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Raggedy Tutorial
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36 Responses

  1. Mary

    Hey, internet coincidence, like lots of people inventing calculus at the same time! I just finished writing about my recycled-dresses-of-mother-in-law rag rug. Way to re-purpose that nearly indestructible denim!

    I love the finished product, but since mine is sewn braids rather than weaving, it’s a lot less sturdy. I’m re-sewing it according to this further link I found: http://www.craftown.com/instruction/rugs.htm

    Good luck with your warp (and weft)!

  2. Dad

    Great post but I thought you needed more than one ball to juggle! Have fun.

  3. Carrie

    I’ve been cutting up t-shirts in the same manner to knit or crochet a new bath mat. Never even thought of weaving; can’t wait to see how it turns out! It sounds like it will be so pretty!

  4. Linda

    Lots of cutting!…I took a class a few years ago. I made a rug out of red, white and blue for my patriotic bathroom. I have it all done except the last row needs to be reverse crochet and I can’t do it right.
    The denim will look rustic and wear so well.

  5. Nadia

    That sounds so interesting! I can’t wait to see the finished product. I have several old pairs of jeans too…

  6. Jessica

    Love the juggling act. I can’t wait to see the final product!

  7. erica

    Oh that looks like fun! My mom used to make rag rugs and I love the look of them. Can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

    You’re making me want to learn how to weave but I honestly don’t need another craft, I can barely get all of the fiber I have spun.

  8. *karen


  9. kate

    Unfortunately, broken ends are a downside to weaving. The come about either as a result of an imperfection in the yarn (splice, knot, thinness, etc) or if the yarn is a weaker material or smaller size and/or came to be under much greater tension than its surrounding friends. They usually happen on the sides of the warp, because they get pulled in a bit from the reed, creating tension on the first 1/2 inch or so of either side. Using a mercerized cotton almost ensures no breakage (I have also found pastimes soysilk to be a fabulous warp and gives nice hand). One thing that helps (if you haven’t already): make two selvedges. They also help make a clean edge. Take your first 2-4 (depending on thickness) warp yarns and do not thread them through heddles. When you weave, they should never raise, and you can go under/over to create the edge. The less pulling you do on the shuttle after each weft insertion helps reduce some of the tension. To choose if a yarn is okay for a warp, grab one strand in each hand and pull tightly apart. The easier to break, the worse it will be.

    Sorry if this was too long. Unfortunately I am no stranger to broken ends — they are not fun!

  10. KaarenB

    Cotton warp is not very strong. Linen is better. It lasts and is more resistant to abrasion from the heddles. With such a durable weft (denim), a strong linen warp would be best.

  11. Lin

    What a great idea … I love to see things re-used although am not always so good at doing that myself!

  12. Kristin

    That last picture is hilarious!
    I can’t wait to see more pictures.

  13. Heidi

    This post really reminds me of the rag rugs my grandmother used to make. She was always collecting old clothes from us, weaving them into the most beautiful rugs. Don’t think she made any with jeans, though, so it will be really interesting to see what your jeans rug will look like. Great way to do something useful with old clothes!

  14. alyssa

    Very cool! I really love projects with repurposed jeans. If you didn’t loose the waistband to hip area, it can be seamed across the cut side (hip to hip) and makes the cutest tote.

  15. Alice

    Love that pic! It puts a smile on my face :) I have lots of old jeans that I have been saving for something crafty… the thought of cutting them up like that really hurts my hands though!

  16. tiennie

    Fun picture of you! Can’t wait to see the rug!

  17. Jen

    What a neat project! Looking forward to seeing how it goes! :)

  18. eunny

    I’m really excited about watching this project in progress, and seeing something useful and beautiful come out of something old…I love that all the jeans are slightly different colors; can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like.

  19. Sarah

    I keep meaning to take scissors to my husband’s collection of T-shirts from various road races and make a Mason-Dixon rug – adding strips of denim is a great idea! Can’t wait to see how it works on the loom.

  20. Jenna

    Whoa, I never thought you’d broadcast your love for playing with balls all over the internet like that ;)

    What a fun, functional and eco-friendly project! I can’t wait to see how the varying shades of blue play out in the rug. I’ve wanted to make the t-shirt rug from Alterknits for a long time now, so maybe this will inspire me.

  21. Sandy

    Good luck with your rug. My loom isn’t heavy enough for denim rugs. So, I have a few from a local weaver. One is at our back door and it is very durable; it’s tough enough to hold up to all of the snow and yuk that we drag in over the winter here in Green Bay, WI.

  22. Juliann

    I still have three rag rugs I wove over 30 years ago. The ones in the bathroom are 27 inches wide and 2 yards long. I noticed that in the last washing the warp threads are starting to break. I just folded them under and continue to use them. That’s the purpose of rag rugs. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers always taught me to Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without. I helped make countless crocheted rag rugs until I became a weaver. Great idea to use up what you have. It will last forever!

  23. nova

    Okay, now I am uber interested to see what happens next. The last shot of you is priceless. That is a girl who really loves her hobbies.

  24. Sarah

    How inspiring. Really. You are making me want to learn to weave. And re-using your jeans and old shirts, brilliant.

