Have you ever been awestruck at how everyday items can be changed or transformed from one object into a completely other object and used for a completely different purpose?
My great grandmother, whom we called 'Baba' (meaning grandmother in the Ukrainian language) on my dad's side of the family used to make rag rugs. Born in Ukraine, she never learned to speak English other than the odd word. I never learned to speak more than the odd word in Ukrainian myself so our communication was often done through action rather than words. Oh, I learned to conjugate a number of verbs in junior high, and I can say things like, "Vera is on the balcony." and "Do you always write letters to Steven?" - although not really the most useful phrases if truth be known! Even so, we were still able to communicate although not in a traditional sense.
Growing up, I was always amazed at how Baba could take 'rags' - old worn out shirts, jeans, blouses and cut into strips - and transform them into what our family fondly called 'Baba Rugs'. These rugs were woven on a simple rectangular wooden frame that had nails pounded in on either end. She'd use baling twine (well, what else would a farmer use?!) made from sisal that she'd use to create the warp or structure of the rug and then would weave strips of cloth over and under the threads of twine to create her rug. We now refer to this style of rug as 'Hit and Miss', referring to the style of combining contrasting coloured of strips of material being paired together. How I wished I had learned how to create those amazing rugs while she was alive.
I've been working on a rag rug that's made from new material, although traditionally these rugs were truly made of old rags that had seen much better days. It's always fun to see how a patterned cloth will look once repurposed into a rug that looks quite different from the original cloth yet is amazingly beautiful. Take, for example, this cloth that combines golds, rusts and browns reminiscent of leaves covering the forest floor in the fall.
I cut this material into 1.5 inch strips and wove that into a rug using black, brown and rust cotton yarn as the warp and the material strips as the weft. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this rug turned out!
The pattern in this rug is known as the 'Hollywood Pattern' but is really a combination of two different patterns. The two base patterns are called Double Seed Stitch and Point Twill and are artfully combined to create this marvelous look.
Here's an image of what it looks like on the floor in our bathroom - I think the transformation of cloth to rug looks absolutely amazing.