Wednesday 22 June 2011


I feel I'm in a bit of a rut blog-wise, always starting with a picture then a bit of text, but I also don't have any better layout ideas at the moment, so here's the picture:

makings of an indigo square

That's the ingredients for my current project. A few years ago, the Manchester branch of the Embroiderers Guild made yellow squares as part of a rainbow squares project for a regional meeting. Now we've decided to do the rest of the rainbow. I signed up to make an indigo square. My basic idea is to couch swirls of threads taken from some old denim. In my imagination it looks a bit like Van Gogh's Starry Night. I suspect that the reality will be a bit less impressive, but I'm curious to see what it ends up like. Not so curious that I'm working really hard at it, though. I pulled the ingredients together on Sunday night, but it was only today that the stitching got started.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Finished project: knitted rug

little rug

I’ll do this project review in reverse order, because the ugly bit is the most interesting. The above image is the finished knitted rag rug I’ve been working on for ages. When I put it down on the floor, I thought “Nice. Especially like the red stripes.” When my P saw it, he said “It’s hideous.” (Our relationship is obviously built on honesty.) Though I like the colours, I can see how they wouldn’t appeal to everyone, and I already knew the person I share my life with does have different colour preferences. Usually we can find something we are both happy with. But what to do in this case? I don’t want to throw it out, but I also don’t want to force something hideous on my loved one. So, this project has in the end turned into a prototype. We’ll see how it works for a while (Does it slip too much? Does it wash well? Does it hold together? Does P get used to it after all?), then if we think we do want a knitted rag rug, I’ll let P choose which fabrics for me to use.

Now for the good: The knitted rug feels great. Even P said it feels good underfoot. It also uses up a lot of fabric. I think it took 2 yards plus an old shirt. I put this into the ‘good’ category because I really do have too much fabric at the moment.

The bad: It’s still a bit small as a rug. At 40 stitches, it barely fit on the needles I was using. Cloth doesn’t scrunch up as well as yarn, and some stitches popped off the needles (though I think I caught them all). When getting off the bus, I would have to stop towards the middle of a row to make sure the loops would all stay on the needles. Because I mixed three fabrics fairly randomly, I just knitted until it was all used up and I don't think it would work to add another section in totally different fabric to make the rug longer.

It's not given me a feeling of satisfaction to have it finished, but I think I'm just a bit tired of knitting. I’m having a day off tomorrow, but plan to start and exciting new embroidery project on Monday!