Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My New Craft

I got this idea for an article about a month ago. It was learning how to crochet rag rugs. I've been wanting to learn ever since the month after we moved here. We moved here in August of 2012 and in September I attended the local arts and crafts fair. My table was next to this wonderful lady named Anna. We chatted the afternoon away and then I left with one of her amazing rag rugs and a new friend. 

This isn't the one I left with. It's just one of her best that she has at her home.

She and her husband Ed live right across the creek from us. She's quite a character and full of pep even though she's in her late 80's. Ed is 90. They're just the cutest couple. Anna is in a wheel chair and has oxygen but that doesn't really slow her down. She just navigates her sewing room and if she rolls over her oxygen tube she just looks down and says no wonder I was turning blue.

Anna is right out of the pages of the Foxfire books. Those were the books edited by Eliot Wigginton that were all about saving old timey knowledge of the hand crafted life in Kentucky and Tennessee. I have all 4 books. Are there any more? Because if there are I want them! Anyway one day recently when I was motivated to write I just up and called Anna and asked her would she teach me and she said why sure just bring a big crochet needle and 10 yards of fabric and we'll do it.

I had so much fun learning from Anna and, of course, she and Ed told Marty and me many stories about the old days here and in Santa Barbara county where Anna grew up. She's a Gabrileno-Tongva native american. She was raised on a ranch and they had cattle and dairy cows and everything. This is a picture of Anna and me having fun. Don't you love that flower in her hair? She wears it all the time. So adorable!

So now I have 4 practice rugs under my belt and I'm thinking that when I get really good I'm going to engage in some Shameless Commerce and start selling them.

Here's my first try. Isn't it hilarious? Georgia O'Keefe said no one is ever good in the beginning and she sure was right! I use it in my bathroom. It makes a good bath mat.

My second one wasn't much better. I couldn't even get my sister to take it. I don't blame her. Maybe it's the colors. Ugh. But my cat likes it.

By the time I was on to my third try I think I was starting to get it.

Here is the beginning of number 4 and it's really starting to come together. Both sides are straight. Woo hoo! The milkbone dog biscuit effect is phasing out.

So just get ready. One of these days I'm going to start a Shameless Commerce Division and my little ole rugs will be the first inventory. I really like doing them. It's kind of diverting my attention away from my Hat Portraits but not totally so the hats are safe. Right now rugs make a perfect TV craft. I can sit with the Boob Tube yabberin' away in the background and actually be productive. Nothin' wrong with that!


  1. Cool how necessity and little resources lead to thriftiness and creativity!
    You have ragrugs and here in Sweden we have the trasmatta. (first "a" resembles the "a" in large, second and third short and sharp as in accident.)
    It is a mat, woven in a linear pattern, made from scraps of cloth. A real shame IKEA overcommercialised this principle and made it dirtcheap. Now the handcraft is dying out, because no one sees fit to learn and do it anymore.

    1. I looked up those trasmatta rugs and they look like they need to be made on a loom. Very cool. I don't think anyone has figured out how to mechanize crochet rag rugs. In any case I'll keep making them because I think it's fun. If I had a loom I'd make a trasmatta rug. I think hand made things are making a comeback in some circles IKEA or not. That's why I thought your wood turning idea as a great one.

    2. Yes, you do need a loom and I will continue/start again with woodturning as soon as I can.