This rag rug could be a coverlet if woven in different materials. The distinctive block design from a Landes Block Drawdowns collection gives me an exciting approach for weaving a double-binding rag rug.
Double binding is a double-layer fabric in a simple two-block structure. In each block, one of two wefts appears on the face, and the other appears on the back. I switch weft blocks by reversing the order of the two wefts. It’s that simple. For example, one pick of dark weft is followed by a pick of light weft. This sequence is repeated for a few rows. To change to the next block, with the opposite arrangement of dark and light, start with one pick of light weft and follow that with a pick of dark weft, repeating for the remainder of that block.
A small change repositions everything. Simply reversing the weft order puts a different face on the cloth. What direction am I taking my life? Reverse course to make way for a new life pattern. When we are left alone in the dark, God comes and offers a better way. Give up my way, reverse course, and go his way. Everything changes in such an encounter. Darkness to light.
I am happy to say that with only four shafts we have exactly what we need for a checkerboard rag rug. Thank you to Megan for asking about it. ”I am searching for a 4-shaft draft for a checkboard pattern. I am limited to only 4 shafts.” Double binding opens up a world of opportunity!
Let’s talk about blocks. A block is a specific sequence of warp ends or weftpicks. Double binding on four shafts has two blocks for the warp and two blocks for the weft.
Have a Block Party!
→ Use graph paper to plan the configuration of your blocks.
For the threading blocks, use two rows of squares. One row is for Block A and one row is for Block B. Each square on the paper represents one threading unit. You can make a checkerboard pattern by uniformly alternating the A blocks and B blocks. Or, you can make a wildly different geometric pattern by varying the size of alternating blocks. Your two-row graph becomes a profile draft to use as your threading key.
For the weft blocks, use the same arrangement of blocks as for the threading, and turn them vertically for the treadlingdraft. Or, use your creativity to make a unique configuration of weft blocks. The sky is the limit!
Check out these resources for more double-binding rag rug ideas: Alla Tiders Trasmattor, by Monica Hallén and Ann-Kristin Hallgren; Så Fint med Trasmattor, by Monica Hallén and Ann-Kristin Hallgren; Älskade Trasmattor att väva som för, by Monica Hallén and Ann-Kristin Hallgren; Swedish Rag Rugs 35 New Designs, by VävMagasinet; Happy Weaving, from VävMagasinet.
What do you do with weft tails on a rag rug? Normally, you wrap the weft tail around the outer warpend and tuck it back into the shed. But what about color changes? If you have several color changes in a row, you can end up with extra bulk on one selvedge or another from those tucked-in tails.
3 Ways to Outsmart Rag Rug Weft Tails
TWO PICKS For a two-pick stripe, leave a tail of several inches on the first pick. For the second pick, lay the weft tail from the first pick in the shed. Lay in the second pick, and cut the fabric strip to overlap the weft tail in the shed. This eliminates any extra bulk at the selvedges. (All tails are cut at a steep angle.)
CARRY IT When feasible, carry the weft up the side. If a weft is out of play for only one or two rows, do not cut it. When another weft enters the shed, make sure it encircles the idle weft.
DISTRIBUTE Whenever possible, avoid tucking in weft tails two picks in a row. Wait, and tuck in the tail on a subsequent pick.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:
One more thing. Cut the weft tail extra long if you are tucking it in a row with weft floats, as in rosepath (Like the center pick in this medallion). This helps keep that weft tail from popping out of place. You don’t want those tails to start waving at you.
Two short rugs finish off this warp. One has a treadling sequence that produces a delightfully different pattern; and the other one has fabric strips for weft, making it a rag rug. I am scheduled for back surgery this week, so I have been working hard (a few minutes at a time) to get this project off the loom. I know I am facing some new limitations in the coming weeks.
Pain and weakness heighten our understanding of what truly matters. Faith, family, friends. The Lord, Himself, is a safe place for those who come to him for shelter. When we are feeble, he directs our hearts to a place of strength. He invites us into the protective shelter of his mighty and loving presence. You’ll find me resting there. And don’t be surprised to see a portable loom in my hands before too long.
May your heart be at rest.
PS I have prepared and scheduled my Quiet Friday post in advance so you won’t have to miss the unrolling of these eight-shaft block twill rugs!
Some accessories are so useful they simply become an extension of the loom. That’s how my loom bench baskets are for me. I automatically place an emptied shuttle there without a second thought. It’s where extra shuttles go that are waiting their turn, or extra quills that have been wound, or a few fabric strips that are set aside for one section. For anything I need to drop or pick up–the baskets are always there.