I am intrigued by rag rugs, braided wool rugs and more recently rope rugs. The Mountaineer, a local backcountry outfitter, has several coiled rope rugs, which are simply duct taped together, in their store. The first few turns are glued and then the balance are held together with duct tape. Way cool. The bright colors of climbing ropes really stand out this way. After a rope is used fairly briefly, it looses its strength and can’t be used for climbing so they use old ropes for these rugs. I have to figure out how to become the final resting place for old rope.
In the meantime, there was devastating flooding in the Adirondacks after Hurricane Irene last August. This dampened the inventory of a local hardware store which happens to carry climbing rope. It could no longer be sold as climbing rope and I bought it with the intent of taping up a rug. Then I thought it might be fun to weave a rug with it. While the end product is fun, the weaving itself was challenging because I basically had to pass a coil of rope through the weaving shed (that little space between the upper and lower threads) about 50 times. But in no time I had a rug, which has been claimed by my son and will be heading south today to keep his feet dry.
I am a work in process. I have started physical therapy, actually put a sneaker on my foot and used an exercise machine! Yeah. I was given permission to throw my crutches in the Lake and am walking about on my own two feet, with the aid of a walking cast. This goes in the Lake in three weeks. My mobility has enabled me to tackle and almost complete a myriad of projects and now I can cook and bake in the kitchen without the aid of a chair in the middle of the kitchen. I am still not getting out too much due to the layer of ice over everything so all my recent adventures have taken place at home on the range.
On the knitting front, I am working on two Santa Cruz hoodies as an overdue gift for two young boys. One is taking up a ton of yarn and I ran out of one color on the sleeve so did a sleeve-sleeve transfusion. I used the yarn from the long sleeve as I ripped it out, to knit the short sleeve. So while one shrunk, the other grew until they were even, then I had to add a stripe. As soon as I finish them, I have given myself permission to begin work on a Aran sweater for my son. He has approved the pattern and yarn and if I can stick to the pattern and knit the gauge, all should go well. (ha ha ha)
Circle of Loki
On the quilting front, I finished the cat quilt and Loki spends a lot of time sleeping on it curled into a tight ball. Once that was finished, I tackled the machine quilting of my kaleidoscope quilt. I had to wrestle the queen size quilt through my sewing machine but now have only the borders left. I devised a quilting pattern that avoids dragging the whole thing through the machine again. I am having mild panic that the marker I am using – now like an artist’s paintbrush all over the quilt- won’t come out as easily as the manufacturer says it will. Why do I always ignore the suggestion to try a test patch first?
Weaving has had mixed results. I was able to use my walking cast to work the treadles of the floor loom but felt a bit like Herman Munster. So my twill scarves remain on it. I have been weaving with my rigid heddle loom and am trying to master a table runner for my daughter. The first was a disaster. I used rayon, which looked so pretty and shiny, but didn’t stretch – at all – and wasn’t able to hide my weaving errors. Now I am using recycled cotton and applying the lessons learned from the rayon disaster.
Weaving in progress
Baking is going well. I used my new crumpet rings with great success, make sandwich rolls regularly, have found a source of rennet to continue making mozzarella cheese and think I may have perfected the art of bagels. More about that later because it involves broiling, boiling and baking.