The rug weaving homework


School means homework and right before Fall vacation, we got our full assignment for something we started at the start of the year:

Assignment: Starting from a picture that speaks to you, make two different yarn-wraps using the colors/texture/… visible on the picture. Then using the two yarn-wraps weave three samples: wrap 1, wrap 2 and a combination of wrap 1 & 2.

At the start of the year we chose a picture and wrapped two strips of cardboard with yarn. The point was that we would have woven our samples in class, but because we are advancing so slowly (sigh) with our other weaving we ended up taking this home.

The problem was, because I’m always by bike and by train, I always travel “light” to school, meaning I never bring along spare bike bags. And of course we needed to take home a frame for weaving and the yarn we had picked at the start of the year.

Some people will know that it frustrates me that I could not have been warned at least a day beforehand that I would need to transport all of that. So I wasn’t happy. I already passed on taking a weaving frame home and once I got home, I really wished I hadn’t taken the yarn cones home. Things were off to a great start ;-)

I put off starting the assignment because of the yarn, I had zero interest in weaving a sample rug with lace or cobweb yarns. What a horror. So I dumped the cones and the yarn-wraps in a corner to be forgotten and opened up my box of my handspun. I waded through the colors, picked yarns that felt right with the picture above and got started.

Inspiration picture and yarn-wraps.

I used leftover white, gray and black shetland which I’ve spun ages ago, aka an uneven 3-ply. The orange is BFL spun from colored roving I bought or was given to me. The brown yarn is a blend of colored BFL and Manx Loaghtan. And lastly the greenish orange is a merino/silk blend called “cinnamon” which was given to me years ago.

I love these yarns, and I have been struggling finding projects for them, but a small sample rug seemed like a marvelous idea.

4 rug samples. From the bottom: yarn-wrap 1, yarn-wrap 2, a mix of wraps 1 & 2, testing out techniques inspired by one of my weaving books.

It seems like my little rug curls up, right? Well, it doesn’t, it is just that we have been instructed not to weave in our ends. So I’ve been trying to resist weaving in the ends and finishing the top and bottom of the piece. But I like the way it has woven up. The samples aren’t 100% straight because of the lumpy handspun and I didn’t want to fit in a reed for a 10 cm wide sample. I’ve also woven out a bit as I went on, but that is my own fault because the weft-twining I did to set the threads per cm on the top wasn’t as tight as on the bottom. And the selvages could be better…

But this is the softest rug! And I the way it came out, even with its obvious points of improvement.

I’ve woven this on a very basic, small table loom that wasn’t exactly fit to weave what I’ve woven, but I managed. It was a bit like weaving on a piece of cardboard…

In regards to the technique, this is end-to-end weaving, a plain weave.
I’ve been browsing through Peter Collinwood’s “Rug weaving techniques, beyond the basics” for inspiration on how to manage color lines/columns/etc.

Maybe I’ll try some inlay work next.

The rug weaving homework