Sunday, October 21, 2012

Handwoven "rag-rug" placemats

Another set of hand-woven and -stitched items from my teenage years...
and I cannot believe I have so far overlooked these very frequently used items in my documentation process!  :O
To the best of my memory, this is probably my very first handwoven project on the big floor loom...  I expect Mum suggested these as a good beginner's project before moving onto a more complex project; like the serviettes* I featured in the previous post, with an in-woven pattern.
A set of six placemats in the rag-rug style.  Each measures 40cm x 24cm. 
They are woven in a plain weave, with a blue cotton warp.  The weft was made of three different blue cotton fabrics; two plain cottons and one fine-wale corduroy.  These fabrics were cut into thin strips, the ends spliced and lightly hand-tacked together to make a continuous strip.
The tops and bottoms were finished off by hand-stitching a loop around each and every warp thread and into the weaving, the warp trimmed and then the ends folded under twice and stitched into hems.
These have been in solid rotation for twenty-five odd years although we haven't really used them as much in the past coupla years.  This is not because they are fragile, oh no! the rag-rug is a super long-lifed type of fabric; super tough and hard-wearing and able to withstand a pretty heavy-duty lifestyle!  More just our laziness, not going and getting them out of the linen cupboard as often as we used to, I guess :)

*btw, I decided to eliminate rants from my blog a while back, but just quickly: anyone who wishes to anonymously "correct" my Australian English and lecture me on the "proper" words to use when describing my handmade items, how about this:  instead of trolling, maybe you could appreciate that other countries and cultures might sometimes use different words from your own.  As well as broadening your mind, you might just learn something new every once in a while  :)
Phew! Rant is over and good nature has now been restored!

25 comments:

  1. I enjoy the differences in lexicon. Just because we speak the same language doesn't mean that we must use the exact same terms for everything. I get frustrated when fiction from other English-speaking countries, for instance, goes through an Americanizing filter (presumably to avoid alienating the biggest market), thereby losing its sense of place and integrity.

    Vive la différence!

    Lovely work, as always :-)

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  2. I find myself talking about my serger, and serged finishes in my garments etc... and I'm Australian. I know I should be saying "overlocker" but gosh, serger just makes more sense in my mouth!

    The other one is muslin. I know we should say that we made a toile, but honestly, muslin is just easier to say!

    I don't care about the words, as long as the meaning is clear :-)

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  3. These are really cool. Every time I look at your blog I wish I had I had hand craft talent!

    My grandmother used to make beautiful rugs in this manner. She was so talented. My dear cousin was gifted with this talent too...she makes much of her wardrobe and primitive crafts too.

    She's one of my followers (Kattywhompus Primitives).

    Lovely blue color; I love that you have kept them for so many years.

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  4. You can describe things the way you want, after all it's your blog and I like the way you describe your things - it works for me. But then, maybe we're just on the same wavelength :D

    BTW love the placemats; great colour. Have they faded much over the years?

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  5. As well as reading your blog for the sewing content, I also read it to keep my english "alive", and I love the differences, I just wish I could hear every english-speaking blogger´s accent too!

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  6. I too hover over the keys of my laptop when I write trousers/pants, serger/overlocker etc., but most people who read lots of blogs around the world seem to understand, and if they don't they often ask.

    pretty mats.

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  7. Is there anything you can't do? These are really lovely and a great colour for cheering you up in the morning at the breakfast table!

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  8. Beautiful blue! I love the rag rug style. Sorry to hear you have annoying anonymous comments.

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  9. Aah, lovely. You've got me wishing I kept many of the crafts i attempted during my teenage years. Unfortunatley, my mother was a minimalist in those days! I have kept a hand smocked baby dress which I made when I was 16. I resisted all urges to donate it and my daughter wore it, much to my great pride and pleasure. I hope she will have a daughter to wear it one day too. It is a wonderful thing to look back and view the painstaking efforts of our younger selves.
    As for the vocabulary - well we all have different cultural expressions - obviously, as we have the good fortune of being able to connect in a global community. That's what makes it fun!

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  10. Loved your rant - I can't believe feel the need to carry on like that.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. We use boards here in Britain, rather than placemats. They are more stable - ie a flatter surface - and good at protecting the table from heat, but I think placemats are far easier. You can just throw them in the wash, where you have to wipe and dry each of the boards.

