Archive for January, 2012


Preperation

I thought I would write a short post about the way I am using old t-shirts in my weaving.  With five people in this family, we have a fair amount of t- shirts. We usually have quite a few that are getting to the point that they can no longer be worn out of the house, but are still too good to be called rags. I like the t-shirts I am using for weaving to not have too many holes or bleach spots on them, but a few holes or bleach spots do not show up in the finished rug, and I use those.

 First, I fold the t-shirt in half and cut off the hem. I don’t use the hem, because it is thicker than the rest of the t-shirt material, and makes a bulkier “stripe” if used with the other strips of material. In previous rugs, I have cut the material into 1.2 to 2 inch strips. Now, though, I am using strips about 3/4 of an inch wide.

 The smaller stripes are just more appealing to me. I just cut clear across the bottom of the t-shirt, which gives me a loop, or circle, of material. I do this with all the t-shirts I plan to use for a rug. I cut strips like this all the way up to the arm pits,.Then I remove the hems from the sleeves, or start at the elbows on long sleeve t-shirts, and cut smaller loops. Once I get to the arm pits again, I stop. I don’t want to have to sew material together, so that is all of the shirt that I use at this point. It seems wasteful, but this is the most time efficient way for me to get the most done, for right now anyway. 

 After I have all my t-shirts done, I throw all the loops in a basket, and toss them together like a big salad. If you wanted a specific pattern, you could leave all the colors in individual piles and just pick them up in order of your pattern, but I like the mish-mashed look I get when I just pick up pieces at random. I pick up the first two, and loop them together like this:

 I keep that up, picking up the pieces at random, until the ball of “Tarn” as t-shirt yarn is called, is about the size of a softball. I make balls of the strips until they are all gone. My only rule is that if I pick up a loop that is the same color as the one I just used, I have to pick another one. I don’t want two of the same color next to each other. This isn’t an original idea, lots of places sale sock loopers, which are material from the sock manufacturing process, for rugs.  I’d rather not have to buy material though, and I like having control over how thick my loopers, and therefore, my rugs, are. 

I’ve found that having a good mix of darks and lights, as well as having some black in the mix, makes for an attractive rag rug.  It kind of reminds me of those scrappy quilts that I love so much.  Lots of different colors, and not too planned out.  Not to mention, inexpensive!  The best thing, though in my opinion , is that once I have woven a holey t-shirt into a rug, it’s fairly certain said t- shirt won’t accidentally by pass my inspection process and end up out in public where it will make people question my parenting choices!!

 

Life goes on

Everything continues here as usual.  We are back in our homeschooling schedule after the Christmas holiday, and I am knitting and weaving.  We are also waiting for baby goats to be born.  Looks like JarJar is the only one pregnant. We know how that went last year, though, so I am definitely keeping my expectations low.  She is being a bit of a bully to Sally, but I guess that is how pregnant goats act.  I really hope if she is pregnant she has a girl, I just don’t have room to keep a boy.

 

The weaving is going well.  I am getting the hang of keeping my edges straight.  After considering many options for cutting fabric into strips, I bought a rotary cutter, a mat and a ruler.  The mat and ruler are small, but I didn’t want to make a huge investment if I didn’t know for sure that it was going to work.  It does make a huge difference after using scissors for so long.   Simplicity makes a little machine that cuts strips, and I seriously considered asking for that for my birthday, but the reviews seemed to be 9 to 1 in the negative, so I just couldn’t risk the money. There is a little rotary cutter with the brand name of Gemsy that I am considering for about the same money, but it is a serious tool, and I wanted to try the rotary cutter first.  I’ve only used it for a day or two, but it does seem to make things a lot neater and straighter.  Also faster if I am cutting regular fabric and not these old dishcloths.

 

I do have pictures of the finished baby sweater to show.  I actually knit two sweaters for Caleb and Heather’s baby, who will be named Adelyn.  But the other one didn’t turn out beautiful, and I needed to make them a beautfiul sweater.

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And here is the back of the yoke:

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And the detail on the hem:

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All these pictures were taken on a rug I wove for Jody for our birthday.  I sure hope she likes it! I sent her Christmas present too, so she has a big box of things to open. It sure tickles me to be able to send her something, for once, cause she sure is good to me! God couldn’t have given me a better twin sister.

Post Holiday Knitting

I am working on a little sweater for my soon to be born great niece.  In actuallity, I have knit this baby three sweaters, but she will only be getting two. I had to rip out the first sweater attempt using this yarn because I ran out of yarn.  It was knit mostly in garter stitch, so I am hoping that knitting in St. Stitch will give me more wiggle room. P1010380

This is of my own design, but I don’t think I will be publishing a pattern, although I may put the chart(s) up here if any one shows any interest after I put up pictures.  I knit a circular yoke, using short rows, and a delightful little cable.  Then I picked up stitches along the edges for the main body, and eventually I’ll do the arms the same way.  Haven’t decided on edge treatments yet, I have got a few ideas in mind, but until I try them out, I don’t think I’ll know for sure what I am going to do.  I’ve still got a ways to go, but I hope to have it done at least by the end of next week.   That baby will be here before you know it, and I’m running out of time!!

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New Year, New?

I feel the need to knit a new shawl coming on.  Hmm…wonder which one? I have some malabrigio lace, but only one ball.  I also have one ball of some Arucania Cashmere.  I have two skeins each of Knit Picks Shadow.  Decisions, Decisions…..

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