This past couple of weeks, the weather in the northeast United States has been rather odd, with temperatures covering nearly every season. One particularly cold couple days seemed like a good time to make another braided rug.
I had a Shetland Fleece (from a sheep named “Olivia”) that was mostly white with some small patches of brown. I wanted to try to dye some of the fiber in my favorite shade of blue:
Then, I wanted to mix some of that blue fiber with some of the natural white to get a partially-blended medium blue:
As is usually the case when I’m making a rug, I have an idea in my head, but I let the design evolve as I go.
I began braiding with the natural white, and then gradually added in a strand of the blended blue:
Then 2 strands of blended blue and then I put one strand of the solid blue in place of one of the blended ones, but kept one strand of white until I’d transitioned to blended and solid blue.
I thought this was where the rug would end.
This is how the braids looked before I felted them. It’s my way of designing as I go, and also documenting the order of the braids so after I felt them, I can fit them back together, rather like a puzzle.
After felting the braids, I began to lace them.
When the rug was “complete”, I looked at it and didn’t like the proportion or the waviness of the edge. This was not how I wanted to finish off the rug.
I mulled it over and the next morning, I decided to see if I had enough white roving left to do a “frame” around the outside.
Voila! It’s what I needed to see in the finish rug. Every time I make something, I learn. I hope I never stop learning!