in each heddle 1 in each "rör".Cut the fabrics in 1 cm wide stripes and use 2 stripes when you weaw the rug.
There are so muchI want to say but it can´t be done in english./Ulf

Anonymous said...

These are the looms that I have used weawung rugs and woolfabrics but I´m sure there are simular int US. I find them easy to use but they take place in a home. /Ulf

Anonymous said...

And one last thing before I start acting like stalker. I recommend a book called "Rugs from Rags" by John Hinchcliffe and Angela Jeffs and was first published by Orbis Publishing Ltd London 1977.See especially how he makes rugs using a method called hooking./ Ulf

Lars said...

Thanks Ulf! When it comes to weaving I really don't know the english terms either, so seeing them in swedish means just as much to me ;)
Joe from men who knit advised using stiff wires along the edges to help prevent the "hourglass" shape. It helped a lot and I finished a rug. It looks good for a first try.
The gavglimakra looms are beautiful but I wasn't looking for anything that complicated.