Grandma Gwen’s Rugs
This exercise of claiming favorite things has been interesting. I’m suddenly aware of how many of my favorites have to do with farm/country style life and the accompanying values. Today’s topic continues along that line as it shows creativity, thriftiness, simplicity and usefulness.
Grandma Gwen is my mom but I got used to calling her that when my kids came along. She has always been good at sewing and making things because that was what country lifestyle required. Over the years she has become famous in the family for knitting, crocheting and now making crochet rugs – rugging! This craft was one of the ways that large pieces of cloth, like sheets and curtains, were turned into a needed floor covering when they were showing signs of age.
Grandma Gwen finds her cloth in various thrift shops and garage sales, sometimes for free and occasionally at a price, if it’s a desired color. She groups the fabrics in color families that are pleasing to her, or ones that she knows will go with a particular décor. She tears the cloth into strips about 2 inches wide and stores them in plastic grocery bags.
She starts by folding the raw edges of a strip into the center and folding again so they don’t show. As the strip is prepared like this, she winds it around her finger like a spool. Then she starts crocheting a chain the length of the center of her rug. She turns the work and does single crochet back along the strip. At the ends she adds stitches as the rug grows in size.
Almost always, there is a rug in progress and they become gifts for children, grandchildren and friends. I love them, and lucky me, I have lots of them. They not only add color and character to the rooms they are in but they also feel like a gentle massage underfoot. Many family members have taken classes from her on how to make their own rugs because they are so beautiful, fun and useful.