Thursday, February 4, 2016

a lesson in weaving








I have a crazy thing for rag rugs. An obsessive, crazy, colorful thing for vintage rag rugs.
This particular rug belonged to my grandmother. Eventually it was my mother's rug, and then it became mine.

A while back, I took it out to study it. I paced around it. I recalled how it was in my grandmother's kitchen, then my mother's hallway. I wanted it to be a part of my life too.

After a few too many tries, I finally figured out the pattern (turkey tracks!) and wove embroidery thread into the damaged parts, closing the gaps and bringing the rug back to a usable state.
It wasn't easy. My fingers were sore from pushing the needle through the weft. And my eyes....I thought I would go blind from trying to follow the pattern. Mr Sage told me to take a break! so I worked on it when he was asleep or at work. (Ok, secret's out.)

But in the process of weaving and repairing and reweaving, I gained a healthy respect for the people who, so long, ago, saved every worn out piece of clothing, ripped and tacked the fabric together, and wove those strips into a rug.
Imagine how long it took to save enough fabric. Imagine cutting and sewing and weaving. Imagine beating it to get the dirt and dust out and then washing that rug in a tub with a washboard!

And all I did was repair it, in my own humble way.

I have become the rug conservationist and custodian. That kind of responsibility scares me.




26 comments:

  1. me, too. love them rag rugs!!
    i am the proud owner of one that originated in montana many many years ago....
    keep it up, dear sage.
    xx

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    1. There's something about these old rugs, isn't there? I do love them.
      Love you too.
      xx

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  2. So that is amazing. I love anything colorful that has texture and warmth. So beautiful ... I would love to learn. I bought a beautiful yellow rag rug the other day....
    Your blog is beautiful. I'm also a "rock" enthusiast :)

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    1. Thanks, Alyssa, for stopping by and for your wonderful comments! It's always nice to meet another rock enthusiast! :)

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  3. *sigh* :D Amazing!!! "And my eyes....I thought I would go blind from trying to follow the pattern." ;) my knitting/crochet...double vision eyes!! :)

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    1. I sure can relate to the double vision eyes! But, it was worth it. :)

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  4. Yes, I'm imagining all that! Wow!! This makes me a little 'shamed of my modern made ones. ;) It's very beautiful and bravo on your problem solving and conservation of the family heirloom.
    xo!!

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    1. Thank you! When I started on this project I told myself it would be an easy day or two. Wrong! It quickly became a good two week job but I loved every minute of it!
      x

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    2. Ahhh, what a challenge. :) And you reaped quite a reward.

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    3. I was determined to meet the challenge! :)

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  5. I love that you did this! it's such an act of respect and devotion, of keeping the family history alive and working to preserve it. it's hard to imagine a time when such work was a necessity, and yet these old handcrafts are being taken up by new makers who do it for the love of the craft. it gives me hope!
    xoxo

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    1. There were times I felt I was being watched over as I worked and whoever was watching me was happy to see the rug come back to life. I have to give credit to those rug weavers....they sure put their heart and soul into their work!
      xx

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  6. such gentleness in these images ... and words ... and your precious pups paws ♥ love!

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  7. Such a wonderful post!! I pictured you pacing around that beautiful rug while rubbing your chin with a very perplexed look on your face. Such an amazing family heirloom!! I'm always picking up little rag rugs at the Christmas Tree Shop but none could ever compare to yours!! That photo of Pinto's paw is priceless!! Say that five times fast!!! : ) xoxo

    Are you ready for Sunday night??? Going to be a crazy ride!!! : ) xoxo

    ~ Wendy





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    1. It sure is going to be a crazy ride!! Scary, edge-of-my-seat crazy! Pinto and I might be hiding under the heirloom rug Sunday night!! ;)
      xx

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  8. What a beautiful piece of history and family! Not only were the hands that made such rugs patient and hardy, they had a wonderful design sense. Gosh, I can imagine the feeling of responsibility. So worth it though, isn't it?

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    1. Sooo worth it. I am in love with this rug, the sense of history, and the original rug-maker!
      x

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  9. I love this! What a beautiful job you did restoring this precious piece of the past. Job well done and so worth it.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. It definitely was worth it!
      x

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  10. Of course it's the turkey track pattern!
    You amaze me. Every year you are refurbishing some old thing, re-sewing, embroidering some old seat cover, weaving antique rugs...
    I'm always drawn to rag rugs, too. Cats love 'em!
    Long ago, my mom made me a couple of rugs out of ripped strips of old sheets...the crochet hook was as round as a quarter. I still have it.
    You have a soul and spirit of times gone by. Your love of found objects, the rustier the better. And the care you take in the things handed down to you, holding the stories close to your heart.
    You're a special one, Sagey.
    x

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    1. Turkey tracks. :)
      I bet those rugs your mom made are awesome! Even better, you have the actual crochet hook she used! Love those kind of things.
      Love the old ways.
      I do believe I was born 150 years too late.
      xx

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    2. Strange thing, isn't it....that connection with the past.

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  11. Truly a wonderful connection to your past..a labour of love.
    Xo
    Dagmar

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    1. Thank you, Dagmar. It truly was a labor of love.
      x

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