Friday, July 25, 2014

Rags and Weeds.

My task of fixing and setting up the loom I told you about in the last post is almost complete. One loom (there are actually 2 to fix) is fully operational now and I just really need to focus on the easiest and best way to set it up so that I can teach those who will be using it. I have been learning a lot, especially about how to set up the loom from front to back. It is true that you stick with the way you learnt first, for me it was from back to front. So it is all a little upside down for me right now.

For a second project on this loom I decided to use more traditional materials to simulate possible future works that might be carried out. I hope I am not conditioning the loom in any way, a bit like growing tomatoes in used tomato cans. I always have lots of bits of fabrics lying around and some really not so pretty ones that are perfect for using in rag rugs. The trick is not to be too lazy like me and tear the strips of fabric as these tend to fray and make the whole process so much slower. I suggest you take the long road and cut with something sharp like scissors. I also used some wool I got from the blanket workshop I did last year as well as other bits and pieces of wool I had left from the scarves. I essentially made a sampler of leftovers. It was also a good opportunity to try out some different finishing techniques. I normally use the Peruvian twining stitch to finish the scarves, I find it is neater, but for rugs hemstitching works quite well.

It is always fun to get my very patient model André to believe that he starting a new trend. Last Summer he wore a thick woolen jacket. This summer he believes rag rugs are the latest in headdress, for the sun conscious. Ah, of course! Who would have thought.

And then there is the light, thanks to which we can see clearly that it is all so worthwhile.

To finish, a nice plate of weeds and assorted greens from the garden. When picking weeds for your next meal, make sure you know what you are really picking. Remember the importance of calling "…each thing by its right name."(Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago) Not doing so, in the weed picking context, could have unforeseen consequences. Eat your weeds. 

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