Thursday, March 12, 2009

Real rag balls and what to do with them.

I've often had rag balls around my house for decoration but just fake ones with foam in the middle. But now I have a reason to have real ones.

My crafting buddy and good friend, Lisa, has recently shown me how to make braided rugs by crocheting strips of material that I ripped from old sheets. To stop these strips getting tangled, I wind them into a ball and hey, presto, a rag ball that is both pretty and functional.

My first rug I started on, I unwound and redid several times as I practised getting the tension right as it always seemed to pucker and make a hat shape. Then I decided I didn't really like the country colours anyway, and started on a new one in shabby greens and blues to put next to my bed to keep my footsies away from the freezing floor boards in winter. I'm nearly finished and I'm really happy with this one.

I've always loved the look of braided rugs but new, factory-made ones are sooo expensive. I much prefer the fact that I've made it myself and did a bit of recycling in the bargain. And I've never really liked when things that are old-fashioned from a make-do time are mass-marketed. It's like you get the look without the work, just buy it all from a catalogue for an instant finish. Although I've certainly been guilty of that at times. I've always felt a bit fake having ragballs that weren't real. I much prefer the real thrifty beauty of reusing and prettying up old things for a new purpose.

Lisa came over today for our fortnightly craft morning. Last time she taught me crocheting, this time I helped her make one of my recipe books. She bought me this cute spotty mug and pretty teatowel because the cupcakes made her think of my recipe book. Isn't that lovely.

I've also been wanting to make myself a new double-handed oven mitt in pastel colours (my old one is in bright blues and greens and is really grubby) and I found this cot sheet with little teapots and cupcakes at Vinnies today for $1.

It'll make a great oven mitt to hang on my oven door next to my new teatowel, don't you think. And there'll be heaps left so maybe I'll make some placemats as well to replaced my dark blue primitive ones.

I usually just have the morning off on Thursdays but Rosie's a bit sick today so I took the whole day off. I think I needed it too because I sprained my ankle really badly at netball last night. I'm sure I heard or felt a real crack it seemed, and I had to hobble off the court and spend the rest of the game with ice on it. I managed to drive home okay but when I got home and Mitch bandaged it up for me with ice, I burst into tears like a baby. It really, really hurt and I think I got a bit of a shock. It's okay today, although swollen, and I'm limping around, so an afternoon on my feet running around after kids probably isn't a good idea.


  1. Hello, roll called under you on SITS today. Love your page, especially the things about you. I loved Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder myself. I would love to go to PEI one day.

    I once started a braided rug but ran out of material. Seeing your picture though made me want to get back to it. I had no idea you could crochet them though. Would you mind telling my what size hook you used and how wide is your rag material? Thanks.

  2. How fun! I've always liked the rag rugs. It would be fun to learn how to make my own. Are they hard to do?


  3. I need to brush up on my Aussie lingo... Bickie and Chooks. I think I figured Bickie out because I could no more buy factory made chocolate chip Bickies, cookies or anything of the like. Chooks? I'm stumped! Americans... geesh!

    So glad to hear your story about being 1 in 9! Those stories are my inspiration! So good to meet you!

  4. thanks for responding.. I crochet already so I'm familiar with the stitches. One more question though, did you actually braid the rags first then crochet it together?


  5. The rag rug looks lovely - the colours are great.
    Hope the ankle feels better soon & it's not damaged!

  6. So you get two fun things out of your rags! I love it!

    I hope you get a freezer soon :)

  7. YOur rug is lovely! I adore those colours and I'm sure crocheting is a much better way of doing it.

  8. Hi Esther

    Have just emailed MelMel for you and asked her to send you an invite to her blog :)

    That fabric you found is soooo cute!

    Mel xxx

  9. Hi there!

    One of our fellow bloggers passed your details on...I sent you an invite, hope you got that the Mo the blog is open, incase a few ppl missed the wondow...If It went wrong and i did the invite incorrectly, let me know and I'll re-do!
    Have a super weekend!xx the rug!

  10. I looked up "anne of green gables braided rugs" (also on the lookout for quilts too) on a whim today and came across your site. I love the look of your braided rug! I know how to crochet a bit and would love to try and make one myself. Do you mind giving me a little outline of how you did it?

  11. I hun, thought I'd better explain that Melmel's blog has been deleted by her as she is very busy with work and felt under pressure by blogging at the mo. I'm hoping she will come back again soon.
    A thrifty Mrs put it on her blog (now private too), that's how I know.


Comments make me happy. Spread the love.

Get to know me

  • I love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
  • My favourite flowers are daisies.
  • My favourite trees are pine trees.
  • I always like to have the bickie jar full and a cake on the cake stand. I know...not that healthy, but so good to look at.
  • Autumn is my favourite month, although I do wish we had more of a change of colours up here in Queensland.
  • I love Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They started my love affair with "old-fashioned" stuff.
  • I'm a boots and jeans kind of girl, but also love vintage skirts and dresses.
  • I like sewing and am in love with quilts at the moment.
  • I love reading. (I have a weakness for archeological thrillers and historical romances, but not Mills and Boon-type ones.)
  • I love old houses with character. No new estate houses for me. (Sorry Rosie.)
  • I love vintage/cottage/farmhouse decorating and pretty pinks and blues, with a splash of red for colour.
  • Polka dots can make me sigh with delight.
  • I have 4 chooks. They are MY pets. Another tick on my dream-come-true chart.
  • I don't eat dessert much any more. I'm not dieting, I just don't want it. (Does that mean I'm growing up if I say no to an icecream cone?)
  • I'll still always say yes to chocolate though!
  • I like to sit on the front stairs in the sun, to drink my morning cup of tea, while I contemplate what to do in the garden.
  • I've got the gardening bug again recently. It comes and goes with the weather. I'm envisioning cottage flowers in pink, blue and white to go with my green picket fence.