Friday, May 15, 2009

My Maharajah's Palace Projects-Carpets

This post is an excerpt from the one at My Maharajah's Palace Day 64. I have added 1 more picture and more pointers from Casey in this post. I hope that my mistakes and Casey's pointers will help newbie-"weavers" with some "do's and don'ts" of stitching a mini rug.

Picture above is added. I am showing off the back of my carpet. Despite many shortcomings, one thing I am rather pleased with is that my back can pass off as the front for a few seconds. MarJ saw the back when I was holding it and actually went "wow, your carpet is looking good" not knowing any better. When I showed her the front, she actually said "oh..." I guess to her, my back looks better than the front. Quite an accomplishment, don't you think?

Saryk-Turkoman Rug
(5" by 8 1/2" including fringe)

I started this rug on 22 Feb 2009 according to this journal at Day 32. I finished it today, 81 days later.

At 2 months, this is where I was (left pic). The carpet was crooked and it was getting more so by the stitches. I remembered I was very demoralised at one point and actually stopped working on it for a while. Didn't help when I saw how other "mini -weavers" are doing such a great job with theirs.

The thing about stitching though, is that it is very portable, calming and makes waiting for anything tolerable. Just take out my carpet which I bring with me everywhere and I can wait, even for hours.

To say my rug is not exactly great is being kind. I made so many mistakes. 1stly, wrong number of threads,-should have used 3 instead of 2 (see white spots?). Also, not sure how I created a trapezium rug. Mum said it could be me pulling too hard. Maybe it was sewing through to the next stitch in 1 move instead of patiently doing the sew through and then out method . Perhaps I should have used the hoop.

Anyway, as I was also not sure how to finish the rug edge and fringe, I sought help from Casey who so very kindly did a post on finishing a rug. When I still couldn't get how to straighten it, she told me this :

Sans, Take your rug and face down, spray it with water and stretch it, pulling diagonal corners so that it goes back to square. Sometimes you can simply do this several times, ironing with steam between pulling and it will eventually square up. If that doesn't do it, then I resort to pinning it. When you do that you have to just let alone until it dries completely....

That's what I did. I watered, pulled. Next day, I steam-ironed and then got Fafa to help pull. It became better but I lost patience. So I decided to edge and fringe 1st (using Casey's suggestion -3rd method).

After that, I called on my men for help:

BUT they kept falling down. Spoilt, rich and completely useless! So my next resort:

Yea, see my baby elephant? New to the palace and so very cute. Alas, he was too strong for my camel. So my LAST RESORT:

Ok, some defects can't be cured even with a whole convoy of camels and elephants.

With that, I decided this shall be the story of my rug. It is an old antique piece not unlike this Dowry Kilim, Inventory Number: 3725. Age: Indeterminable, Price: Expensive.

Tomorrow, I will try and pin it. Thank you Casey! Don't give up on me, my next one will be straighter!

The following pointers given by Casey are very useful (you can also find them at the comments box of the post) :

Sans wrote to me privately and asked that I post a little check up on her rug. Sans, it is beautiful, but I fear that you may never be able to get it quite square. I wouldn't try pinning it now because you will probably pull out some of the stitches along the edges! Always pin in the margins outside of the worked area before you trim the rug.

I think that you have already realized that you are pulling too tightly when stitching. You have also already hit on some of the remedy. Using the "poke" method of stitching leaves less distortion that the "scoop". If you use the poke method(up and down in each stitch) it might also help to put your fabric on stretcher bars or a scroll frame. You do that before you start the stitchery. This will force it to stay more square. The main thing is to learn to relax and use a good light when stitching. As you go, you will be able to see to keep the stitches at a uniform size.

As for the rug that you just finished, putting a double edge on it may be keeping it from being straightened also. With your next rug, just do a single row like the rest of the rug. Now that you have done one with the glue, I think that you will have more confidence about cutting the edges.

This is part of my reply:

Hi Casey, your comments are deeply appreciated. These pointers are so useful for newbies to stitching because most how to books just assume (rightly of course) that most users are beyond elementary. The remark you made which really hits the ail on its head is a) that I was probably not relaxed enough and b) not enough lights. I stitch to de-stress so yes, my 1st few lines each time maybe a trifle "angst-sy" lol. I also like to stitch in bed just before I doze off. That's why lighting is not great. I will not pin the rug. Knew there must be a reason why I should have done there before trimming. I am going to post this and your comments on my projects blog. Thank you again, Casey for your encouragement. I am starting a new one today.

New Rug starting today:


  1. Good work my friend. I have one Aubusson carpet in progress by 2 years at least. I got bored of it but now I'll complete it toshow it to you.

  2. Uau!!
    Isso é que é paciência...
    Parabéns pelo belo trabalho e perfeição!

  3. Aubusson ????!!! Wow! It will take me 20 years, Rosanna. Please, please do complete it, I am dying to see it and I think we all don't care how long that will take you as long as we get to see it :).

    Leo, my carpet is far from perfect but your encouragement is! I am very moved.

    Leo, o meu tapete não é perfeito, mas é o seu incentivo! Estou muito emocionada.

  4. Seu trabalho realmente é muito bonito!!
    Obrigado pelas palavras sempre positivas e pela tradução!!!!!!