Friday, April 15, 2011

Rag Rugs, Beauty and...the Humble Cabbage

I've enjoyed making crocheted rag rugs since my sister-in-law showed me how to about, oooh...probably almost 15 years ago.  A little while ago my friend gave me a couple old sheets that are the perfect colour to use as a rug in E's newly painted bedroom.  I painted his room as soon as we moved in and, since it has wooden floors, would like to get his rug done as soon as possible - they make for a great spot to sit while playing Lego or sketching and they also make it more likely that a feline friend will venture into your room for a nap. 
Crochet rugs are very quick to make once you have the ripped sheets ironed into strips (it really is worth doing this step because it makes for a much nicer looking and way longer lasting rug).  Normally I find this part of rug making a bit of a drag but in this house I decided to bring the ironing board into the sun room to make this task enjoyable.  Yes, that's right...enjoyable. No, I'm not an ironing fan but the view from this sun room makes any task a pleasure.  I mentioned how blessed we feel to be living here and this is one of the reasons.
Most of our time inside is spent in this room.  It makes a great spot to eat meals, read, play, chat, grow seedlings(!!) and just sit and look out the windows.  Beautiful!  I would like to make a rug for this room too (I have a feeling it will be a bit cold in the wintertime due to all the windows across the whole front) but I'd like to try making a braided one out of recycled wool clothing, that sounds like a good wintertime project.  Now the only problem is that his rug seems to hit a bit of a stall because we keep having sunny weather and I have a very hard time working on anything but the gardens when the sun is shining.
Now, I'm sure my dear friend would tell me that perhaps if I stopped doing things like rescuing people's cabbage seedlings (by pricking the extras out of 4 flats of someone else's seedlings) then I would have more time for other things but how was I to resist?  I never have been able to toss out or cut off seedlings and apparently I can't even bear to hear about other people planning to do this.  So...I now have about 88 cabbage seedlings living happily in the sunroom.  It's a good thing I hadn't finished making up my garden plan yet. ;-)
One of the reasons I couldn't resist is that cabbages are so easy to store for winter use and also because of my family's love for cabbage salad and coleslaw.   You wouldn't have been able to resist either, would you?

18 comments:

affectioknit said...

Your room with a view sounds lovely...and your rug is going to be gorgeous!

Clong said...

I concur, my housework goes to the dogs when it's sunny outside, the garden gets all the attention. :)

That rug is awesome!!! I totally want to make one. I'm pregnant with a baby girl due in June and have been a crocheting maniac lately. I'll have to see if I can find a tutorial somewhere. Thanks for the idea!

Rebecca said...

I agree...it's hard to stay indoors when the weather is so beautiful. I haven't tried crocheting a rug. It looks like a fun project to try, though. Do you have to cut your strips on the bias?

cathy@home said...

wow i could learn to love ironing what a great view.

cargillwitch said...

I seem to have planted enough cabbage seedlings to provide for all the saurkraut required at Octoberfest anywhere! it is just such a great all round garden staple.

donna!ee said...

hiya heather, i am so so thrilled that you blog as you do and that i have found your site...you share so many wonderful blessings and i am ready to experience each & every recipe that you have listed with my garden variety this year, which, by the way, has increased due to your sharing!! THANK YOU MUCH and WOW, what a view you have from your ironing board ;~}

sheepish said...

I have never tried to crochet a rug. It looks like it is relatively a fast process.
Your view is something to feel very thankful for...wow!

daisy said...

Oh my! I might be tempted to iron once in a while if I had a view like that!
I wanna learn how to make rag rugs. Maybe in the summer, when we do our hibernating!
Yours looks lovely.

