Waste not...

Laura Kenyon

I'm a cheapskate.  At least about some things.  Or maybe I am just frugal. I love living in the South, but I'm still from Yankee stock.

Well, no matter what I hate to waste...particularly wool. I'm not exactly a hoarder, but I have a hard time throwing ANY wool away.  Even the smallest pieces find their way back into a basket for the perfect place in a future rug.  Actually the basket is better described as a hamper...

When I first learned to hook, it just didn't sit right with me when I was told to pull the end through and cut it to the height of the loops around it. When I start hooking a new strip, I pull the end just to loop level. Why cut and throw away any? And when I am at the end of a strip, I don't even pull the end through.  I hook until I can't manage to get another loop. Then I'll cut the end loop and pull the cut piece of tail from the back.  I get every last bit into the rug.  The snippets are then tossed into the backyard for the birds to use in their nests.

So, when it comes to selvedge edges...  I know some folks just run them through the cutter and hook them into their rugs.  I hook in a 4 or 6 cut and the selvedges are just a tad thicker than the other wool.  Those strips just don't lay even enough for me.

I dye a lot - for myself and for others.  So I have a lot of selvedge strips, a very big box. I can't throw away all that precious wool.  No way.  So what to do with them?

Well, I've hooked a couple of pieces just with the selvedges.  Here's a hit or miss rug I hooked from fat quarter length selvedges.  I love the curly way the loops lay and it's quite thick and cushiony.

hit or miss checkerboard rug

I also took advantage of that look by using the selvedges on these purses.  It gives a nice frilly edge.

two hooked clutch purses

Then I learned about Amish knot rugs...they are similar to a crocheted rug but use two working strands. If you're inclined to try it, there are several Youtube how-to videos.  I made this snippet basket with selvedges.  And I made about 10 larger baskets.  Now I'm working on an oval rug.


amish knot rug


The funny thing is that the big box isn't any emptier...



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