Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shepherd's Rug Class

I did not have a photo of me braiding my three stripes of roving in the class but Letty the teacher sent me one from her collections of photos. You have three pieces of roving, which could be three different colors or any combination you would and they should all be a different length from one yard long to shorter. You take the three stripes of roving and by using a clamp attach the three pieces all different length to a table and start braiding like you would your own hair. When you get to the end of the first short stripe of roving take another long piece of roving approximately one yard long and add it to the short piece of roving and then continue to braid until you get your desired length of braid. Hope this helps a bit for you all that would like to give this a try.
On August 13th, I attended the "Michigan Fiber Festival" in Allegan and took a class called "The Shepherd's Rug"! Letty Klein and Ann Brown both co-authored the book called "The Shepherd's Rug" which they used in their classes. This wonderful book can be found by clicking on the hyperlink Letty Klein and Ann Brown above. There were 19 in our class and learning how to use wool roving and braid it into a rug was so much fun. After I braided 10 yards of wool roving using two shades of pink and a natural brown color our teacher put them into a laundry bag and took them to the local laundry mat where she washed them in hot soapy water and then dry them in a hot dryer. What you see above is what 10 yards of braiding looks like after my long braid was felted. We then started stitching the felted braids together by using waxed linen thread. You can see I still need to finish my project.

These are the beautiful colors I decided to use for my Shepherd's Rug which I bought from Letty. These are one pound balls of roving.

This is a photo of my teacher Letty Klein with the white jeans and her assistant Jan in the pink top. They both were wonderful teachers.

This is a photo of some of the hundreds of rugs Letty has created from wool braided roving. They are all truly beautiful.

While at a flea market in Germany I came upon this lovely very old spinning wheel. The lady that previously owned this spinning wheel was going into a nursing home at the age of 95 and her son was selling some of her things. He told me that this spinning wheel was bought for his mother when she was a young bride and that his dad bought it from South Africa. All those white wee specks you see are Ivory. Isn't it truly beautiful. I will always treasure this spinning wheel even thought I have no idea how to spin. I just love looking at it and knowing the history behind it warms my heart. Can you imagine how much wool this dear lady spun on this spinning wheel over the years. I also bought the wool rug the spinning wheel is setting on from a weaver at a Christmas Market in Germany who told me she used 100% New Zealand wool to create it. It is so nice and warm to walk on. They are also very easy to clean. Letty told us in the winter when the snow is deep and dry she takes her wool rugs outside and lays them in the snow. Letty then pounds both sides of the rug and then shakes the snow off. They are now nice and clean. She told us these wool rugs will last forever.

This photo is an up close photo of this lovely antique spinning wheel. When I bought it I paid 90Euro for it. I have no idea what its worth would be. If anyone has any idea what its value may be I would love to hear from you.

This photo was taken at a Easter Market in Germany which was located in a Castle not far from where I lived. It was the first time I ever discovered a lady teaching needle felting wool. "The Wool Lady" had heaps of lovely things she was selling and she gave me my first needle felting spot right there at the Easter Market. I instantly fell in love with felting that day. The Wool Lady told me she dyed all her wool with things from nature, like onions, flowers, berries, and roots from plants too. I bought some beautiful wool from her in lovely blues, yellow, green, and orange.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Shepherd's Rugs class and the wee story about my cherished spinning wheel and The Wool Lady.

I wish you all a wonderful week. Here in Michigan we have been experience a lovely Indian Summer with very nice sunny days and very mild temperatures in the 70F. The Autumn leaves are now just turning a wee bit. More photos of them to come in future posts.


Linda B said...

A wonderful post. What a precious spinning wheel. As a spinner, I can really appreciate it. And of course, we always need more spinning wheels. One is not enough!


A great project Judy. That will keep you busy through Autumn and "warm you twice" through winter. Will you show us again as you are woring on it?

Have a great sunshiney day :o)

Art4Sol said...

Using wool roving to braid a rug is probably gentler on your hands than using wool fabric. These are beautiful.

Jasmine said...

A lovely idea. Circular rugs are my favourite. I will have to give this a go. I just placed a wool order with a new supplier today (my old supplier keeps missing bits off my order)anyway, the new suppliers website is a treat for the eyes, spinning wheels, looms, carders, vegetable fibres (hemp, bamboo, flax, linen, cotton) as well as alpaca, mohair, cashmere... On top of all of the rare breed sheep wool. Heaven.

ruthie said...

ooh, i should love to have a go at making a shepherds rug, they are so beautiful, so earthy & homely too. such a lovely post *ruthie*

Anonymous said...

Hi from Carol,
Been browsing your interesting site and will be back again. Love the colours in the rugs.

Kayla coo said...

So glad you had a great time at your class.The colours you chose for your rug are beautiful.x

RagJó said...

THe spinning wheel is beautiful and oh so precious with the story that comes with it.
The rugs are wonderful, must be so warm and fun to make.
all the best from rainy Iceland :-)

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Linda, I am very happy you enjoyed looking at my antique spinning wheel. It is very precious to me. Hugs Judy

Hello Carolyn, Yup, I will be braiding through out the whole winner. It is such a relaxing process. Hugs Judy

Hello Darlene, Yes, the wool rug is soo nice warm and cozy to step on. I love it. Hugs Judy

Jasmine, I think you will love making a rug like this. I hope this wool seller works better for you. It sounds like they have a great amount of wool to chose from. Hugs Judy

Hello Carol, Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment. Hugs Judy

Hello Kayla, Yup the class was wonderful and I enjoyed every second of it. Hugs Judy

Hello Rago, Thanks for the nice comment on my antique spinning wheel. Not sure if it really works or not because I do not spin and its history is lovely and I could not resist buying it. Hugs judy

Charmingdesigns said...

I have not seen wool used this way. How wonderful. I think I might try making a wee one to put under my birds. I am going to go to a wool fest in my area in a few weeks. I think you should use your spinning wheel. Thanks for your encouragement about my upcoming sale. Its going to be on Sunday...and good weather is in the forcast! yea!

Cathy K said...

Oh what a wonderful spinning wheel! I think that was a real FIND, especially with the inlay. You must learn to spin! I'd love to learn, too, as we have lots of sheep on the farm where I work. Too bad we don't live closer together. And I imagine your garden and yard will be gorgeous in fall; can't wait to see the pictures. I'll write you after the CQI retreat, OK? Hugs, Cathy

Maureen said...

looking forward to seeing your rug Judy, don't we have some wonderful craft adventures??

Heather said...

Judy... what a lovely spinning wheel, truly a treasure. I love the colours you have chosen for your rug... it is going to be wonderful when you finish it. Hugs.

Miss 376 said...

I don't know how I missed this, but this class looked wonderful. Those rugs are beautiful. Can't wait to see yours finished

acornmoon said...

So that is how braided rugs are made! Thanks for this informative post and your very kind comments.

karen said...

At first glance I thought your second image was sausages!! I love all these wools and your spinning wheel is gorgeous!


Hope you are ok. Did I owe you a reply to the question about the photo mosaics. This is the link to flickr mosaics:

Hope you had a good weekend
Best wishes always

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Everyone, I have been away again and behind in responding to everyone lovely messages. Please accept my apologies. I truly appreciated all the wonderful and kind comments left for me to read. And it makes me very happy that you all find my blog postings interesting.

Take care Big hug to everyone. Judy

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