Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter is both awesome and terrible...

In the wintertime, I coach the ski team at the high school where I work.

This means that around this time of year, my free time goes down to zero. This means, sadly, that there has been very little crafting going on in my house :(

However, I do want to post a few little things:
I made these handwarmers and the matching scarf (mini-scarf? I'm not really sure what to call it - it fastens with a button around your neck, it's very cute) for my brother's girlfriend for Christmas. I was very pleased with the result, although the pictures are not so great.
And then I got quite a bit of work done on my rug!My grandmother's house is full of these braided rugs, and I just love them. They seem so homey to me. I particularly like that the ones in her house are all made from old clothes. She can look at her rugs and remember that the blue is from an old bathrobe, and the white strips came from a pair of my grandfather's old dress pants...I've wanted to make one for a long time, but never quite got around to it. A few months back, I was at my grandmother's house and asked her about it, and she brought out a whole box full of braiding supplies, including wool she'd had cut to make a rug. She gave me some directions, and with some trial and error, I think I'm getting the hang of it.
This project got me thinking about why it is that I like to make things. When I was a kid, my grandmother taught me how to embroider and to knit, and both of my grandmothers have supported themselves by making things - one by sewing, the other by making baskets. So these kinds of crafts have always seemed to me to be a tie to my family and to my past (which, as a history teacher, I cannot fail to appreciate). Knitting and sewing and rugmaking are all part of that historical continuum that connects me to the women (and men) who have made things before me. Making things helps me to feel connected to that past, where making your own was a way of life.
In some ways, I think that a simpler life would be better. One of my grandmothers once told me a little rhyme that I think should inform the way we live: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do; or do without." This year, I hope to do a little more living that way.

That ended up being a bit more philosophical than I intended, but that's ok. If I can't "think out loud" here, where can I?


  1. I've wanted to make a braided rug for years, but haven't ever tried it. I did knit a cotton bath rug out of strips of fabric once, but I must not have liked doing it because I never did it again! (And now I can't remember why.)

  2. i'm loving the look of your rug. i really want to make one. some day, when my list of crafts isn't so long!

  3. The rug is looking great! I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  4. Hi there from PEAR! Whenever I make short scarves (albeit usually unintentionally, haha), I call them scarflettes to make it seem more chic! :)

    The rug is looking fantastic! Looking forward to seeing the final result.

  5. Looks awesome1 Good work! Hello from PEAR!

  6. That is amazing! I have always wanted to make one of these, but never felt that I could tackle a project that big. I am loving the way yours is turning out though! Great job!


  7. I absolutely LOVE that rug... maybe we can persuade you to post a tutorial when you're doing? Stopping by today and sending some PEAR love your way! Have a lovely Sunday!

    Joanne @ Ready, Set, Craft!

  8. Sharing the PEAR love today too! Pre-Valentine's Day too. Cute stuff.


  9. The rug is so beautiful! I have not braided a rug but have knitted a few using old t-shirts. A wonderful PEAR idea!


I love to hear from you!