Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It all started with a hole in the rug....

I've been absent of late...with summer ending, finishing up the garden, replanting for the Fall garden, going back to work, and Halloween there just has been no time for writing. Between all this business though, a body must take the time to go to the bathroom...yes, I said the bathroom! While using said facility a few weeks ago I looked down and realized there was a hole in my bathroom rug. It was one of those microfiber things I found on a sweet Black Friday sale last year. I had gotten one in brown to match my bathroom colors, but being brown it also managed to show every speck of dirt and/or stray frazzling and lint so I was really not happy with it....after noticing the hole I became even less happy. It struck me that I was going to need a new rug, it also struck me that the hubs had brought home a multitude of t-shirts from the oldest daughter's leftover estate sale and that I would just crochet myself a bath mat.

I did a little research on the net on crocheting rugs, got a decent explanation and began cutting all those t-shirts into strips. Once they were cut and rolled into colorful balls I got out my biggest crochet hook and began just a simple single crochet. I was going along rather well and could tell that it was going to progress rather quickly too, however, as the rug grew so did my lack of ability to handle it. Not only was it straining my wrists, but the palm of right hand began to hurt...daily....all day long. I found I was only able to crochet about 10 minutes and I had to stop because it hurt too much to continue....I was sadly disappointed as I knew I wasn't going to get this thing completed. Back to the net I went thinking there must be another way to make a rug out of t-shirts and that's when I found it!!

A loom...a nice, big square loom used for twining rags into rugs....ah-ha!! I had to try it, but first I had to convince the hubs to build me one. While I was convincing I continued to read up on twining and rag rugs and all things that pertained to you know how many types and kinds of looms there are out there? Ohhh my goodness!! From sticks strapped together by our Native American ancestors to the giant barn looms used across the waters at the start of the industrial revolution there is a loom for all things and all reasons....holy moly!! My creative muse was caught and there was no stopping my imagination! Now to get myself a loom!

One morning, in the wee hours, over coffee, the son was here and in passing conversation I might have mentioned this whole loom thing and how I'd like to have one and I could make rugs (yes, I sounded like a kid trying to convince a parent of a much needed toy!). Son shoots one eyeball towards me and....grunts. As I'm speaking though, he is apparently searching on his phone to something that resembled of what I was speaking of! He turned his phone toward me and says, "is this it?" to which I replied, "YES...THAT'S exactly what I TALKING about!!!" He grunts again. I didn't think he was taking me too seriously, but he did comment that it was a pretty simple thing to make to which I agreed and followed with, "but would you be willing to make it?" He grunts and returns to his coffee!! ;)

A short time later the son heads home, I proceed to get ready for work and the morning progresses as usual. About an hour later I hear the back door open and look up to see the son coming through the kitchen guessed it....a loom!! It was minus the dowel rods since he didn't have any at his house, but he gave his dad instructions as to what size to get, then informs me to try that and if I think I like it he'll make one that's a little more "precise". Like a kid in a candy store I can hardly wait for the day to be over so I can come home and try my hand at twining a rug.....and that's exactly what I did!

Needless to say my first "rug" was a trial experience and while I did, in fact, come out with something resembling that, it most certainly wasn't what I had envisioned. It was barely square, did not come together correctly in the center as had been explained on youtube, nor was it very colorful, but hey!! I learned a lot from that first attempt. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, the son is back up in his shop working on a more "precise" version. This time it took him a little longer than an hour to complete, but man! when it was done....ohhhh myyyy goodness!!

About a week after my first twining I got a call telling me to come up to the shop to take a look at this new loom he was working on for me. I had mentioned prior to about putting steel bars down the sides of the one he had already built that would hold the twining a little more square and I might also have mentioned a way to slide them across in order to make varying sizes...son decided to incorporate all these things (and more!) into his latest build...and what a build it turned out to be! As I entered in the shop and caught sight of "THE LOOM" my mouth fell open and I seriously, for once, was speechless!! Now call it a mother's pride if you will, but to me the thing was gorgeous, resembling a fine piece of furniture, and ohhhh the thrill I had as I immediately began envisioning, not only rugs, but other weavings as well! Needless to say I was/am very proud of my "Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday" loom and so far, since it arrived in my home I have cranked out four rugs!! Very pretty rugs I might add and it currently has another rug about half finished in progress now. Of course all these rugs require a lot of material, so hubs and I started early on a run of thrift stores in order to supply me with said materials (it's amazing what you can do with bed sheets!). With Christmas looming on the horizon (pun intended!!), you can about imagine what I'm working on THIS year as gifts!! ;)

And you might think that I would be happy as a lark and fully satisfied with all I've been given (as well I should be I know!), BUT, you might want to think that one again! LOL! In the meantime, I've spoken to someone, read up on, and viewed various things that can be loomed, twined, and/or weaved and that's how I found out there are all these different types of looms out there that sort of kind of have various uses...and yes, I want more!! Having found that these things are not cheap by no means, I naturally fall back to what you can see is this family's standard it yourself! And since son is knee deep in creating and decorating for himself for Christmas, the hubs and I are attempting our own model and version of a table loom. We're not progressing as fast as the son did, but I have a reason for that. I know that once a new one is finished I'm going to want to play on it and right now I need myself to focus on other things, so our creation is in several stages of "being finished". I hope, though, to have it done and working for when Christmas is over and the snow is flying and I will set in my comfy living room and weave away....yes, there is a difference between twining and weaving. The ideas are already flying and the stock is being built up for just that occasion. In the meantime though, I will continue to use my beautiful, one of kind, handcrafted loom that currently holds a place in my living room because it is such a beautiful piece. I'm holding off on decorating for Christmas this year, just because I know I will have to move my loom upstairs and I'm not quite ready to move it out just yet! :)

Oh, and that bathroom rug with the hole in it? Yeah, it's been replaced!! It was the first one I decided to make on the new loom. I can't honestly say that when it hits the washing machine that it will stay together, because it was my first attempt at incorporating the steel bars, but it sure looks pretty on my bathroom floor right now! And as with anything, there's always something to be learned on each new thing you try...I'm REALLY enjoying my learning.

Creative muses seems to run fairly deep within this family and this time of year, as we move into the holiday seasons, and realize all the things we have to be thankful for, I have a few more things to add to my thankful list. I am proud of all my children and each one of them has their own unique talents so to thank God for them doesn't just come at holiday is an ongoing thankfulness throughout the year, but I can't help but be just a little more in awe and thankful during this time of year that I was lucky enough to blessed with the ones I have. They may not be perfect, but their ours and that's good enough for me. the season progresses, the winds begin to blow, and the snow starts to move closer, I'll be tucked up here with a pile of rags and plastic bags working away on my loom completely satisfied...well, at least until the next muse strikes....then I'll be off to try something else!!