Sunday, March 13, 2016

THE END...of a rug

How I End My Knotted Rugs

Ending a knotted rug.....
How to end a knotted rug from fourelevenrox via Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs
When I come to the end of a Toothbrush/Amish Knot Rug, I end it by pushing the working strip to the back of the rug and tucking it under the last few knots. Then, I gently pull until it is snugly in place. Once I am sure it is secure and has not been pulled too much or too little, I snip the strip. That's it.
Repeat with the runner strip going in the opposite direction.

Here is a video to demonstrate. It is a pretty easy method. The trick is to make sure the end is as least visible as possible. I worked quickly for the video, but generally, I would like for my end to be neater than it ended up being, But you get the idea, right?

Losing the "Stair Step"

I get a lot of questions about how I make the bands or stripes on my rugs so evenly, without the visible "stair step" that occurs when a fabric color is changed. 

stair step look on a knotted rug

No Stair Step on this knotted rug! (via Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs)

I lose the stair step by ending the rug each time I change colors. I don't really recommend this for a beginner. It is a little trickier than it looks in order to do it smoothly. Honestly, the easiest way to avoid the stair step is to use a variety of colors and have fun! But, for those who really want to know how to do it, the next time I make a banded rug, I will create a step by step guide to walk you thru. 

(UPDATE! video and blog post with more detail on how to lose the stair step can be found here:
Lose The Stair Step )

Forget worrying about a stair step on a knotted rug, just make one with lots of color and HAVE FUN!

Happy Rugging!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Toothbrush/Amish Knot Rug: Preparing and Joining Strips

Here's a quick post to walk you through preparing and joining fabric strips to make an Amish Knot (aka Toothbrush) Rug.

I generally use sheets, trimming all four sides to be sure all of my tears will be straight. (Why do I tear and not cut? Find out here)

After trimming all four sides, lay out your fabric on a board for easy measuring. Measuring off 2" or 2 1/2", depending on your preference for the rug, make a small cut with scissors, about 1'-2' long.

Lay out your fabric and make a small cut at every  2" or 2 1/2" interval. Your cut should be about 1"-2" long.
fourelevenrox via Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs
After making the small cut, tear your fabric at each cut about 8"-12" long and then lay every other strip upwards, onto your fabric. It should look like this:

getting ready to tear fabric strips for a rug.
fourelevenrox via Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs

Grab all of the strips  on the bottom in ONE hand. With your other hand, grab the remaining strips on the top. You will have half of the fabric in one hand, the other half in your other hand.

It is best to go outside to tear the rest of the fabric. Tearing fabric creates A LOT of dust.

If you have help, give one of the handfuls of fabric to your partner and you keep one handful in your hands. Using hand over hand motions or simply walking away from each other, each of you should PULL away from each other until all of the strips are torn. Then, simply rake your hands thru the strips to destring them, which means to get rid of all the loose threads you have just created.

If you don't have a partner to help you tear fabric, there's an alternate method in the video below.

Once you have torn your sheet or fabric, the end of the video shows how to join the strips using the slit method. You also use the slit method to start a rug. How to start a Round Rug here: ROUND RUG

I hope this blog post and video was helpful.
Happy Rugging!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug Tip #6

TEAR don't cut your fabric strips!

I've had many people ask why I tear, rather than cut my fabric strips when making an Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug. The answer is simple. Tearing the strips gives you a neater looking rug. 

Let me illustrate...

Two Strips of cloth, from the same cotton fabric. The one on the left has been torn into a 2" strip. The one on the right was cut with a (new) rotary cutter to 2" wide. Looking at it, it seems that the cut strip looks neater. But actually, it will become very messy!

fourelevenrox via whitehouse whimsies and rugs: torn vs cut fabric strips

When your fabric is torn,the tear is going with the grain of the fabric.Yes, it will have strings, but after pulling the strings off (de-stringing your strips) you are left with an even, soft edge. 

When cutting the fabric, you are not cutting with the grain. No matter how hard you may try. The strings that are produced are mixed, short and long and the strings are very uneven.

Cutting your fabric strips may work when you crochet a rug, because you will only be working the strip when you actually make the stitch. But with the knotting method, your fabric strips will be going in and out, in and out, in and out, several times through several holes before you get to the end of the strip. That's a lot of friction on the edges of the strip!

When you tear your strips, though you may need to pull a string occasionally, the edges will remain even. With cut strips, they become ragged.

fourelevenrox via whitehouse whimsies and rugs: torn vs cut fabric strips
You can see the difference in this rug starter. The one on the left, torn strips. The one on the right, cut strips.

fourelevenrox via whitehouse whimsies and rugs: torn vs cut fabric strips
It may not look like much on this small start, but different fabrics fray at different levels. Some fabrics may be much worse, others not as bad. But an entire rug with strings is not what I prefer. Some people like that look. I prefer a neater looking knotted rug.

So....I tear my fabric strips. Yes, it is a lot of work, But I think it is worth the extra effort.

On my next post, I'll give you some tips for tearing the strips. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, remember:

fourelevenrox via whithehouse whimsies and rugs: Rug Tip #6
Note: I tear cotton and poly/cotton blend fabrics. When working with T-Shirts or jersey knit fabric, the fabric MUST be cut. It's almost impossible to tear it. I will post soon about prepping T-shirts and jersey knit strips.

BTW, I often have rug kits, starters and fabric for sale in my Etsy shop....with torn de-stringed fabric. check out my inventory here. I try to add items weekly: Rug Starters and Kits

For a closer look at the de-stringing process and how to prepare your fabric strips, this BLOG POST gives more info

For more rug tips, click here: RUG TIPS

Happy Rugging!