in weaving

Today I present to you the poofiest mug rug in all the land:

A poofy, large woven mug rug lying on a table. Two half circles in goldenrod and light blue point towards a tawny diamond in the center. The backdrop is a cream yarn, and there are also bands of speckled grey, goldenrod yellow, and brick red. There’s little gaps in the weaving on the edges of the half circles.

I’ve woven coasters before, but always kept the backs of these fairly raw, in that you might be able to see where I wove in lose ends or tied things off, were you to look at the back. I thought I’d try making a mug rug with a fabric backing. So I wove the top, sewed the right side to some natural-color linen, turned it inside out and: poof.

I’m not super happy with how this turned out. What I didn’t have in mind to start is that by sewing things up this way, I’m effectively doubling up the height of the woven “fabric”. Hiding the seams by turning things inside out works nicely with woven items that have dimension (like a pillowcase), but not so much with something that needs to lie flat…unless perhaps I was using a lighter weight of yarn. It also places stress on the areas that are color-blocked; you can see little gaps between the yellow/blue and cream in the photo. I lazily omit sewing these little gaps together, and it tends not to matter much when the weaving displayed flat, like a tapestry. But here it’s a nope.

So, the next time I make a coaster or mug rug and want a backing fabric, I’ll just sew the fabric to the wrong side of the weaving and let the coaster have a visible seam. Learning: that’s why I’m here.

Here’s some process images of this mug rug:

The blue half circle on the loom. The shape really feels like a half circle!

This half circle actually turned out much better than usual! I made a template with some thick paper and marked the circle onto the warp strings using Sharpie. Before I’ve either winged it (nope) or used a "cartoon", which is a piece of paper with your design drawn on it, that you attach to the loom so it sits behind the warp strings. It was harder doing the half circle that’s facing the other direction—small rounded arc down—but I’m pretty pleased with this!

The finished weaving still sitting on the loom. The first couple inches are narrower than the rest of the weaving.

Let me tell you more about catastrophy. I had left my loom leaning against a wall at some point, and our Roomba came around and tried to eat the dangling ends of yarn. It pulled them REALLY TIGHT, and while I was able to ease up most of the tension, you can still tell from my wobbly selvedge edge where the Roomba tried to have a go at this weaving.

Natural linen fabric pinned to the weaving, now off the loom.

Sewing the fabrics together…

A visible seam on the top of thwe weaving, and a seam ripper.

But the first time around, I sewed the fabric the WRONG side of the weaving and had to seam rip the whole darn thing. Much more annoying with a weaving than quilting cotton, ugh.

The mug rug on the table again, with a plain white mug sitting in the center. There’s room for a second mug

And yet, I persisted. And we now have a rug mug! There is room for two mugs, so Rahul and I can be adorable and use this together while having coffee/tea and reading on the weekends.

I STILL have leftover yarn after this weaving, so I think I will just make a pom-pom garland. Now to dig up that pom-pom maker I have yet to use…

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