One-Repetition Rag Rug

I want to weave two floor runners for a specific location in our home. I could do some figuring and guessing. Instead, I am weaving one repetition of this spaced rep rag rug. Now, I have a reference point. All I have to do is measure and see how many repetitions to weave for the length I need. Measuring removes the guesswork. Let the runners begin!

Spaced rep rug warp, right before cutting off the preliminary sample.
Rug is ready to be hemmed.
Hand hemming the rug with 12/6 cotton warp thread.
Finished!

May you remove the guesswork where possible.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Tie the Rug Warp Back On

I’m at fresh starting place. After finishing another double binding rag rug, I have tied the rug warp back on. I’m ready for a new variation in this rag rug series of block designs. Rug warp lets me stop and start. Cut off and tie back on. It’s as simple as that.

Hem at the end of the second rug is woven in plain weave with narrow fabric strips for weft.
Off the loom for a first glance.
Warp ends have been tied in knots and trimmed. Hand hemming fini\shes the rug.
Second rug of the series.
After tying the warp back on, I start the third rug in the series.

May your progress be observable over a span of time.

Happy weaving,
Karen

Tried and True: Sheepskin Loom Bench Cover

A fluffy sheepskin stays between me and the hard wooden bench at my Glimåkra Standard loom. Softening your loom bench makes weaving that much more pleasant. Last week Jane asked a great question: How do you secure the sheepskin on the bench? To answer that, I invite you to follow along as I secure the sheepskin on my drawloom bench.

Fluffy sheepskin on my Glimåkra Standard bench.
Bench for the drawloom has sheepskin tied on with some twisted cords. Securing this sheepskin is long overdue. Thank you to Jane for prompting this project.

Make a Sheepskin Loom-Bench Cover

Supplies

  • Sheepskin
  • 6 3/8” grommets
  • Pencil
  • Grommet kit (hole punch, base, and flaring tool)
  • Small block of wood
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Texsolv cord (scissors, and small flame to sear ends)
  • 6 Arrow pegs

1 Mark placement for 6 grommets on the underside of the sheepskin.

2 With block of wood underneath, hold grommet hole punch over one of the marked positions. Tap tool with the hammer to cut a small hole.

3 Insert the protruding ring of the top grommet piece (grommet) into the fur side of the hole.

4 With fur side down on the block of wood, fit bottom grommet piece (washer) on top. Align grommet and washer between the base and flaring tool. Firmly tap with hammer until the two grommet pieces are tightly fastened together.

5 Repeat steps 2 – 4 for each of the 5 remaining grommets.

6 Lay the sheepskin fur-side down on a table or floor. Center the seat of the bench upside down on the sheepskin. Bring the sides of the sheepskin over the bench. Measure the distance between opposing grommets.

7 Double the grommet-to-grommet measurement, and cut three Texsolv cords that length. Sear the cut ends in a flame.

8 Secure the sheepskin to the seat of the bench by lacing one of the cut Texsolv cords through two opposite grommets. Tighten the cord and lock it in place with an arrow peg. Repeat for the remaining two cords.

Sit in immovable comfort.

While we’re at it, let’s fix up one more bench cover…

Scrap of rosepath rag rug is held in place with bungee cords. (Bench for my Glimåkra Ideal loom)
Cord threader pulls Texsolv through. The end knots on the rug should keep the cord from pulling the weft out (I hope).
No more bungee cords!
Sitting in style.

May you see where you can soften things up.

Happy Sitting,
Karen

Rag Rug in Spaced Rep Splendor

Spaced rep rag rugs have a graphic vibrancy that grabs my attention. Like regular rep weave, spaced rep is warp dominant. Unlike regular rep weave, the warp in spaced rep doesn’t completely cover the weft. That’s where rag weaving comes in, because the fabric-strip weft shows between the warps. The rag weft provides just enough color variation to satisfy a rag rug weaver like me.

Warp (12/6 cotton) is beamed and threaded. Ready to tie on.
Oh, the exhilaration of a new warp on the loom!

The pattern for this rug comes from Älskade Trasmattor, by Hallgren and Hallén, p. 87. The threading has dark and light ends that alternate, with four distinct blocks (five, if you count the plain weave block). And thick weft (fabric strips) alternates with thin weft (12/6 cotton rug warp), with four different treadling sequences. All of these factors work together to make the geometric pattern in the rug. It sounds complicated. Truly, though, it is merely a collection of simple systems that all work together. And the possibilities are endless.

Spaced rep rag rug. Pattern from Älskade Trasmattor, by Hallgren and Hallén, is modified for the floor space I have in mind.
Geometric pattern is primarily seen in the warp threads. The dark fabric strips for weft highlight the pattern even more.
Cherry wood ski shuttle by Steve for the fabric weft, and an open-bottom boat shuttle for the warp thread weft.

You are intricately and wonderfully made. To people who know you, no doubt, you look complicated. Your maker, however, knows your simple systems that all work together. The Lord knows you by name. His plan for you follows a masterful design. In the grand weaver’s hands, the possibilities are endless!

May the pattern of your life set you apart.

Happy Weaving, and welcome back to my studio,
Karen

Tried and True: Cheater Bar

UPDATE: I no longer use the cheater bar, as it could put too much force on the loom parts. Instead, I loosen the front ratchet first, and then I am able to loosen the back ratchet.

I have a tool that makes me stronger than I naturally am. Warp tension is extremely tight on my loom when I am weaving rugs. After advancing the warp, and locking the pawl on the cloth beam, I tighten the ratchet on the warp beam as much as I can. Then, I put all my weight into tightening the cloth beam. And then, with a bit of oomph, I lean into the handles on that cloth beam wheel to turn it one more notch on the ratchet. I pat myself on the back for exhibiting such strength. But wait, I have just created a problem. The next time I need to advance the warp, I’m not nearly strong enough to release those front and back pawls.

Meet my simplest tool: The Cheater Bar.

Cheater Bar is PVC pipe to use as a lever.
PVC pipe, 1 1/4″ x 24″

With this amazing helper, I can safely release even the most extremely tight warp tension. (But NEVER use the Cheater Bar to tighten the warp.)

Slip the end of the pipe over a handle on the ratchet wheel.
Force of the lever makes it easy to release the ratchet. CAUTION! Do not use the lever to tighten the warp beam or cloth beam. You could easily tighten it more than the loom is made to handle.

I never knew I could be this strong. Celebrate the moment! (A play on words. Steve tells me “moment” is a physics term that has to do with a force’s tendency to cause something to rotate about a specific point or axis.)

Good tools make hard things easier.

May you find strength you didn’t know you had.

Happy weaving,
Karen