Even though I am pleased with the miniature rugs, this project taught me that I would rather weave large rag rugs than tiny ones. After three mini rosepath rag rugs, and now, a few small mug rugs, I am nearly finished. (See Rosepath Miniature and One Mini Rag Rug to see the mini rag rugs.)
I have a new project I’m excited about. That’s all the motivation I need to get the current project off the loom. The thread for the new project will be here soon. A new warp is celebration time! It means more weaving. But the aim of weaving is always to make cloth. Whether tiny rugs or monksbelt yardage, everything I weave eventually gets cut off. And for a weaver, the cutting off is party time, too! That’s when we get to see and touch the results of our efforts.
You and I are here for a purpose. Though not all the same, every person is significant. Heaven knows your name. And when your name is written in heaven’s book, it’s like a new warp, and all the angels have a party! The cutting off party will be grand, too, with Jesus being clearly pleased at the results of his handiwork.
May you make angels sing.
Happy cutting off,
Hemming a rag rug may be easier than you think. I have used my classic Bernina sewing machine to hem rag rugs; but now, I hem many of them by hand. It’s easier and faster than I once thought. I plan the rug’s hem into the weaving, using half-width fabric strips for the hem area, and end it off with 1 cm of a warp thread heading. After cutting off the rug, I secure and trim the warp ends. There’s only one thing left to do. Hem the rug! (Start with Tools Day: Rag Rug Finishing Video if you haven’t seen it yet.)
Tools and supplies
- Steam iron
- Long straight pins
- Rug warp to match the rug (mine is Bockens 12/6 cotton seine twine)
- Blunt tapestry needle
May you enjoy the work of your hands.
An isolated thin weft stripe makes a bold statement. One simple technique greatly improves the efficiency of weaving such a stripe in a rag rug. This method eliminates the need to weave weft tails in at the beginning and end of the stripe. So, besides being efficient, the selvedges look better too.
How to Weave a Thin Weft Stripe (Two Picks)
1 Weave up to the stripe placement. No need to end the weft if the same weft will continue after the thin stripe.
2 Place the first pick of the stripe in the shed, leaving a long tail of about 6 inches / 15 cm, or more.
3 Beat in the first pick of the stripe.
4 Change sheds. Lay the long tail into the new shed.
5 Send the shuttle across for the second pick, catching the previous weft to carry it up the selvedge.
6 As the weft goes across for the second pick, bring the shuttle all the way out.
7 Pull enough of the second pick through the warp to cut a tapered edge that will overlap the tapered edge of the long tail.
8 Overlap the two tapered fabric strips in the shed.
9 Beat in the second pick of the stripe.
10 Continue weaving with the previous weft that was carried up the selvedge.
If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for ways to enhance weaving efficiency. One little tip can improve the whole weaving experience. When you know there is so much more to learn, and you are hungry to learn, every morsel of insight is delectable.
Has your soul ever felt hungry? Mine has. The Lord is ready to fill the hungry soul with good. He fills the empty. He satisfies the hungry, meeting the deepest need. One sweet morsel leads to another, inviting us to keep coming back. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
May you be hungry for good things.
No fancy stuff for this rug, like rya or loops. The main thing is to finish off this warp. I am eager to get on to the next project–monksbelt (munkabalte)! Even so, it is good to enjoy what you are doing, to be happy and content with what you have and where you are. There is no use complaining about having to finish this. …even though something else seems more exciting.
A grumbling attitude can strip all the joy from the current process. Grumbling poisons your thinking. It starts as a small complaint, but is never content to stay small. In fact, grumbling spreads to other people and corrupts their desires, too. Better to refuse it before it has a chance to begin. Notice and enjoy the blessing of the moment you are in. And so far, I haven’t found a rag rug I didn’t enjoy weaving. Now that’s a blessing!
May your attitude be worthy of imitation.
Do you know how easy it is to finish the ends of a rag rug that you plan to hem? You cannot trust a sewing machine to do the job. Neither a zig-zag stitch nor a serged edge adequately catches all the ends, as they do for other handwoven items. Hand-tied knots will ensure that your rug endures the test of time.
The following video details the few simple steps needed to prepare your rag rug for hemming.
- Two-pound walking weights
- 5″ Sacking needle (I found mine at WeavingSouthwest)
- Hair comb
- Cutting mat
- Acrylic ruler
- Rotary cutter
May you finish what you start.
All the best,