Monday, April 21, 2014

Fit to be Tied-Dyed

All things old become new again.  
In my youth the athletes had crew cuts and the hippies had long hair.  
Now the athletes have long hair and the hippies are bald.
~ Harley King

Our lovely, 17-year-old niece spent a long weekend with us and I introduced her to weaving rag rugs.  

That's either a benefit or drawback to being related to me - you are automatically introduced to all of my hobbies.  There's no need to ask...  

Or even to express the slightest interest, when it comes to that!  ;)

I bought some red-orange-yellow tie-dyed t-shirt yarn just for this occasion, and helped her weave a rag rug with three different sections.  The first section was a plain weave:  

The middle section had a chevron pattern:

And the last section had...  well, another pattern.  I don't know how to describe it.  

Once again, I'm not sure that the t-shirts that gave their lives for this yarn were actually "used" - because after a single washing, the white fringe turned into a delightful pink.  

She may not love weaving quite as much as I do, but I think she is happy with her rug.  :)

Here is a parting shot of our beautiful niece.  :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Taxes Submitted!

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.  
~ Albert Einstein

It ate up most of my day on Sunday, but I managed to get our taxes completed and submitted electronically...  We owed, but less than last year - which, I guess, could be interpreted as either a good thing OR a bad thing...  ;)

I'm just glad they are done!  

Monday, April 14, 2014

I've Started Cutting...

100 years ago, buying something you could make was considered wasteful;
now making something you could buy is considered wasteful.  
I am not convinced this is a step in the right direction.  
~ Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I've enlisted the aid of an almost-14-year-old friend and we have begun cutting my used t-shirts into "tarn" (t-shirt yarn) for weaving rag rugs.  On Saturday, we completed five balls of tarn:  

We tried both 1 inch width cuts and 3/4 inch width cuts - I think either size will work just fine for weaving and the 1 inch cuts were a bit less error-prone.  

Okay, okay - our work hasn't reached the quality of the tarn rolls (or cakes) that can be purchased on Etsy:  

But, my argument is that "rag rugs" are allowed to look a bit raggedy...  ;)

"Whoa, Nelly!," Popeye exclaims, "That's one mighty fine looking tarn cake!"  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Weaving: A Team Sport?

I want my time to be taken up by chores, 
errands, appointments, and arguments. 
In other words, I want to get married.
~ Jarod Kintz

So, I am preparing a new warp for my loom - but when I pulled these five rag rugs off the loom (one, two, three, four and five), there was still some (unknown-to-me amount of) warp (the long white threads) left - and I have been wondering if there is enough to weave one more rug on this warp first.  

Of course, experienced weavers know how much warp they have at all times - but (in case you haven't noticed) I'm still kind of winging it...  ;)

Speaking of winging it, given that I had completed the five rugs that I wanted to get from this warp, I decided to take a little bit of a risk and see if I could fix this threading error:  

So I clipped those 3 threads that were twisted, untwisted them and tied them together again.  

Everything looks nice and straight - now we just have to wait and see if (a) the knots hold and (b) they don't look too lame in the rug - assuming, of course, that there is enough warp left for another rug!  ;)

My 17-year-old niece is visiting for a weekend in a couple of weeks, and I thought that she might enjoy trying her hand at weaving a rag rug for herself.  So, I'm going to get everything ready to go for her visit.  :)

Oh, there's one more loom issue that needs to be addressed before I will be ready to weave with my niece:  

I'm going to enlist my husband's help with this one...  

Man, when I first told him that I wanted a loom, I bet he never dreamed that he was signing on for a team sport!  ;)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gratuitous Kitten Pictures

You can learn many things from children cats.
How much patience you have, for instance.  
~ Franklin P. Jones (with minor edit by me)

Did I mention that the cats "helped" me with the t-shirt yarn?  ;)

Oliver: "You're welcome."


Popeye: "Hey!  What gives?  This stuff is too thick to eat!"  


Thank goodness they were distracted by something outside, before Oliver had the chance to drag the whole pile of yarn out onto the porch...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Procrastination

You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. 
You have to be in the right mood. 
What mood is that? 
Last-minute panic.

~ Bill Watterson

Over the weekend, I filled five gallon-sized freezer bags with all the ingredients necessary for a crock-pot meal of Chicken and Vegetable Marinara for our exchange today at work...

Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Vegetables

...I cut one of my husband's old t-shirts into a continuous, 3/4 inch wide strip of yarn for practice...  

...and I measured 120, 10-yard lengths of rag rug string - half of what I need to prepare the loom for another 7 rag rugs!  :)

How is that "procrastination" you might be wondering...  

It sounds like I got a fair amount done, right?  

Well, here is what I should have been doing...  

Sigh...  :(

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Favorite Mexico Pictures: Part 5

When you feel yourself unhappy,
look at a smiling child,
you will feel happy again!
~ Mehmet Murat ildan

I saved my favorite pictures for last - pictures of the children.  :)

I think I'll let these speak for themselves...  ;)