Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shag-a-licious, Baby!

Is there anything as satisfying as a warp tied on and ready to be woven? The sun is shining through the loominaria window, the weft--strips of fuschia, pink and lavender polyester--are sitting by the loom stool, a cup of coffee is on the tool bench. I started out using Jean Scorgie's Weaver's Craft, Issue 25, "How to Weave a Rug," inspired by the cover photo of an incredibly bright fleece shag rug. Inside are patterns for a rag rug, a double weave rag placemat and the "Rainbow Bright Rug," the fleece rug on the cover. In those instructions, she uses Peter Collingwood's technique for Double Corduroy. The warp is threaded in groups of 20: 41414, 34343, 23232, 12121, and the tie up is 1/3, 1, 3, 2/4, 2, 4. The treadling is right down the line, the tabby being a ground weft, the singles being the pattern weft.

I used light pink carpet warp for the warp, and hot pink for the ground weft. For the pattern weft, I used the 1/2" strips I cut from the polyester yardage someone donated to the center over a year ago, and Pat donated to my stash! Thanks, Pat! Here is my first 2 rows of strips, after my warp spacing rags and the 2" hem in plain weave.

Below is Weftie, hiding in the tool bench. Bella saw him in there, and had to call my attention to it.

I had 5 days off, trying to use up my vacation time before it expires, and this was the one bit dedicated to weaving and little else! I found time to have dinner with friends, go to Norris on Tuesday and clean a little--a VERY little--but mostly, I watched the snow from my window and wove the shag rug! It made me so happy, watching the pattern develop and cutting the shag loops, running my fingers through it to find any uncut, and just patting it for no other reason than it felt good! It was good to be able to stay out of the snow and off the streets, and make something so fun. I got bored with the stripes after about 15 inches, and decided to see what would happen if I inlaid a shape. I was going for a heart, but it came out a little too free form to be actually heart shaped!

I had just enough polyester to finish the rug, unrolled on the right to show the whole rug. I still had about 1 1/2 yards of warp to go, so I finally made use of the Harrisville wool I bought from a donation years ago, a lilac wool that was too scratchy to knit into anything. I took all 6 spools and wound each strand together onto the ski shuttle. I was a little nervous about the coverage, whether the thin yarns would bloom enough to cover the base, but they did, and it's going to be a luscious rug! It will need more care than the polyester one, which I bet will wash and wear just fine, but I really like the feel of it. Above, you can see just the beginning of it, with some of the loops not yet cut. I weave 4 repeats of the pattern, then cut the loops.
I would love to teach this technique to the weavers at the center, and then watch them take off with interpretations of their own! We have that HUGE wall of yarn, and I know a lot of it can make some pretty wonderful rugs!

The lace towels are coming along, obviously a lot more slowly than the rugs, but I weave occasionally on them, too. I just finished one I can't post a photo of, in case the recipient reads the blog, but trust me, it's gorgeous! I have enough warp to do 3-4 more, which I'll show next week. Until then, Happy Weaving!


LA said...

Shag-a-licious, BABY!!!! You were so right. I'm going to pull out my issue and look at it again! It's so retro when we're excited about SHAG! BTW, Weftie is growing like a weed! Too much to weave, not enough time................

Bonnie said...

They look great. Looks like fun to weave.

Tina said...

I hope everyone remembers to click on the pictures to enlarge them!!! They are terrific close up!
Love the shag, I just might have to try it.

Anonymous said...

Looks great! Guess we just need to have a loom dedicated to rugs in our studios!