>> Wendy Tremayne (
gaiatreehouse.com) is renovating an RV park into a
100% reuse, off-grid B&B in Truth or Consequences, N.M. Another project,
swaporamarama.org), is a clothing swap and DIY
workshop designed to offer people an alternative to consumerism.
Whimsies in Wool
Peggy Campbell’s rugs give old sweaters a new purpose.
Ionce heard someone refer to a rug as a guest
rather than a possession. A home without a
carpet does feel lonely. We suspect that even our
“guests” have a story to tell. We search them for
traces of places, times, and people, for records of
beliefs and events.
In Russian folk tales, the writings of Mark Twain,
and the classic stories of Arabian Nights, the flying
carpet traverses continents. Accompanied by the
wind, it carries us through the colors of an ever-changing sky, animate, sturdy, luxurious, and able
to deliver dreams.
Peggy Campbell is a modern rug maker. Her
rag-rug creations are made from the once-loved
sweaters of unknown others. Campbell wanted
quality and found it in felted wool. She filled her
loom with repurposed woven garments because
they were available and they offered a great
variety of color. Now she buys them in bulk from
a textile supplier who provides reused materials.
From her father, who was a painter, Campbell
inherited an appreciation for harmony in hue. Her
rugs are a showcase for color. She sees a “blurred
line” between art and what is utilitarian. “In the
same way a painter puts paint on a canvas, I put
colored warp and weft into my rugs,” she says.
Campbell’s home in Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada,
is adorned with her textured works in earthy colors.
The lush, soft pieces make all who inhabit the space
Perhaps the magic carpet is hostage to the mythic
realm, and not found in Campbell’s living room,
but pixie dust can be devised if one follows her
mastered method. She invites us to materialize our
own colorful world: a woolly nest for a cold room,
a playful pad to welcome guests, a soft spot for a
loved pet to doze upon, or a sphere of color simply
to delight the imagination.
» 2-HARNESS LOOM, 36" WIDE, ADAPTED
TO WEAVE WITH RAGS YOU CAN ALSO USE A
SIMPLE FRAME LOOM; THERE’S ONE YOU CAN
MAKE YOURSELF ON PAGE 58.
» 1-DENT REED YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS
BY MODIFYING AN EXISTING REED TO MAKE IT
1 WIRE PER INCH.
» MEASURING TAPE
» SEWING MACHINE
» WOOL SWEATERS ( 7– 12) TO MAKE 28
STRIPS OF RAG 6' LONG
FINISHED SIZE: 26"× 46"
Reed A comb, closed on both sides, that fits into
the beater to beat the weft threads into place.
Dent A space in the reed. Reeds are measured in
dents per inch.
Sley To thread the warp ends through the dents
in the reed.
Heddle A device that raises and lowers the warp
threads. It can be a rigid piece of wood, metal, or
plastic, or a series of wire or cord loops connected
to a shaft.
Shed The space that forms when the warp is raised
to allow a shuttle to pass through.