The Saga of the Big Rug: Part 3

The parts of what was to have been my big rug sat in ignominy, hidden from view.

Weeks of avoidance stretched into months. The pieces of the rug got rearranged and moved. Periodically, I would lay them all out.

Then one day, I finally stopped imagining that the squares would somehow heal themselves and become the correct size and firmness. This doesn’t mean I began to think rationally, it just means that I had moved from once fanciful thinking process to another.

In the first fantasy, an outside force would be the agent of change and magically heal my rug.

In my new and improved fantasy, I was the agent of change and would step in like the crafting super-heroine that I long to be to, and I would fix things.

Based on a delightfully deceptive video I found online about an Iranian rug maker who makes felted rugs from wool roving, I decided that the solution to the problem of my rug was for me to felt it.

After viewing the video twice, I managed to persuade myself that while felting a rug might take longer than the fifteen or so minute run time of the video, it was eminently doable.

Not only was it doable, it was be good exercise. My previous concerns about the rug being too large and too heavy when wet were simply the bleatings of a naysayer who would never realize her crafting potential.

All I would have to do is get several large pieces of burlap to roll the rug in:

pieces or burlap
Large pieces of burlap

My favorite dish soap to assist the felting process (but too much will slow the process):

dish soap
My favorite dish soap

Vinegar (just in case I used too much dish soap and needed to chemically ameliorate the situation):

vinegar
Vinegar

String (to tie up the rug once I had rolled it in the burlap):

string
String

And two brand spanking new Harper brushes so that I could thoroughly scrub my driveway where I planned to hold the event:

scrub brushes for felting
Brushes

Despite what my crafting heroine side felt was ample preparation, my inner worry wart spoke to me softly at night telling me that the rug would be too heavy, that my first impulse was the correct one, and that the fifteen minute video had been heavily edited.

I came up with a plan to demonstrate to my inner worry wart just how wrong she was, and I got out a much smaller rug that I had made. One in which I had used Lamb’s Pride worsted weight rather than Lamb’s Pride Bulky weight yarn.

My efforts to prove my inner worry wart wrong were not entirely unsuccessful.

After rolling the wet, soapy rug between burlap for more hours than I can remember (I had to set it aside for several days and return to it after my back recovered), it looked pretty much as I had hoped it would. It had, however, taken substantially more time and effort.

I had also discovered that I needed to periodically unroll the whole thing and re-roll it so that all areas of the rug felted evenly. While this was possible with a rug that ended up measuring about 3′ x 3′, I knew that a rug destined to be 6’x9′ would take more than six times the effort I had put into the smaller rug.

An this was where rational thought finally got a small toehold, and my thinking began to shift from the fantastic to what was possible.

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2 thoughts on “The Saga of the Big Rug: Part 3

  1. hi,
    I am working on bathingsuits for the pool, do you have any ideas for material other than nylon yarn?
    tks

    1. Some people have used Lion Brand Microspun yarn with success and Red Heart’s Luster-sheen might work well also. In either case, you’re probably going to have to run some elastic thread through selected areas of the garment so it stays on well. I have a collection of almost thread-like elastic that have in a variety of colors (I got them at a local yarn shop), that I use for just those situations when I need create a gather.

      Depending on how much detail work you feel up to, I would consider fingering and DK weight yarns along with mercerized cotton ribbons. If you are planning to get in the water, and not just sun bathe, I would be sure to choose something that doesn’t hold a whole lot of water.

      You also might check around for any yarns with spandex in them. I know they are popular in Brazil. Good luck with your project!

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