Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Making a Braided Rug....The Prequel

This post is a bit overdue, but I've been so busy I haven't had the time to properly document my rug adventure.

At Maryland Sheep and Wool last summer, I purchased a copy of the book, "The Shepherd's Rug" and managed to get one of the authors to sign it while I was there. I loved the braided rugs they had on display and desperately wanted to make one for myself. We had a nice discussion on what colors/types of wool to use for the rug and I set off with a whole list of potential wools in my head.

In the Main Hall, I'd found a vendor with lots of lovely Navajo Churro in a nice variety of natural colors - PERFECT for my project. I then bought about 4 lbs of lovely natural colored Navajo Churro roving for making my rug. The poor roving has then languished in my craft room for the several months.

Then, this past fall, my friend Catherine took the rug braiding class in Rhinebeck at the NY Sheep and Wool show. I fell in love with braided rugs once again after seeing her lovely creation! This caused me to move my roving to the "front of the project line". However, life intervened once more and the roving again was languishing in my craft room.

In January, I got an e-mail from a friend letting me know about the Loudoun Valley Sheep Producers Association and some local shepherdesses that were planning to hold a class on making braided rugs. I scurried to sign up and set off to class on Feb 1....the first of a two part series. Happy, happy, joy, joy! My roving will FINALLY be used! DH was thrilled that I was going to be using some of my existing stash....rather than acquiring more...and we even discussed the fact that I'd have "no business" buying more roving.

With great anticipation, I loaded my 4 lbs. of Navajo Churro in the car and set off to Leesburg for the class. When I arrived, I decided to leave the roving in the car and "just take a peek" at the rovings that the two instructors (Sue and Kathy) were bringing. Well, much to my surprise, there was not only natural colored roving, but also some fabulous colored rovings! And they even had PURPLE!!!! Can you believe it? I can make a PURPLE rug! How cool is that?

Above is a shot of the remaining colors....once we'd all made our selections. We all seemed to gravitate to the more saturated colors to blend in with the greys and naturals.

Given the fabulous color choices, my Navajo Churro stayed in the car, and I selected a deep purple, a rather rose purple, and a grey with the rose purple fibers throughout. It's going to be fabulous! (I WILL eventually make the natural colored rug, but not just yet.) I purchased the Karakul roving for the purple rug from Kathy (Checkmate Farm). Oh...and I didn't stop there either. I found some lovely blues for a second rug that I purchased from Sue (Redgate Farm). DH's comment on my return home with an additional 8 lbs. of roving was a resigned and "all knowing" shaking of the head while saying, "hmmmm....I thought we had a discussion about this earlier today.....". (I secretly think he KNEW that I was somehow going to find a reason for more roving....LOL!)

My response was simply, "Who knew that they'd have purple. Purple! Can you believe it?" He's a great hubby and fully understood my decision to buy the roving, so all is fine. He's DEFINITELY a keeper!


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