My mom used to make braided rugs.
Just small rugs to use in the kitchen. She braided them by hand for many years by cutting up whatever scraps of woolen clothing she could from cast-offs. She saved until she had enough for a rug, then a new rug would appear. She never quite got the hang of making them to lie flat, but they were thick and warm on the bare floor. All those small oval mats are gone with time now.
When she got a large loom and began weaving, she discovered that weaving mats worked out much better and were easier to make. Woven mats started appearing all through the house then.
|The two rugs on the right were made using yarn, the others were made using clothing scraps.|
And once she started weaving, there were more than just clothing scraps ... now she had weaving scraps, and the rugs took on a more refined look.
Our house in the country was always very cold as my father liked to conserve energy. Even on the coldest winter days, the thermostat never rose above 62'F ... I will forever remember how cold I always was in the winter and how I would have to layer two sweaters on and still feel the chill. Dad never wavered. So Mom made bright little rugs, and at least there was a spot of warmth under our feet in front of the kitchen sink!
She gave us all some woven rugs while she was still alive. When she passed away, I scooped up the remaining rugs that were left kicking around their abandoned house and now use them in our camping trailer ... they make such a nice little bit of coziness when we're out in the woods.
I don't have an old paper bag full of clothing scraps like Mom had, nor the inclination to make any braided rugs, and Mom's loom was sold after she passed away. But I do have this small basket of very rough, chunky pure wool from Mom's stash. In looking at the rugs, I can see some of this yarn was used in the making of her woven rugs.
The colours are so rich ... jewel tones ... and they remind me of my mom and her love of rich colours. I also have a set of very large, size 12 mm, knitting needles from Mom which I had actually put in the goodwill bag just last week (thankfully, I hadn't dropped the bag off yet). I didn't think I would ever want to knit with such awkward-looking needles. I dragged them out of the goodwill bag this morning ...
I started thinking about that thick yarn and those rugs Mom used to make, and I thought I could try making this stash of wool into a bright knitted rug for the bathroom.
I did a test swatch to see how it would look using these mammoth needles, and the result was not half bad! I just have to get used to the size of these needles!
I think I'll try to mimic the braided rug effect and have long strips of colour and then knit them all together. It would work really well if I had a circular needle in this size, but I don't, so I'll just work with what I have. I hope this works out to what I can picture in my head. I'm just worried the joining of the strips together might make too bulky of a seam on the underside of the rug ... we'll see. If anyone has any suggestions, they're most welcome.
Temperatures are dropping outside today ... I think our late summer-like weather is moving on ... so it's a good initiative to work on some cozy knitting.
Thanks for stopping by!