I wrote this article about last month’s Rag Rug Interest Group meeting for the Weavers Guild of Minnesota newsletter, The Draft, and for the website. http://www.weaversguildmn.org. I feel the need to play with this rug pattern soon.
Jackie Lind, on her way home from a weaving conference, stopped for a break and poked into an antique shop. Even though she didn’t need another rag rug, she couldn’t leave this one behind because of its unique and interesting pattern.
This rug was the first topic of discussion at the October Rag Rug Interest Group meeting. Jackie had sent a photo to Steve Pauling, who promptly, “in just a few minutes,” figured out the draft for it on PixeLoom.
At the meeting, the ten or so attendees admired the rug and examined it closely, front and back. On one side the designs looked like the familiar rosepath pattern, and the other side we called “the football side.” We looked at the varying bands of pattern. Were they symmetrical? Not quite.
We could see that there was a tabby shot between each pattern shot. (Bonus word definition from the meeting: Plain weave is called tabby when it is used as a tie-down thread within a pattern.) See a link to the draft and additional notes from the Rag Rug Interest Group meeting at the end of this article.
As an exercise, Donna Hanson guided the group through the process of examining the rug and entering the pattern into Pixeloom. It wasn’t easy to see exactly which warp threads were up and down on a particular shot, because they tended to shift into bunches. Six shafts are needed to weave the pattern in Jackie’s rug.
This sort of discussion points out the valuable insights gleaned at Weavers Guild Interest Group meetings. I learned a lot and even Steve Pauling, who had already used Pixeloom to figure out the draft, learned new software tricks that night. For example, Donna noted that if you don’t have enough heddles on one shaft when warping, you could use Pixeloom to shift the shafts. Also, using the “optimize draft” feature, you may discover that your pattern can be done on fewer shafts.
Our discussion included a lot of ‘you could do it this way, or that way.” Donna Hanson, as a respected teacher and weaver, offered the most reassuring reminder of the evening — in weaving there is no “THE WAY” to do it.
Bonus! You can weave a variation of this rug, too. From the Rag Rug web minutes (Thank you, Judy Larson): “Donna showed how to use Pixel Fabric Analysis to determine the draft used to create ( and recreate) the rug. Pixel is available at WGM. By following one warp thread at a time, we learned several things. There is a tabby shot between each pattern shot, and there are two different tabby shots used. Each is treadled separately. It’s a two tie, so tabby ties down pattern warps to minimize floats. Steve then showed us his draft, completed in Pixel. It is a 6 shaft design, woven at 12 epi. Steve will send out pdf and wif files of the completed draft. Wif is a weaving information file.