Throughout September, four full time crafters and I each worked on a project using six balls of woollen blanket yarn (blanket selvedge strips rescued from the Yorkshire mills). We wanted to generate some fresh ideas for what could be made using this beautiful waste material and encourage people to think outside the box. The Knitting and Stitching Show delayed my sharing of the final images, but finally here they are, starting with me, Elspeth from Ragged Life…
A Braid-In Rag Rug made from Blanket Selvedges – Ragged Life
Braid-in rag rugs are made by weaving strips of fabric in and out between each other then passing the last tail through previous rows to join them together in an ever-increasing circle or oval. Don’t worry if you can’t visualise what I mean, you have to see it in action to understand really!
It’s a superb style of rag rug making as it requires no rug making tools and is mindfully repetitive. Best of all, braid-in rag rugs don’t require assembly or stitching together at the end as tails are woven in as you work! My September Sustainability Challenge braid-in rag rug ended up using approx 4.4 balls (1082 grams) of woollen blanket yarn and came out like below…
I was pretty pleased with the end result, particularly as a first attempt! Stay tuned to the Ragged Life newsletter to read more tips I learnt making my first braided-in rag rug. And, if you’d like to learn how to make braid-in rag rugs like this one here, we’ve got the following workshops coming up. Click here to browse workshop dates:
Ragged Life HQ, Hertfordshire – Sun, 26th Nov 2023 – 13:00-17:00
The Viking Loom, York – Sat, 13th Jan 2024 – 12:30-16:30
Ragged Life HQ, Brighton – Sun, 14th Jan 2024 – 13:00-17:00
Ragged Life HQ, Hertfordshire – Sat, 21st Jan 2024 – 13:00-17:00
Jen’s Colourful “Confetti” Surplus Woollen Coat – Jenerates
Jen was super pleased with how her confetti-inspired woollen coat turned out. She made the coat itself using a dressmaking pattern from a Swedish designer and cream woollen blanket offcuts salvaged from the Scottish mills then embellished it with pops of colour from our Ragged Life blanket selvedge strips. What a triumph! She sewed a fancy “Made from Waste” patch to the arm and never looked back.
Woollen Weaving Projects – Lucy Rowan (formerly Peas and Needles)
Lucy was one of the first of the full time crafters to get started on the challenge and motivated us all to get cracking. She wanted to experiment with a new weaving loom which someone had kindly donated to her. As the organised one amongst us, Lucy had so much time left that after she’d finished weaving her blanket selvedge table runner, she wove some of the blanket yarn into gorgeous 3D pots. Stunning and tastefully done Lucy!
High Fashion Tea Towel Jacket – Scarlett from AFRAYED Upcycling
Scarlett used the September Sustainability Challenge as an opportunity to live her best “Project Runway” life. As someone who is known for her iconic tea towel dresses, Scarlett knew from the outset that she wanted to incorporate a tea towel into her design and blend it in with the blanket strips. With that in mind, she chose blanket yarns that paired with the colours of a lovely vintage tea towel she’d sourced and found a suitable woollen jacket in a charity shop to act as a base. Here is the final jacket as modelled by a friend:
Sustainable Crocheted Dog Bed – Paula from Cocoon&me
Paula finished off this amazing crocheted dog bed in the evenings during the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace earlier this month. The reason being that the lucky recipient of this custom dog bed was at the home where Paula was staying every night during the show and Paula tailor-made the bed to the dog! Paula combined our recycled blanket strips with her braided recycled cotton cord to add strength to the bed.
So that’s how we all got on – what do you think? Comment below to let us know or support those who took part by following them on social media below. It was a super fun challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed 🙂
Thanks for reading! x