Mary-Sue said...

oh wow. yes, the rug is gorgeous, but the sight of those cabbage seedlings in the sunlight? STUNNING! you forgot to mention you were fighting a WICKED headache, pmsing, working your ARSE off, and on top of all that... rescuing someone else's seedlings.
but...
yes...
i'm sure i would've done the same thing... SO much easier to give advice than heed it ;o)

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

88 cabbage plants? You are making me feel more sane everyday. We are planning for only about 50.
Crocheted rugs have long been on my list of things to make, I don't ever seem to be willing to give up the fabric for them though. But definitely someday. My dad told me a story recently of my grandma getting wool coats from the thrift store, cutting out the linings, and then making strips for her braided rugs. Made me so happy to hear that story!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing view, I look forward to many photos of your new house, love the crochet rug, is it just a treble stitch that you use, and how do you start it? Good on you for rescuing those cabbages, I always feel sorry for the seelings that are tossed when thinning out!xx levay1@bigpond.com

Heather said...

Mary-Sue - Ha ha! You knew I wouldn't follow your advice anyway...neither would you have if I'd given it to you (although we're both excellent at encouraging the other to Slow Down, aren't we!). ;-) However, you've given me a lot of giggles ever since because now every time I think of those cabbages I don't think of them as Blue Dynasty or Early-whatever-the-other-kind-was, I think of them as Farking! So now whenever someone says to me, "My, these cabbages are ever so delicious, can you tell me what kind they are so I too can grow them?", I will say they are Farking cabbages...Mary-Sue says so! And, in my head, I keep hearing your voice say to me (in a cops and robbers kind of way) "Put down the Farking cabbages and lie down...Step Away From The Cabbages". Hee hee!

Hi Rebecca - no, I don't cut the sheets on a bias. I just snip the top with a scissor to get the width I want) and then riiip a strip all the way down - the sound drives my oldest son nuts. I should say that I find that (for me) only all cotton sheets work for ripping that way, I tried it once with a poly cotton blend and found they didn't rip straight.

Heather said...

Thank you so much, Donna-lee. And I'm so pleased to hear you feel inspired to garden even more, that really does mean a lot to me. I hope you enjoy the increased abundance from your garden.

Sheepish - it really is such a quick process once you are done ironing the strips. Also if you don't like ironing and you have lots of old t-shirts or jersey sheets then you can make the rugs without ironing and they whip up super quick.

Renee, I had a laugh that my over-do-it tendencies are making you feel more sane. ;-) That's fun. I suppose sanity really could just all be a measure of degrees, heh? One too many cabbage plants and we've crossed the line. ;-)
Thank you for sharing about your Grandma, that was Exactly how I was planning on making my braided rug so I am so pleased to hear that someone has actually done that with thrifted wool coats and it isn't just one of my wacky ideas. The thrift stores here often sell men's wool coats for 25 cents!! It is just ridiculous how cheap they are for that good wool so I've wanted to find some good use for them for ages and decided I would use them for a braided rug. And now I've found my cutter in all our boxes so I can actually start getting some coats next time I see that sort of sale. I wonder if you still have any of your Grandma's rugs, I imagine they would last forever.

Heather said...

Hi Anonymous
I just do a single crochet (pretty sure that is what it is). I put the hook through just the back loop then pull a loop through(so I then have two loops on my hook) then I wrap the strip around the hook and pull it through both loops. Hope that makes sense, these are about the only things I crochet and I consider myself pretty inexperienced at crocheting. Also, I start it with a regular chain of about 13 or so stitches depending on how long I want it. I use a 10 mm hook. Hope that helps.

Erin said...

I like Mary Sue's name for the seeds. When and if you collect the seed, would you be willing to send a little to me, and then I can respond when asked what I am doing over the phone, "well, I'm making borscht with these Farking cabbages. And what are you doing?" ever so sweetly. ;-)

You two sound like alot of fun:)

WendyB said...

*smiling* with a view like that, I will come do your ironing..hee hee

Sweet Pine Soaps said...

Heather,

I recently found your blog and totally love it! I had been wanting to make felted cast iron handle covers for awhile now and low and behold-a tutorial! And many other wonderful tutorials I have since found (felted sweater quilt and this rag rug). Thanks so much for taking the time to post all this goodness.

Jess

Faith said...

cabbage...? I never considered growing it in my square foot garden...may take a second look...we like cabbage...I'll be back to read up....doing my chauffer thing with the boys....just found you...:)