My rag-rug progresses and I’m so inspired by the process that I’m making sketches for the next one, or for details to go into this one. I’m not really sure which. The neat thing about these rugs is that not only are they colorful and textural, but they also have a long history.
As I told you my grandmother used to make braided rag-rugs, and apparently, it is a long tradition not only in America, but also in Scandinavia. There’s even a Finnish-American Rag Rug Collection at MSU, for which my aunt and I saw a monograph awhile back. These are woven, rather than crocheted, and as it was the second line of thought I had today, I’ll have to post more about it later.
This morning I got pulled along the trail of Shaker rug history. The Shakers are known for their handicrafts and woodwork, and I’d seen some of these interesting designs before, in the form of these contemporary items marketed as reproductions of traditional designs.
But in the American Folk Art Museum (New York City) I found these beautiful rugs that bear more relationship to my current projects than the woven Finnish-American rugs because of their radial form and because they are made without a loom. I love their use of bold colors and the way they emphasize the roundness with triangles and squares.
Lion Brand Yarn has a pattern using cotton yarn which is inspired by these knitted and crocheted Shaker rugs. If you want to download the pattern, you might have to sign up for their website, but all the patterns are free. Yarn is a little less durable and thick than rags, but still quite cozy.