Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hello World and Rag Rugs

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Hello, world!  Let's see if I can figure out how this blogging thing works.  I did it years ago; surely I can figure it out now.  This post is going to be about the rag rugs I've created, because they are awesome, I'm sleepy, and that's what I want to talk about.

They are incredibly easy to make!  And they suck up all the old stuff in your scrap bin!  First, I heard about Eric making a woven rug out of old jeans, and I was mad jealous.  So when someone posted on Freecycle (kind of like Craigslist but it's all for free to cut down on waste) that they had a bunch of old flannel and jeans that were worn and ready for crafts, I jumped on it.  Unlike Eric, though, I didn't want to spend forever sewing the coils together, and I found these awesome tutorials online:

I'm not going to recap how to make them - just click on the first link and find out!  It's very nice. Really, the first link is all you need, but there are two of them if you like repetition.  So I made these two rugs out of the jeans that I got for free, plus an old pair of my own (~8 jeans in total, I believe).  I am far from a professional photographer (even if I live with someone who is, but he wasn't helping me, silly thing), and I took these on my kitchen floor.  The ones where I'm standing on them is to give you an idea of how big they are, and there's a close-up of the weave, too!

Rug Number 1
Rug Number 1 Again
Jeez, Rug #1 is getting all the photo love...
Rug #2!  Only one photo of this one.
Blurry Close Up!  Bwahahaha!  It will eat you!
Yay!  Jean rag rugs.  I'll post later some of the things I made from the other parts of the jeans - I made coffee mug holders, and cold/heat packs, and trivets, and I'm still working on a patchwork skirt from parts of the jeans.

The flannel shirts I got from the same Freecycle person?  Some of it was cute, and I remade one to fit me and remade two of them into a baby blanket (another post), but some of it was butt ugly - white with little flowers on it.  I tried to dye one of them blue (first time dying!) - it kind of worked.  So I decided to cut those up and make another rug, along with all the pink scraps from my scrap bin, because I also dislike pink.

Close up!
Further away!  You can see the pile of scraps as it's being made.
Pink and pastels... not my colors.  That's okay, though, because this already has another home it's going to with someone who likes them, once I get off my butt and finish it.  The problem with this one is that I still wasn't quite adept at figuring out how many extra rows to put on corners, and I overdid it - it takes some convincing to get it to lie flat.  I might have to pull it apart and start from near the beginning to finish this well.

I mentioned earlier that this is a great way to de-clutter your scrap bin.  IS IT EVER.  It takes even tiny pieces (all you need is a piece about 1 or 2 inches by 3 or 4 inches to make it worthwhile), and turns your entire scrap pile into a beautiful rug (with a much smaller pile of unusable scraps left over... save to stuff inside a homemade dressform?  I just threw them away :/).  I wanted to make a rug for myself, and I wanted my scrap bin to get much smaller, as I had been unable to close it for a while.

A lot of the scraps after I cut them up and put them into strips!  This takes quite a while, and is the most boring and least rewarding part of the process.  This is not all the scraps that went into this rug, either.  And look - you can use a mixture of thicknesses, from the thinnest scrap of knit fabric to heavy fleece and jean, and you'll still get a thick rug if you make sure to have thick pieces mixed in with thin throughout the entire rug.  This is why I have them organized, so I can try to balance them out for color and thickness as I make the rug.  Ooh!  And you can see DeForest's rug in the bottom corner - the green and red thing!
Ooo!  It's starting!
Picture of me making it.  I'm using my AWESOME lap desk that I found for $18 at a thrift store - it has legs that fold out and everything!  And you can see my overflowing scrap bin next to this project - think of how full it was before I took those scraps out (not to mention the scraps for DeForest's rug not really pictured here)... Later, I will make more of the bin into scraps for the rest of the rug.
Lookin' more like a rug now
Woo!  It looks like a swirling galaxy!  I was kind of worried it would end up butt ugly, but it's actually quite neat!
Nice big rug!  And I'm totally wearing DeForest's pajama pants in this picture.  I'm a pant thief.  :)
These rugs feel so amazing underneath your toes, because they are so thick and textured.  I also have another rug that I really like that I made for DeForest, but apparently I don't have any pictures of it yet besides the corner of it in a picture above.  If I remember, I'll throw up a picture later.

Alright, internet!  I'm signing off.  It's almost my bedtime.  :)
~Kelly

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