Saturday, May 28, 2016

Watch It Grow Rug Series #2

I'm entering into Day 4 of creating a 60" Oval Toothbrush Rug.

Here is the progress over the last couple of days:

On Day 2, I worked for 2 hours 20 minutes and brought it to 28" x 10".

While I was working, I noticed a problem. One of the fabrics, a light pink print, must have been a tad lighter weight than the rest of the fabric. It did not feel lighter but once I started using it I could see the difference. It knotted tighter which began to make the knots smaller. I didn't see it until I switched to another fabric. I am so glad I did not tear all of the fabric at once! I made a note to begin to tear that particular fabric about 1/4" wider than the other fabric strips (2 3/4" instead of 2 1/2").

A change in fabric weight will change the size of your knots
Then, I had to work at the next few rows to straighten the line back up. I used the fabrics that seemed to knot thicker in that particular area. 

The change in knot size is almost corrected

By Day 3, I had it all straightened out. I worked 55 minutes and brought it to 30" x 12".

On Day 4, I worked for 45 minutes (in the morning) and brought it to 32" x 14".

Total time so far = 6.5 hours

Watch It Grow @ fourelevenrox 60" Oval rug
If you want to see the first post in this series, click here: DAY 1 Watch it Grow

I'll be working on it for several hours this weekend, but progress will begin to slow down as the rug grows larger. That's OK. I'm.......Happy Rugging!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Watch It Grow Rug Series #1

I've starting a new rug this week! This one will be an OVAL Toothbrush Rug 5' (60") long in pastel colors.

 How long will it take?

How much fabric will I need?

How will I balance the colors in this mixed pattern?

I'm curious to know all of this myself, so I will be recording photos and information as I progress.

To start, I have set aside 12 cotton or cotton/poly blend FLAT bed sheets. There are 3 pinks, 3 blues, 3 light greens and 3 ivory or creams (1 is a solid, other 2 are prints). Most of them are twin sheets, 2-3 fulls and at least one queen. I will make a detailed list in another post.

The photo below shows a partial stack of the fabric. At the last minute, I added 2 pinks and another blue.

I have chosen NOT to tear the fabric strips all at one time. With that many sheets, I think it will be less time consuming for me to tear a few strips at a time as I work. I don't have the time or energy to neatly roll up or fold that many fabric strips and I don't want a tangled up mess either.

To begin, I squared up all of the sheets (how to here) and tore 2-3 strips of 2 1/2" fabric from each sheet. I saved the sheet tops to use as core along with the solid Ivory Cream. I will likely need to add more Ivory Cream.

It took almost about hour to get them all squared up, the strips cleaned, and then set up to work.

I started with a 21" base and chose to use one color on the first complete round, a light green print. Then, I began color changes by using a different color one after another. I've gone 4 1/2 rounds so far. I have not used all of the colors yet. It is Approximately 23" x 4" at this point. It was about an hour and a half of knotting work.

60" Oval Toothbrush Rug Starting point: Watch Me Grow @ fourelevenrox
Total time to start the rug: 2 1/2 hours.

Stayed tuned to "Watch it Grow"...

Happy Rugging!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Increasing on a Toothbrush/Amish Knot Rug

Another Technique

Several weeks ago, when I posted a video and blog post to show how to increase on a Toothbrush/Amish Knot rug, I mentioned that I have another technique for increasing.

I don't recommend it to beginners, because it can get tricky with some fabrics. I'll explain shortly.

Here is a link to the most common way to increase, placing two knots into one hole: 

This video shows an alternate approach to increasing for any shape rug.

What's the difference?
Well, with some fabric, putting two knots into one hole may create a larger hole than you'd like to see. The alternate approach closes the gap better.
However, you must be careful that you don't allow the rug to curl up, and you must judge whether you should add the extra knot into the "3rd space". See Below

Increasing on a knotted rug
The "3rd Space", or section, is the area from which you inserted your tool before going back into the previous space to add the increase. Once the increase is made, generally, you should create one more knot in this space. BUT, if the fabric has filled the space, DO NOT ADD A KNOT THERE. Move onto the next space. Otherwise, you will have added too much of an increase and your rug may ruffle if you do it often.
ALSO, if you DO NOT add the knot into that "3rd space" and there IS room, your rug can begin to curl up. You may notice that when you first "go back" into your previous knot to add the increase, you are pulling the row of knots and your rug may momentarily curl up or buckle. Once you have added the increase, it should settle back down flat. If it doesn't become flat again, adjust the knot until it does. You may have tightened it too much or you may have pulled the core too much.
A perfect knot will cause the rug to lay flat.

It takes practice, but once you are comfortable with making a rug, you may just love this technique. It certainly does make for a neater rug!
BTW, I use both methods on all my rugs depending on the fabric and how the rug is progressing. It is a learning process.

For more rug making tips and information, click on the Knotted Rug Help tab above, or click here:

Happy Rugging!