I wove a rug!


DSC_0001DSC_0003Yes, really!

I must admit, it wasn’t like a rug was high on my list of home or life priorities. But I saw this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess and, in true me-style, I had to make one right away. It wasn’t even a choice: I was possessed by a rug-making demon and within a matter of hours it had ordered 750m of jersey yarn off eBay.


J was going to be away for two weeks and let’s face it – I should’ve been taking the opportunity to get out and see friends, or have girly nights in – instead of sitting at home alone talking to a giant loom and falling in love with Jamie Fraser in Outlander. But you see, it wasn’t enough for me just to make a flippin’ great rug. I needed pressure, deadlines, drama! So I determined to entirely complete the rug in the two weeks of J’s absence, in time for a ten-person dinner party we’d be throwing the day after his return. In this two week space I also had a three-day trip to Frankfurt, a three-day visit from my mother, and a Saturday sewing meet-up. And a cold. Camilla at the Dalston sewing meet-up said I was mad. I’m inclined to acquiesce.

We made the magnificent loom out of some leftover wood from our new wardrobes. It was actually rather romantic, making a loom together. He made the frame; I banged in 116 nails at 1-inch intervals; we had Magic FM on in the background. Sexy times. Plus there was the ‘hilarious’ moment when J first showed me the frame and I realised that I’d seriously mis-imagined the 6′ by 4.5′ dimensions. In my head this loom was going to be something that sat on the dining table. Mega brain blip.

I was pretty excited by the loom…

The tutorial said I needed ‘cotton twine’. Turns out that’s just ordinary string, and you need two and a half balls. I’m going to give little tips like this that I picked up during the project just in case anyone else is mad enough to attempt it. Or in case in a year’s time I ‘need’ to make another rug.


The tutorial didn’t say anything about how to do the actual weaving (it does link to another post specifically on weaving, but I was too eager to read that), so at first I tried with the largest wool needle I have. It was ok, but difficult to thread the jersey yarn. I switched to a giant safety pin and it was perfect.


The key to the weaving is not to pull too tight. I did at first, and the edges of the rug bowed inwards; as I relaxed the tension moving upwards the sides returned to straight and I was left with a rug of uneven width. So about two thirds of the way up I ended up removing some of the yarns from the bottom and re-weaving those sections more loosely.


The trickiest part was actually negotiating the different yarn weights. The maroon in the centre was very thick; the red and cranberry were consistently slim and silky; the pink and white varied, sometimes becoming almost string-like, at other times ribbon-y. Sometimes two rows of red would have to abut one row of maroon, which made the rug look ‘holey’, but this was somewhat mitigated by the looser weaving.

Let’s face it, that RH bottom area is a mess. So I went back and redid that section and now it makes me happy again.

I also feel I should point out that colour-wise I wasn’t trying to simply copy the original – eBay had a very limited colour selection. Of course when I went to Frankfurt I came across a wool shop quite by accident (Wolle Rodel) and they had a wonderful range of colours. I may have to fly to Frankfurt next time I want to make a rug.

I cunningly coordinated my latest home accessory with this month’s edition of Vogue. Also, to a lesser degree, with my Liberty beanbag, which I suspect is rather more significant in the long term…

I think I took more than the 15 hours in the project description, but then I was having to follow the adventures of a time-travelling nurse in Jacobite Scotland at the same time. Weaving was great when I didn’t want to look at the bloody violence on-screen, but I regularly dropped my safety pin to be fixated by the ruby-headed handsomeness that is Sam Heughan…

sam heughan
Oh, aye, make mine a Scot on the rocks…

Making this rug was so enjoyable. Weaving was not mindless, but repetitive and straightforward enough to be mind-soothing. I rather miss my loom (dismantled) already. And I’ve still a decent quantity of jersey yarn, so if anyone knows of any small projects with this stuff let me know! Of course I could embark on another rug… but I think I’ll wait for series 2 of Outlander for that.



2 thoughts on “I wove a rug!

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