Saturday, October 25, 2008

Questions asnwered: Too many / few doubles and clockwise or counterclockwise?

These came in by email, and I always figure if one person is asking, many more are wondering.

The last first- too few:
When the rug is cupping up, you've put in too few double stitches. If you catch it early on, and depending on how tightly you stitch, what kind of material you're using, and so forth, usually no drastic action is necessary. Just make sure to put a normal number of double stitches in the following rows, and it will probably flatten out.

In extreme cases though, you will have to pull out a row or two. Except for where you've joined one strip to another... I usually just snip the joints out rather than try to pull them through.

Ripples and Waves- Too Many Doubles:
This is more often my problem, especially since I stitch so tightly. Unless you're sewing very loosely, or catch it early, you'll almost always have to undo to correct this.
The rug I'm working on currently has had this problem, but I'm trying to correct for it because I'm sewing it very loosely and using much more thin strips of fabric than usual. No, its not the rug most recently pictured. As per my next post, our life has turned upside down, so...
So, you'll be able to see when I'm finished with my "sari rug" as I call it how well trying to counter the ripples worked.

The big exception to both of these: Working with fabrics with spandex (such as hosiery) or plastic bags.
Both make wonderful rugs... I think rugs made from old pantyhose feel the best to walk on. But both of these are very unforgiving. Its easy to overstretch any fabric with "give" in it, only to find your rug is trying to self form itself into some bizarre 3D shape. Plastic bags, on the other hand, will NEVER stretch out. You have to keep the number of doubles just right with them from start to finish.

Clockwise vs. Counterclockwise = right / left handed
It was recently observed that the rug start I posted October 2nd seems to be going in a counterclockwise spiral. In the picture, indeed so it seems. When I work on it, however, its back is towards me, and I stitch with my right hand, so I actually go clockwise.
Left handed people tend to spiral in the opposite direction.
As I do many other things left handed, I've had no trouble teaching people to do it that way, and can stitch left handed also, just not as quickly.

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