    I use the boards more to keep the tablecloth clean - but I think placemats might work better. (And I use a tablecloth to hide my grandmother's poor old abused table top). Hmmmm... maybe it's time to try something different...

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  13. Hey I like the alternate vocabulary I read on blogs around the world, makes it so fun and brings the rest of the sewing universe to my desktop. that is half the fun. keep up the Aussie, its great.
    love placemats, well done that they have lasted so long.

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  14. I think your writing is so humorous and enjoy reading it for a change from what I hear on a daily basis! I like to read it with an Australian accent in my mind.

    Nice placemats. They must be really great at deterring stains to make it for 25 years and look so fresh.

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  15. Feel free to rant away! It's your blog, and besides you are a good writer, and interesting to read.
    This placemats are lovely, timeless and obviously sturdy. I love the sea blue colour, makes me think of a sunny holiday.

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  16. Oh, wow. I love your placemats and your other weaved set of linen (with the design weaved into it). Beautiful. Every minute of work you put into it has surely been worth it - how long these have lasted and how well they still look! Amazing. Love the blue colour.

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  17. Funny thing about the vocabulary. My husband and I just returned from France where he speaks with a Canadian accent instead of the "proper" French one. Even though they kid him about it, he is still proud to speak the way he was taught--it's the differences that are so fascinating, I find.
    Lovely work as usual, by the way.

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  18. The placemats are lovely--I've seen similar-styled ones in stores, but yours are a much more fun color!

    And sorry to hear that some people are being jerks about your vocabulary. I read a lot of blogs from sewists based in the UK and Australia, and grew up watching a fair number of "Brit-coms", so I enjoy the differences in slang and terminology between America and other English-speaking countries. It's fun to read!

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  19. That is an interesting post on table mats. I always wondered how this style of fabric was made....now I know!

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  20. Usually people who criticise anonymously are actually cowards! They want to dish it out, but don't have the courage to own up their criticism in person!
    Carolyn , you go girl!! You're blog rocks! It's informative and humourous as well. I started reading it from when you started your blog, and had such a laugh about the comment on depooping the flowers beds in one of your earliest blogs! Behind all the glamourous outfits, there's a down-to-earth person, that I just love hearing about.

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  21. You've got me thinking about the weird and wonderful way we say things here. It's actually quite hard to pinpoint the actual sayings, because of course they sound fine to me. Do you say "get a feed on" for a big family dinner? Or "you's" as the plural of you? How about "happy as a clam"? We do here!

    So I'm at my sewing group on Saturday where I'm trying a pattern in hopes of adding a hood like Pattern Magic 3. I mention this and half of us are talking about 'Carolyn' and how she got us on to this, and the other half are wondering who this new person is and why she isn't at group as well. Here in Nova Scotia we talk about you like the virtual girl next door. And believe me, we better not hear a negative comment, or there will be hell to pay! Blog on girl!

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  22. Rude is rude in any language or dialect. And your anonymous commenter was rude. Actually, I love all of our differences...because of you, in my mind, I think "knickers" when I get dressed in the morning!

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  23. I can't remember ever seeing a spelling or grammatical error in your blog posts. Not that I actively check these things ;), I just can't help myself as I was a medical writer for a while and everything had to be PERFECT on my clinical trial reports. They were written then checked twice by other writers. As for Australian, I love reading the little 'strine' bits and pieces in your blog and I would love it even more if I was an expat Aussie being reminded of home. When I lived in Canada I had to modify many words and expressions in order to make myself understood, but everyone loved hearing them all the same! I think your blog posts are whimsical, entertaining and very well written. Don't change anything!

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  24. Thanks everyone! (apart from anon): it's not so much the pointing out my so-called errors, and I don't even mind that if someone signs their name to their comment so we can engage in a conversation about it; but when it's anonymous outright criticism with absolutely no positivity attached at all then I'm just like, oh get lost.

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  25. Carolyn !! while searching the net for hand woven table mats, I came across you blog and a photo of the handwoven rug rag placemats. I couldn't believe it! I have had the same mats (I lived in Perth for about 30 years) and have used them over and over and over and washed them, and stained them and then washed them again for years and years - an old standby favourite. Are you still making placemats? If so, let me know, we live on a farm now and rustic colours required for the cottage. Maggie

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