Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Entry Rug

It must be at least 13 years ago that I first wove a Rep rug for our home's front entry. Since then the rug has been through it all, including teenagers and pets. The design was adapted from Laila Lundell's book, "Rep Weaves". The rug is still in rather good shape except for the permanent dirty look along certain pathways. Here you see old faithful in the background.
New Rep Rug on the floor near the old Rep Rug.

Recently we moved my mother into a retirement home and I wound up with several sets of light blue bed sheets. These were the perfect rags for my new rugs. They will remind me that the struggles my family and I have been experiencing over the past couple of years are over. We have been caring for my father who suffered from dementia. For the past year neither he nor my mother could drive and I was often called upon to chauffeur. It was difficult but my precious mother took loving care of Dad at home until the final two weeks of his life. He is now at peace in heaven and she can finally rest.

I wouldn't be telling you all of this except that since January my loom has been naked. Naked! It has not been idle for this long since it came to me back in 1989. All the work and angst dealing with a dementia patient took a huge toll on me. I just didn't have the heart or energy to do anything creative during the last few months.

After such a long break, getting back into weaving was sort of intimidating. I fussed around in my studio for some time before plucking up the courage to dive in again. Dive in I did and managed to design the widest rug I have ever woven. The profile draft is #203 from "The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving" by Mary Meigs Atwater, a book chock full of great ideas. I could weave for a lifetime out of this one little book. It holds just the kind of inspiration I love.

That old rug was a work horse and was so beautiful I wanted to replace it with a similar one. My goals for the new one included:
  • Using darker colors in order to better hide traffic dirt
  • Using a busier block design to help hide traffic patterns
  • Maintaining the yellow/blue pallet
  • Adding a touch of red
  • Weaving a slightly wider/longer rug
It turned out well. I cut this first rug off my loom to check the design before going all-out and weaving the longer replacement rug. For the longer rug I chose a slightly different block arrangement. That one still needs hemming but I'll post a photo once it is finished and in place.

Dot was kind enough to help me weave the new Rep Rug.
This, by the way, is the type of help I get around here. Jenny and Dot appreciate every stage of the weaving process. Can you see how I put socks over unused treadles? When setting up I simply leave unneeded treadles tied up as they had been previously. Binding them together in pairs with a sock helps keep me from mistreadling while weaving. I'm always looking for ways to speed up my weaving and keep myself from having to look down at the treadles. Socks work for me.

It is wonderful to be weaving again. Until I returned to my loom it didn't occur to me how much I missed weaving. There are a couple of things more to post including my super-secret jeans pocket project. Watch for them.

Weave on. Weave Off!

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