Tag Archive | rag rug

Putting the plan into place

Happy New Year! We’ve been in the new house for two months now, baby Sprinkaan is 6 weeks old, we made it through the holidays and life is beginning to settle into a more predictable routine, which means I can — fingers crossed — get back on here on a more regular basis. Earlier last week, I began going through my sewing room in an attempt to bring some order to the chaos. I’ve still got more work to do to get it organized to where I can find things easily, but in that process, I made a shocking discovery. Shocking, I tell you! Ok, maybe only to me.

A room of my very own!

A room of my very own!

Whilst cleaning, I came across several UFOs. That’s right, the dreaded UnFinished Object. I’m not surprised that these UFOs exist (I am a procrastinator, after all), just that there are so many of them. I found things I had completely forgotten about. So, in the interest of accountability, I’m posting them all here. Well, I say all; there may yet be undiscovered specimens.

Here's the story of a lovely lady who can't seem to finish what she starts

Here’s the story of a lovely lady who can’t seem to finish what she starts

From the top, going left to right:

  1. Rag rug. I even posted about this back when I started it and then promptly got bored of it and stashed it away. It’s wound into an oval purely for visual purposes because it’s much easier to see it as a rug this way than as the mile-long fabric braid that it actually is. The braiding is complete, as far as I’m concerned, now it’s just the awful task of hand-sewing all that mess together.
  2. Crochet gingerbread house. It doesn’t look like much, but all the actual house pieces are there: roof, front, back, and sides. I just need to finish all the candy features and assemble the thing.
  3. Beige peasant blouse. I started this last spring with the intention of it being a sort of transitional maternity top. That was effective. Again, all the pieces are there, I just need to finish the embroidery on the yoke and sew it up.
  4. Rainbow granny afghan. This is probably the biggest undertaking out of all these projects. I hate weaving in ends and granny squares produce a lot of ends to weave. Multi-colored granny squares make me question my sanity for deciding to embark on this in the first place.
  5. Front of a sweater. This sweater has a name — it’s from my knitting board book, but I can’t find the book yet and I don’t remember the name. At any rate, the front of a sweater doesn’t do me a lot of good without the back and sleeves.
  6. Axl doll. Another naked Axl. I started out all gung-ho on this after I finished the dolls for the girls, but then was struck with ennui when it came to sewing more tiny clothes. The thing is, I did all the hard work the first time and made little patterns so that any subsequent dolls wouldn’t be such a pain, but, eh.
  7. Knitting loom sock. Remember when I made Konik the little striped socks that he loved and wouldn’t take off for three days? Immediately after that, I began making a sock for myself. And then more interesting things came along… I actually haven’t gotten very far on this one at all and, to tell the truth, can’t remember which pattern I was using. I may end up taking it off and doing something else. We’ll see.
  8. Bunny dress. Rana and I had started a little sewing project together to make her favorite stuffed bunny a pretty little dress. We were on a roll and then we missed a few days and a few days turned into a few months.
  9. Embroidered baby booties. You want to know how shameful my UFOs are? I began these booties when I was pregnant with Konik. He’s 4. I need to get a move on if any of my own children are going to actually wear these. Sprinkaan, you are our last hope.

So here’s my New Year’s Resolution of sorts: for the next year, I will choose one of these projects each month and bust it out. Originally I was just going to randomly pull one from a jar, but obviously, some of these have a little more urgency than others, like the booties for example. That one will have to be the first… just as soon as I finish the little sweater I’m knitting for Sprinkaan. Maybe after that I’ll go with the jar idea. For some reason, it feels more likely that I’ll actually do these if I feel like it’s a surprise and not an assignment. I will (again, fingers crossed) be making other things during the next nine months. These items are, with the exception of the doll clothes, my “armchair crafts” — the things that I can work on in the evenings after I’ve put the kids to bed and just want to sit quietly. Even with the new baby, I’ll make time for daytime projects. So, when I begin one of these UFOs, I’ll post about it and you all can pester me hold me accountable throughout that month to make sure I finish it! Deal? Deal.

I’ve been doing stuff

And frankly, there just hasn’t been time for crafty stuff. I made the faulty assumption that I’d get all kinds of things created this summer. But, as my Gma taught me lo these many years, you know what happens when you assume…

This past Saturday we cleaned up our friends’ house and packed all of our stuff to come back to the cabin. There were a lot of extra little surprises that happened during that process that extended it all by a good couple of hours and wiped me out. Then we’ve had company for the past couple of days at the cabin. Just one thing after another! But in the midst of all that, I did manage to accomplish this:

What’s that, you say? Why, isn’t it obvious? It’s the beginnings of a rag rug! Some of you may remember how I braided strips of scrap fabric a few months back. On Sunday, I decided to start sewing it together. But, as always, things happen when you have three children and only about 10″ of the beginning 2′ strip is sewn together. And there’s a lot more to go…

Here are some other things I’ve been doing lately.

For the record, he was in a wildlife park, not at the cabin.

We took the kids to the State Capitol.

So I’m coming to the conclusion that this summer will not be nearly as productive as I had hoped. I don’t want to just abandon you all, so I’m thinking I’ll share a few photos of what’s going on around here and, should I actually make something, I will definitely post about that. And there are always French Fridays or Saturdays in Spain to keep you entertained!


What I’m working on

A lot of times I feel like something is not worth writing about until it’s finished. But, let’s face it: I can’t conceivably churn out several projects a week. I’m always working on something (usually several things concurrently); some projects just take a little longer. So today, I am giving myself permission to show you an unfinished project.

For those who have not been following along, my family and I moved to a log cabin at the end of October. A lot of people nod like they understand what we mean when we say, “log cabin,” and then proceed to ask us questions like, “Is it insulated?” Well… it’s a log cabin, so… it depends on how you classify 12″ diameter timbers. I guess you could say it’s naturally insulated. The floor is made of 4″ thick bridge decking planks. It’s very rustic and also very rough.

This is the good part of the floor.

Our friends already had several area rugs scattered throughout the cabin, but there are still a few areas that could stand to be covered. Not only for the splinter potential, but also because of the cold air that rushes up between those planks.

Before we moved, I was going through my sewing room and collected a huge gift sack full of fabric scraps that I was going to put up on craigslist for some quilter bored of her own scraps. I never got around to it, so the bag o’ scraps moved with us. I’m too cheap to throw stuff like that away. It could be good for something! Well, looky looky, it now has a purpose.

Have you made the connection yet? Alex, I’d like to take Rag Rugs for 200. I’ve never made one before, but I rarely let that small detail stop me. Looking at the braided rugs already in the cabin, I thought I had a fair idea of what to do and a quick search online gave me enough pointers to forge ahead.

Scraps to strips

I made zigzag cuts to get as much out of the fabric as possible. My strips average about 1.5″ in width, but I wasn’t too concerned about uniformity. After all, it’s a rag rug. Cutting the strips was made much less tedious by having a river to watch while I did it.

The next step was the most fun.

I use only the best equipment.

I safety-pinned three strips of fabric to my ironing board cover and started braiding. Whenever I got near the end of a strip, I’d knot a new one on. There was no real rhyme or reason to the color order. I’m not trying to make art here. Besides, there’s something to be said for creations that aren’t too created, you know?

The prettiest rope I've ever seen

I ended up with several yards of braided rope before I ran out of fabric strips. I could probably make a generous placemat with it right now; I’ll need several more yards to make a respectable rug. No worries, though — I have plenty more scraps to cut up!