Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

Sticks and Rags

I’m doing a rag weaving class tomorrow.

I’ve been weaving rag rugs on old window frames for years. I often get a request for classes in this, last time i did one, it took most of the afternoon for the participants to warp up the small frames i made them. I’ve been playing about this time with different techniques. i made a MASSIVE crochet hook out of a hazel wand. I have also been looking at basket making techniques to coil and spiral up rags quickly. Its all rather addictive, but i have been saving myself and my rags for this class. I did go a wee journey on you tube and start looking at crafty ‘ how to’ videos, it turns out there is a whole tonne of skills and techniques that i hadn’t come across!  I was also struck by how many of the films seemed to focus on the lady narrating, at great, long, tedious length. Maybe i’m just impatient, i just want the key points, which knot, which twist, how does the equipment work, i’m just not bothered about how many dollars it saved or which department store to buy the yarn at…zzzz. Memo to self, keep video’s short and sweet.

I had a lovely pile of sticks that i thought we could workshop with and make simple woven wall hangings.
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and then i have got a gorgeous new axe, so i’ve been desperate to chip away at some wood.

mmm lovely lovely axe. so inspired by a simple peg loom i saw on you tube & i’d once seen some vikings use, i thought i’d whip one up with my sticks. i’d forgotten that my sticks were no longer green wood, ie they were really hard, and also the log i had to use. i flattened one side of the log so it will sit flat, using the axe to carve it. then having no sharp knife, i shaped the pegs with a mixture of secateurs and a sharp small scythe i have ( a make shift draw knife! ).
2013-02-06 14.53.09a nice auger and round plane would have been nice, but luckily i do have a drill that works, despite it having rusted up in recent leaking shed issue. lots of mess and noise and scraping and aching and hours later…
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a quick start of a small piece for the class tomorrow, itching to crack on and finish some rugs to cover my horrible old carpet. The way it works is, the pegs have a hole in the bottom, which a warp string or rag is threaded through. you then weave around the sticks, very simple & fast, different weaves can be done by twisting two or more weft rags. Then when the weaving gets up the sticks a bit pull out the peg and the weaving goes onto the string/ rag/ weft ( which is knotted to stop it falling off ). the peg gets put back into its hole & the process continues. Clear as mud? perhaps i should make a 15 minute video about it after all ?   ;P

I know it is crude and rustic a structure, but i made it myself, at no cost but time. These things please me, back to basics. How to make a more complex loom has bothered me for years. Leave it with me….

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2013 by in Blog and tagged , , , , .

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