Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking for sunshine...

A year or so ago, Meg wanted to learn how to make a crocheted ragrug so she, me, and her dentist got to work and between the three of us, we figured out how to make one.

And once you get started, you're compelled to make more...

Soon followed by MORE...

Making a ragrug is a nice dumb project in the middle of winter when it's too cold to go anywhere and you're stuck indoors. And at this time of year, I am especially drawn to them because they remind me of the sun and everything that orbits it. I miss the sun. I miss long days. I miss being outside whenever I feel like being outside. Although I do enjoy all seasons, winter would be so much nicer if, oh...the sun could stay up until 9 pm (10 pm would be even nicer). I go through this every single year and every year I store in my head that this must be the darkest, gloomiest winter yet. I want my sun back!

So in the meantime, while I wait for more daylight (which will take a lonnnnng time because today is just 38 seconds longer than yesterday), I'll look for my sun wherever I can find it-even if it's in a rug.

I was working on this particular rug a while back and then put it aside because I was not enthused with how it was turning out. It's a perfectly lovely start. It just didn't make me happy when I looked at it. Then I realized, based on my color choices, I was making a ragrug that didn't look like the sun. This particular rug looked like a black hole, a burnt out star. I suppose it's a good thing to figure out what one is actually reacting to....but you know, this poor rug is still waiting to get finished (and only a couple rows to go!). Maybe I'll finish it this spring...when I'm outdoors and under the real sun again.

Violet could care less about all this angst about ragrug solar systems. So much fuss when if you wait patiently for a certain part of every day, the sun might, just might, come look for you.

15 comments:

Country Girl said...

I'd love to learn how to make them. I think they are beautiful.

Eve said...

Why I believe I'm in love with your ragrugs Maria!! I should learn to do that! Beautiful!!!

Maria said...

And both of you should! I have an 8 page tutorial (and getting longer) which I will post one of these days but although I've led a couple workshops on how to make these things, everyone, and I mean everyone, rolls their eyes when I hand out the instructions. Does anyone pay attention to them or even read them? Heck no. Once they get a hook in their hands and some pretty fabric, their hands get going-even though most people I teach don't even know how to crochet (or so they say...for some reason whatever they learned as a kid magically comes back). Start gathering up your old worn cotton shirts and pajama bottoms and sheets. I bought cheap fabric at a fabric store because I didn't have a collection of worn out clothes when I started making the rugs. Meg got all her fabric from Wal*Mart for 1-2 dollars a yard. Not sure if they still sell fabric that cheap anymore but that, and Salvation Army, were a good source for her. I've started recycling my old cotton pajama bottoms and now know that worn out fabric looks a lot better than new when it comes to these rugs. I use a size P crochet hook (hard to find but JoAnns sometimes has them). There are lots of tutorials on the web about how to make ragrugs but they're not very detailed. I like explicit instructions when I'm learning something, most people I found out, prefer two sentences of explanation. Hahaha. IF that.

Rural Rambler said...

Happy And I mean HAPPY New Year Maria! Great post! I love your ragrugs and it's fun to see a little of your house AND Violet in a sunny spot! I love the ragrug stepping rugs from the bed on the hardwoods.

I NEED to walk outside, around the Tiny Ten. It needs to warm up though, yesterday was impossible.

Mental P Mama said...

I won't roll my eyes! I want to learn how! And in my next life, I want to be Violet. Happy New Year!

Maureen said...

You might have a touch of SADD, have you tried a sunlamp? I know people who swear by 5 or 10 minutes of it every morning.

Eve said...

I will read for sure Maria! Count me in!!

Leenie said...

The rugs are wonderful and look like great therapy for gray days and long nights. I'll bet Violet makes cozy places in the stacks of fabric. But she won't admit out loud how she enjoys your company almost as much as the spot of sunshine.

My granny made braided rugs out of old clothing. I would give a lot to have one of those sweet treasures now.

Farmer Bub said...

Just love the rugs and the blog Maria. I am about to move to Papua New Guinea and think a rug or two as a project for me ( I am very artistically challenged) might be just the thing to keep me sane.
Happy New Year
Carolyn www.farmerbub.blogspot.com

Maria said...

Pix-I know. Yesterday was horrible. Today, above freezing so I'm calling it nice. At least there were a couple days of sunshine that came in through the windows. Heat of any kind makes a cat happy. I used to have a cat that would hover over the steam of hot coffee. :-) Happy HAPPY New Year to you too.

Mental-And you should! I'm going to try and get my butt in gear and put a ragrug tutorial up within a week.

Maureen-I think you're right but I think I also have shut-in-itis due to the cold weather and too many holidays in a row. Only ten minutes works, eh? I'll have to research that.

Eve-No you won't. You'll be the first to read the whole thing if you do. Hahaha.

Leenie-Yep. They're excellent therapy for gloomy, gray days. Violet completely ignores the rugs. Meg's cat, however, likes to sleep in the center spots. :-)

Those braided rugs are cool. There's a freeform braided rug on Flickr that is incredible. Yeah. Those grandmother made things are pretty darn nice. I still have a quilt my grandmother made that is completely shredded and unrepairable but it will be with me probably forever. Sorry to hear you didn't get to keep a rug.

Farmer Bub-Welcome to my blog. You're moving to Papua New Guinea? Isn't that supposed to be the most gorgeous place on earth? And full of unexplored areas of unknown plants and animals. Swoon. What an adventure!

Regarding being "artistically challenged," these rugs are perfect for getting over that kind of thing because you cannot really plan out what they look like in advance. At least, I can't. You don't know what you have until you get to the very end but there are little things to do to make colors work together better. Whenever color gets away from me, I try to keep it simple and stick to three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel such as blue, yellow and green or yellow, orange and red (or pink). Keep things organized, you know? But I've had people put every darn pattern and color in their rugs and those looked pretty darn nice too.

Deedee said...

Those are lovely! What a great winter project-just keep them away from the turtles. Can't wait until you post your instructions Maria- I might just try my hand at those.
~Deedee

ro said...

I have a question on making rag rugs. How wide did you make your strips of fabric and did you fold and sew them together or just knot them?

Thanks

Maria said...

Deedee-Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Work. Knitting. New Kindle. Too many distractions. Since it's supposed to snow a LOT starting tomorrow, I'm going to be snowbound this weekend so hopefully I can get those instructions posted. They're all written out...just need to take a few photos to clarify things.

Ro-I use 1.5 inch wide strips and I just fold them in half so the outer side shows. You can piece them together two ways. The slower way is to put two strips right sides together and at a right angle and sew diagonally across. I think you need a picture because that makes no sense even to me. The faster way is knotting them and you do this by cutting a slit at the ends of the two strips you want to join. You pull one strip through the slit of the other strip and thread that end back through the slit on the other side of the same strip. Then you pull it tight to lock the knot. I think you'll need a picture for that too. Hold out to this weekend. Hopefully I can at least get a picture up of those two things for you.

Ben and Carrie Tracks said...

Turtle, Birds, Gardens, Rag Rugs....what more could us traveling field biologists desire in a blog? Happy to have stumbled across your site and looking forward to following :)

-Carrie and Ben

Maria said...

Carrie and Ben-Thanks for visiting my blog. You're both field biologists? How fun is that?