Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rag rugs

Thanks to JenLas blog for the GB Olympic team button, the Knitting Olympics one is from the Yarn Harlot. I'll get these put in the sidebar soon, once I've finished this picture-full post.

Also, thank you for all the comments and emails I've had about my choice of what to knit for the Olympics! I think the variety of things I have to do in that time (which is no way out of the ordinary, that's what my life looks like!) helped me decide. I knew I'd be away from home for four nights - which would provide a lot of knitting time, but I couldn't afford to get stuck on a new technique/complicated pattern as I wouldn't have internet access whilst away, and I already need to take a pile of books with me for work! (I did momentarily consider ringing round the B & Bs in the area I'm going to to see if they were run by knitters, but thought that was maybe a little extreme!). This ruled out having a go at lace or magic loop or whatever. Time away from home and the train journeys meant that something portable was necessary - ruling out large lace creations or a top for me. The yarn diet (ahem, which I've been sticking to religiously. Ahem) meant using stash yarn was preferable. And baby jumpers are for charity! There. Decision made!

I spent yesterday on a rag rug making course - run by Lincolnshire County Council Adult and Community education. I'd booked onto it in September as I thought it would cheer me up during the grey old days of January. Typically I was late arriving as I had the shortest distance to come (one lady had even come up from Stamford for the day!).
There were 16 of us on the course:

We were a variety of ages (and wonder of wonders - I wasn't the youngest!) and experience (much like Knit Lincs) and everyone was nice and chatty (again, like Knit Lincs).

The instructor, Janet, showed us some rugs she'd made and pictures of other designs. (note the tea urn on the right hand side, we had tea on tap all day. Yum!) She explained two techniques - hooking (cue lots of jokes about hookers!) and snipping. We spent the rest of the morning having a go ourselves and then after lunch (we'd brought packed lunches but only stopped for about 10 minutes as we were all keen to keep going!) Janet showed us some smaller, more intricate ones she'd made to use as wall-hangings:

This is my piece of hessian, complete with tape measure, pen and tea, whilst I have a think about what I want to do:

I've decided to do six squares using the two different techniques. At the bottom here are pink and mauve hooks and the top (floppier rags in a darker purple) are snips. On the right is the hooking thingummy:

It has grown a little more since then, but not dramatically. I also need to get the sewing machine out to put webbing round the edges before it frays to nothing. Hopefully I'll get a chance to finish it off sometime, then I'll have my own real life rag rug! The course was great fun, and it was good to get to know some other crafty people. I got talking to a girl who goes to one of the other knitting groups in Lincoln, and also got about 6 people interested in coming to Knit Lincs! ;-)

And here, to reward you for your patience in reading about rag rugs, is a knitting pic! My fingerless mittens using Fyberspates DK 100% wool in Wild Foxglove, following a Fyberspates pattern. I bought this yarn from Getknitted a while ago, then was annoyed to find they'd put this yarn in the sale! Grrrrrrr. The gloves are lovely and warm. I made them quite a bit longer to help keep my wrists warm at work whilst I get round to knitting Mrs Beeton (don't worry, I have yarn in the stash for that!)

Anybody else totally fed up with January? I'm sick of the grey grey skies and the grey grey earth and the grey grey cold. One of the nice things about the rag rug workshop was that the sun was shining in through the windows which made everything seem happy!


Sue said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. I love the way my latest dye foray worked out even though it sounds conceited to say so!

Your rag rug class looked interesting. Rug-making (of any sort) is probably the one craft that has never appealed to me but looking at your pics... I could change my mind!

The fingerless gloves are lovely too.


Anne said...

The course looks like you had fun - my mother keeps going on that sort of thing - I will... one day.

I agree wholeheartedly about the grey grey grey - I can't wait for some better weather - and although today was much sunnier, it was cold :-(

(I've written out the pattern for my first baby jumper - converted to knitting in the round - and I'm ignoring the intarsia pattern it's supposed to have, and going for Fibonacci stripes instead.) I'm beginning to think I'm a little crazy though - TWO jumpers in 16 days - no chance!!

KnitYoga said...

The rag rug course looks as if it was fun and the fingerless gloves very bright and colourful to brighten up the grey January days! ;-)

Mary Anne said...

Oooh those fingerless mitts are gorgeous! I like the colours you chose for your rag rug also.

January will soon be over and then we have chocolate day, oops I mean Valentine's Day to look forward to :)

Nic said...

Its been sunny here all weekend!! Thats just because I'm jealous that you've been rugmaking, thought I'd mention our weather ;o)
Rug making is cool. I made a Tigger rug for Jack when he was three months old thn decided that it was too good for the floor so its now a wall hanging. Its really quick too isn't it?
I used to go to SnB with Jeni Fyberspates in Cardiff but still not made anything with her lovely yarn.
I'm impressed with the knit olympics but I'll never get anything done in that short a time I don't think so I'l just watch all you spedy people.

Sometimes Unwilling Guru said...

Hi,love the mittens,are they knitted with 4mm needles( 8ply )?
I would love to go to a craft group here where I live ,used go to a patchwork group but it fizzled out! What fun to do show and tell,swap and simply get together with others with similar interests!

Anonymous said...

I'm very impressed that you're joining the KnitOlympics! I know I have too much on my concience to start yet another project... :(
But I'll be here, cheering for you!

Mittens look nice and warm!


Heather said...

Thanks for the link to the GB buttons! I have got one on my blog now. Good luck with your Olympic project.

The rug making looks great fun, I shall look forward to seeing more pictures of your rug in progress.

jess said...

Love those mittens!

I'll cheer you on at the K.O's... think I will give them a miss at the moment. But look forward to seeing your participation!

ra said...

aaah, I remember making a rag rug when I was little and giving it to my mum. She put it next to her bed bless her and used it despite the fact that the hessian had come from an old feed sack and still smelt a bit branny, and I didn't know how to finish it off properly and the rags kept coming loose and fraying.

Aren't mums wonderful?

Amelia said...

You look like you had a lot of fun at your rug class, make sure you keep us updated on your work!

knit only but also said...

Hi there
Nice mitts and the rag-rugs look great. Maybe there should be a knitters B&B guide, now there could be a cushy job - rating B&Bs etc on knitter friendliness... What would you put in your imaginary knitter fiendly B&B?

cheers, J