Friday, October 30, 2015

Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug Tip #5

Friday's Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug Tips

Tip #5 Use a safety pin to mark your rows

If you are an advanced toothbrush rug maker you may not find it necessary, but for me, marking rows with a safety pin has been a HUGE help.

When I first start a rug, I often mark the end of my first complete round with a safety pin to help me gauge each time I have made a full circle or oval. I want my rugs to be symmetrical, perfectly even on all sides. If I don't mark my first row, I end up having to study the center and/or counting rows to be sure I end at the right place. Marking  the row saves me a lot of time and energy.

fourelevenrox Toothbrush Rug: mark end of first round


I also mark the beginning of my row when I am using solid colors to make a rug with bands or stripes. I lose the "stair-step" look by ending my rug at the end of each color. Then, I insert a strip of the new color fabric (anywhere on the outside edge). Because I hide the start place so well, once I have 2-3 rows, I often can't figure out where I started! I have to study the rug and count rows to find the right place to end the band of color.

fourelevenrox Toothbrush Rugs: losing the Stair Step look


Marking rows saves me time and energy. It helps me knot away without thinking much which is way I love this type of rug making. 

fourelevenrox: via Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs: Marking Rows on Your Toothbrush Rug, lose the stair step look
More info on ending a rug and how to lose the stair step here: End a Rug

My full blog post on losing the Stair Step can be found here: Lose the Stair Step

I hope you find this tip helpful, happy rugging!

If you have a question, leave a comment!





Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oval Toothbrush Rug: How I start

After many requests for a video explaining how I start my oval Toothbrush/Amish Knot Rag Rugs, I finally got a chance to make it happen!

Unfortunately, my video skills are not too great, and there was a portion of the video not visible during the filming. So...I created a short part II.

A couple of follow up comments:

  • First row - 1/3 of your desired length gives you an estimated size keeping the rug at a proportion of 2/3 length to 1/3 width.
  • L-W will help if you need an odd size oval. (long and skinny for example)
  • There are several ways to start and create the knots. This is what works for me
fourelevenrox via Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Oval Toothbrush Rug Instructions

I hope you  enjoy the videos!

Happy Rugging!

Part I: How I Start My Oval Toothbrush Rugs




Part II: How I Start My Oval Toothbrush Rugs (Increasing)


You can see how I start my round rugs here: Round Rugs



Friday, October 16, 2015

3 Reasons Toothbrush Rugs Curl Up

Is your Toothbrush Rug curling up?


Here are three possible reasons why:


Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug Tips

The number one reason your Amish Knot/Toothbrush rug is curling up may be not enough Increases. Remember, to increase means to add an extra knot. Instead of creating one knot - CREATE TWO, side by side.
How do you know when to increase? For a round rug, when your next hole seems to be too far away, increase. The key is to keep your knots at about the same length apart from one another. There is no formula, no set pattern.  (Oval rugs are different. I will be posting a video soon for them.)
Think of it this way, every time you go around the circle, you will need to add more fabric in order for the circle to grow. The buttons below may help illustrate the idea. Each time a row of buttons is added, more buttons will be needed in the new row.




Here is an illustration with the start of a rug:

Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Toothbrush Rug Tips by fourelenrox

Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Toothbrush Rug Tips by fourelenrox

Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Toothbrush Rug Tips by fourelenrox

Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Toothbrush Rug Tips by fourelenrox


Another reason your rug may be curling up is pulling on the core strip. The core strip should not be tight. It may sometimes get caught up in the knot, so to pull it gently is OK, but don’t pull it tightly. Anchoring your core strip may be helpful. Tucking the core strip under your work surface, leaning against it or using your arm to hold it down while knotting are all ways to do this. I will illustrate this later.


Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Toothbrush Rug Tips by fourelenrox


The third reason your rug may be curling- Are you working on a flat surface? This is important. I work on a table top or if I am sitting on a sofa, I use a lap desk as a flat surface.  As your rug grows, you may need to fold it over while working, but always keep the section where you are working on a flat surface.


Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Toothbrush Rug Tips by fourelenrox
If you are working on an oval rug, the same principles apply, but increasing is very different in an oval rug. In an oval rug, increases are added only on the ends. See where at this post with a video: Oval Rugs


Happy Rugging!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Miniature Ladder Tutorial

I like to use ladders and sometimes stepping stones in my tea cup gardens. They help connect the base to the top of the tea cup. Often, I use a ladder unique to the theme of the garden, but most of the time a traditional ladder works perfectly.

How to Make a Miniature Ladder

You will need:

Bamboo Skewers
Pruners
Glue - I like Gorilla Super Glue Gel
Tweezers
Ruler (optional)
Paint (optional)

Cut off the tip of a Bamboo Skewer.

fourelevenrox  miniature ladder tutorial


From the skewer, cut 2 pieces, each same length. These will be the ladder sides. Be sure to measure where your ladder will be placed, and measure at the same angle you will place your ladder. Mine are about 2"-2 1/2" long

fourelevenrox  miniature ladder tutorial 

Cut 5-7 small pieces, depending on the length of your ladder. These will be the ladder rungs. I measure the rungs by sight as I cut, but using a ruler may be helpful to you. My rungs are about 7/8" long.

Place a small amount of glue onto your work surface. I use scrap cardboard because it is disposable. 
If you use Gorilla Super Glue Gel, be sure to shake it first!

fourelevenrox  miniature ladder tutorial
 Using  tweezers, pick up the ladder rungs, one at a time. Dip each end into the glue and space them evenly along the ladder. Leave a small amount of room at the top and bottom.

fourelevenrox  miniature ladder tutorial

That's it! If you use Gorilla Super Glue Gel, you will have enough time to move the rungs, if needed, as you work. Once you are finished, let the ladder dry 2-3 minutes and it will be ready to paint!

fourelevenrox miniature ladder tutorial
 I make 3-4 at a time so they will be handy when I need one. If I paint them, I use acrylic craft paint.

fourelevenrox miniature ladder tutorial

There you go, Miniature ladders! Perfect for tea cup gardens!

Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs Science themed tea cup garden, courtesy fourelevenrox


If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Thanks!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug Tip #3

Rugs aren't the only thing you can make with the Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug technique.

You can make baskets, bowls, pet beds, hot pads and even coasters!

Small Bowl and Drink Coasters by Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs courtesy fourelevenrox

For rugs, pet beds, hot pads and large baskets/bowls, I use 2"-2 1/2" fabric strips. But for drink coasters and small bowls, I use smaller strips. I find that using wide strips causes coasters to be more bulky and I like the detail that is created when using thinner strips.

So if you want to make something with the Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug technique but don't want to create an entire rug, try a set of coasters or a small bowl. I'll be posting instructions soon for making bowls and baskets. Meanwhile, today's tip:

WHITEHOUSE WHIMSIES AND RUGS Toothbrush Rug Tip #3 by fourelevenrox
Use 1"-1 1/2" fabric strips to create fabric coasters or small fabric bowls.

For directions on how to start your coasters, use the same technique as found here: How to Start

Full Basket Instructions ($5 pdf download) sold here: Basket Instructions
Over 21 pages and 50 color illustrations!


Happy Rugging!