Monday, 12 December 2011

Colour thoughts

I am not naturally good at choosing colour so I have to work a bit above my pay grade with this rag rug thing.
After some reflection I've decided to keep green out of Daddy's rug and stick to blues, greys and a bit of black and a hint of purple. I want a fairly sombre effect as I think that's what he'd prefer. The purple will truly only be a hint as I only have a small pair of kid's jeans and a teeshirt in purple to use, so necessity must be the mother of invention.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Proddy rug for my father

My father is 91 and a Yorkshireman. The first time I saw rag rugs, I was with my parents, having tea in a stone cottage on the Yorkshire moors. We were guests of Bob and Elsie Merrington, a Dales gamekeeper and his wife with whom my father had become friends. The flagstone floors in their cottage were partly covered with rugs which, Elsie explained a little shyly, she had made on winter evenings. "There's Bob's old corduroy breeches there" she said, pointing to a dark mustard strip in one rug.
My mother, always a craft-fiend, was enchanted, but she was already well set on her own complex and profound needlepoint journey, a voyage of discovery and skill which eventually led to an entire medieval Norfolk church being almost entirely covered in needlepoint and cross-stitch of considerably better taste than most; so she never got into rag rugs.
But I belong to the generation in love with recycling - this, I am sure, why the concept of rag rugs has gripped me. (I'm aware that I've inherited my mother's aversion to any attempt at realist representation - we can't help feeling that "if you need to paint, use paint.")

My parents are very old. I have started a simple proddy rug for my father in blues and greys which will in time be joined by a hooked rug for my mother, probably in earth tones. Both small bedside cotton rugs, to be done as efficiently and quickly as possible.

I was going to use purple notes in my father's rug but on reflection greens will be more appropriate - if he can be said to have a favourite colour it is surely green.

So far, I've done the blue and grey tones.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Finished Edith's rug!

A very exciting moment as I finished the hooking part of Edith's little rug. She says it looks like:
- A river of blood
- Muscle with the skin flayed
- Coral

Personally I am pleased with it and I do not think this photo really does it justice, but now I look at it from a distance I see that it is wider at one side than the other. DAMN!
I over estimated the quantity of rags needed and have a small bagful of pieces left over.
Taking the leftovers into account, this very small (81x51cm which is 32 x 20 inches in old money) rug used up:
Nearly all a tweed mini skirt
Most of a pink wool jacket - a fair bit left over
Almost a whole small (child size?) light pink tweed coat. This light pink tweed is a lovely texture but in this photo looks like white lines.
A hank of unspun, dyed wool
A bit of knitting yarn which I hooked 3 pieces at a time - still nearly a whole ball of it left
About 2/3 of an orange knit sweater - this caused me a lot of trouble, it was too fat to pull through the hessian holes and also looks set to fray like nobody's business
Nearly all of an orange, fine woven scarf - rather slippy and a bit too fine, I hooked two strips at a time
Some of a red wool coat.
The next job is to trim the back, and find some binding to use when glueing a backing piece to it.