Boy, just when things get exciting and I want to chat with you all, the home computer dies. The computer was quickly revived, but not without a trip to the computer doc. He said it was a Windows issue. Fancy that! At least it's March now, I'm so much happier.
So! This is the pretentiously named (by me) Necessity of Creation (and a close-up), which I finally got off in the mail today to Lynne Bruning. I was simply driven to make this, I think by the cold virus that was infecting me at the time, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I beat down the mohair weft a little too much, such that this does not have the lovely drape of the pink mohair scarf Lynne sent me - here's her scarf, which is just lovely:
And! And! I wove a rug! Me! I'm simply astounded I made this.
Size: 3 feet by 6.5 feet (before washing; I expect it to shrink up some) with an inch or so hem on either end.
Warp: Basic Maysville 8/4 cotton carpet warp, sett 12 epi, of three colors - dark green, turquoise, and medium blue - wound together on the warping board and sleyed through the reed in whatever order they came.
Weft: Most of the weft is a deep teal Tahki Soho Bulky Tweed wool knitting yarn, doubled. The thin dark stripes are some mystery blue tweedy coned wool from WEBS, six strands held together. The pale skinny stripes are Classic Elite Waterspun, a slightly felted (on purpose) merino (I know, I know, but hey, the colors worked and it's only a little bit of my very first rug) worsted weight knitting yarn, 4 strands held together. You know what this means, right? Yep, I did indeed rearrange my yarn stash, such that three bins of what were knitting yarns are now labeled rug yarn. I may not have reached SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) after all, if I can weave rugs this fast. Plus, all that quilting fabric under the bed and in the back closet? I've already started tearing some of it up into 1 inch strips (I wasn't really ever going to make a slipcover for the sofa, was I? What a daydream that was) for rag rugs.
Weave Structure: Cord Weave, from Marguerite Davison's book. Remember I said that the little Cord Weave sample of pumpkin Lopi and purple Harrisville Shetland looked like it would make a good rug, if bulked up? Well, it did, but interestingly, the lengthwise stripes so evident in the Rowan Tapestry scarf did not show up at all in the rug. Instead, this combination created a lively mixture of warp and weft. The deep teal Soho is a strong color all by itself, and the thin lines of the warp arcing over the weft picks really enrich this surface for me.
Hem: Three inches of tabby woven with three strands of carpet warp held together, zigzagged along the edge by machine once the rug was off the loom. Then I turned under the hem twice and stitched by machine a straight line near the wool weft to hold the hem in place. My dear old Bernina rose nobly to the occasion, especially since I haven't used it in years and years and had even forgotten how to thread it, the poor neglected darling.
My loom also performed nobly throughout this rug-making. The weekend before last I took myself first to WEBS to get a rug shuttle and then, since they didn't have a temple the size I wanted, I zoomed off to Becky's Vavstuga in Shelburne Falls, an hour from home, which did have the right temple. And a whole lot more, too! Wow, that place is heaven! I'd never been before and, clearly, I'm going to have to save up my pennies and take a class there sometime.
Over the work week, I wound the warp, dressed the loom with it, and started weaving. This last weekend, I had nothing scheduled, no major errands or chores, all my buddies seeemed unavailable, so I wove. And I wove. And I wove some more. Sunday evening at 8:30 - done! Now, I'm not sure this rug will last through the centuries, but it's pretty damned sturdy and once it's washed, I'm going to put it by my bed and snuggle my toesies into it every morning for years and years.
Or until the next rug comes along....I'm already plotting, obviously!