  25. iHanna

    I’ve made jeans bags this entire month, check them out and maybe you can make one too if you save the tops. Weaving is on my want-to-try-list but this month I did try spinning yarn, ooooh it was fun! :-)

    Hope the rug making goes well!

  26. Taueret

    oh good one. I wasn’t sure if you’d been scairt off the idea of rag rugs by the broken-loom sayers. Can’t wait to see.

  27. Diana

    Denim is totally fun to work with. I am working on a quilt for my BFF who is going to graduate Vet school in May. I made her give me all her old jeans and I am going to turn them into a masterpiece!

  28. Carol

    I am soooo going to do something with my old jeans now. I have been planning to cut them up and knit a purse, but I was putting it off….Maybe in the next few days I will start cutting. that way I can take breaks to work on my current knitting and eventually will have the jeans ready to go! Cool. Keep us posted, I’m intensely curious.

  29. Laura

    Have fun! No wonder your hands hurt. I have a couple pairs of solid metal dressmaker shears (Gingher) that I use on heavy upholstery fabrics. If you do more denim cutting, I would HIGHLY recommend borrowing or buying a pair of those. It really does make all the difference in the world. I’ll send you a pair of mine to try out!

  30. Grace

    This is a really great idea, however I shed a little tear seeing you CUTTING your old label Levis… some types of clothing seem to have a life of their own, especially the classics. I love finding second hand, old, or vintage Levis at garage sales and thrift stores… those are my favorite jeans to wear.

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  32. Jodie

    I love that last post! I’ve been wanting to knit a rag rug, but haven’t come across the right material. I think some of those old jeans will be a perfect fit! Haha.

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  35. Suz

    Ahh Lolly, we meet again! LOL!

    It’s been a long time. :::Waves to you from bitterly cold NW Indiana:::

    I landed here after doing a google search for “recycled yarn”. when a link for your blog came up i knew i had to click over. You are always so very clever in your creativity so i just had to see what you’ve done in this category.

    I have a few random comments:

    On Weaving:
    Deb (my other half) bought a loom at MDSW 2006 or maybe 2007, not sure which one. she has yet to use it. :(

    On Rag Rugs:
    Prior to getting into knitting in 2004, i had made two crocheted “rag” rugs. The inspiration came form the adorable prints in my niece’s little clothes that she was quickly outgrowing, she was in her toddler years. The first rag rug i crocheted was heart shaped and for the floor of her bedroom. I spent i don’t know how many hours cutting up her small little clothes, most of them in shades of pink and off – white. I had the lame brained idea that i needed to sew all of those strips together, i did not cut the garments up in continuous strips. That would have been too smart and would have saved some of my sanity. ;D I have no idea what became of that rug, but it turned out really sweet and i wish i had taken some pics of it at the time.

    The second rag rug i made is also crocheted and round. It started out the same way, with some of Julia’s little clothes, but then i decided to buy some fabrics that would pull in colors from a quilt in my own bedroom. I never quite managed the increases properly and the rug puckers in the middle and never lies flat. Within just the past few weeks i have decided that i will wash it soon, rip it out and knit it back into a rectangle…probably buying more fabric to make it larger.

    Back in 2002 or ’03 or whenever it was i started making the crocheted rag rugs, before the knitting obsession took over, i started buying fabrics in the colors of a rainbow to make a rug that would sit outside of our tent when we go camping. At that time, my process was still cutting the fabric with a rotary cutter, sewing the strips together on a sewing machine and then winding that into a ball. The fabric for the rug has sat untouched for years and years, moved from Indiana to Maryland and back to Indiana. It was only after we moved into our current apartment that i decided to just try ripping the fabric and following the joining technique i had seen in Mason*Dixon Knitting…viola! OMG…such a time savings!! My red solid, orange mini-cammo, yellow solid and green frog fabrics have all been ripped, joined and wound into balls! WooHoo!! Now i need to buy some blue and purple fabrics to add to the project and hopefully i will start and finish the project before camping season. ROFL!!

    On Recycled Yarn:
    I’ve ripped out a pair of socks i made back in 2006. Knit Picks Parade (discontinued) in Forest. My favorite socks i’ve made for myself, so far! They shrunk and for me, the cuff/leg was too short ( i only do a cuff for me no leg, i have lymphedema in my legs and i really have no ankle area, it’s hard to explain. i can only wear my Birkenstock Boston Clogs, can’t wear any shoe that would come up as it would cut into my skin that is rolled.) Anywho…i had given the leftover yarn to a fellow knitter in MD and she’s since used it for iPod & phone cozies. I do have a solid green that Cookie (Shut Up and Knit) had dyed and sent me forever ago and will use that for cuff/heel/toe or just cuff/toe to make a larger pair of socks and still have them made mostly of my favorite yarn. What i need to do is to somehow revitalize the recovered yarn, it’s all squiggly from having been knit up for so long. I know i’ve seen somewhere that someone used a yarn swift to rework the yarn into a hank, tied it in several places, gave it a bath and then dried it hanging it from a doorknob with a small can of something weighing it down just a bit. Hmm. any thoughts? or insight?

    On Life:
    i really do need to get back to reading blogs and blogging regularly again. My Second Life addiction has run it’s course after two years and i’m back to knitting so much more like i used to. Damn addictive computer games!

    Hope you are well and staying warm.


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