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I finally finished hooking my Karen Kahle Apothecary Rose rug. I did what I always caution people NOT TO DO – left background (well no background on this rug but a LOT of border) till the end and it took a longggg time because I have such a short attention span that I would have to do something else (a couple of tote bags, a runner, a pillow, some mitts!) in the meantime. Always feeling guilty as the rug lay on the table begging to be finished. Just finished zigzagging. Just a little tip – this is a bigger rug – about 4 feet by 3 (almost) – and is very heavy so zigzagging all the way around it in one shot would have been impossible. My sewing machine is on a 6 foot table so I can stretch out the rug on the table but I did one side at a time. Marked 2 1/2 inches and drew a line in between the threads with a marker and pulled out one thread along the line so stitching in the ditch would be easier and then cut off the excess on that side (this way i.e. pulling out a thread, zigzagging and THEN cutting off the excess meant no fraying!!!). Then I moved to the next side and so on all the way around. Very very quick and easy and a good way to do the edge on a big heavy rug.

So why 2 1/2 inches – BECAUSE I CANNOT DECIDE WHAT FINISH I WANT! Do I whip to the back over cording, to the front over cording, to the front without cording? Do I whip with yarn or my left over dark strips? Usually I DON’T whip (toooooo long) but for this rug because of the size and the visual weight of the rug I decided that a show binding would not be substantial enough. Plus I have not decided – floor or wall! So next step will be deciding what finish I will do but the 2 1/2 inches gives me lots of room to play.

I know I still have some tweaking to do – now that I see the photograph on the computer – but that can be done AFTER the edge is all finished. I am just soooooo happy with this rug! (and really happy it is done!)


9 responses »

  1. Oh Loretta…it is beautiful….but the whipping still means there is so much to do. And I am taking from this that maybe I can’t use show binding on my huge beaver rug??!!! That is a bummer cuz I thought I could avoid whipping FOREVER! Anyhow, as to the tip on zigzagging a huge rug…I am confused about the ‘ditch’ part. If I pull out a thread of burlap…am I then zigzagging IN THE DITCH? And if so, doesn’t this mean it is less secure than if the zigzagging was catching both warp and weft? Or is the ditch just a guide for the presser foot which I then direct to zigzag on the inside??? From ‘you know who’….

  2. Hi there Liz Yes whipping is a big job but you know I DONT DO IT – GORD DOES!!! hmmm i should rent him out! He is verrry precise about it. But I may whip with wool strips.
    You can definitely put a showbinding on your rug. I just felt this one visually needed something bigger on the edge. But there is a way to make your showbinding denser – tear your strips wider i.e. 4 inches and fold them in half width wise – that gives it more thickness.

    So I guess I should have been more clear – the pulling out of the thread just means that when I zigzag I still do the edge so I am catching the warp and weft but when I cut off the excess later I cut in the ditch where the thread was pulled out and voila no loose or extra threads because I have zigzagged right along the one edge and caught only that long edge thread not the one beside it as well. does that make sense?…

  3. From Jan-to Feb-to Mar-to April-fewer than 3 months for 12 square feet of rug sounds awesome to me. What a lovely piece of artistry! Thanks for the ditch-tips, also.

  4. Oh its GOOOOOOOOORGEOUS Loretta….I Knew You could do it ! Best, Carol in Az

  5. Loretta, I loved it in January and even more now! I want it! Many hugs! Kathy

  6. WOW what a great job you did on this rug! I love Karen’s rugs and the way she uses color. I do have one question though….why don’t you zig-zag before you hook the rug? I have never tried to do it after hooking. My little toy sewing machine wouldn’t do it!
    I think if you’re going to put it on the floor whipping it with wool strips works great! I have had some that were whipped with wool yarn get “stringy” looking. Just my humble opinion.

    • Hi Sheri – good question! Usually when I hook a rug I am not sure how big I am going to make it OR how small I sometimes add more around the outside and then i would have to hook through the zigzagged area Now in the case of this rug it was a design by Karen Kahle of Primitive Spirit and hmmm was already big enough and anything additional would have looked wrong but I did actually make the outside border about 2 rows narrower so my 2 1/2 inches would have ended up as more like 3 which would have been too wide for the finish I was thinking of. I guess it is just a personal decision because I never reallllly know when I am doing a design of my own how big it will end up being (or how small!) and over the years I have just always done it that way. Probably time to try a new way!!!!! 🙂 I think the wool strips will be wonderful started whipping with yarn in one section and wool strips in another and i LOVVVE the wool strips! I probably will put this on the wall or in my bedroom on the floor (4 cats who constantly vomit up hairballs make putting it anywhere else out of the question cause they likkkkee to vomit on carpets!!!!) Thanks for your advice on the whipping … like you I love Karens designs!!!! and her colours. Her class was a great learning experience…

  7. Hey there Loretta – that rug is sooo YOU – it’s amazing! You and Karen K are definitely kindred spirits. I am way behind in my blog reading and just now beginning to feel that I am back from Planet Vacation. I think getting my income tax stuff ready was the real test. Feels good to be pulling loops again, that’s for sure.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Annual.



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