Today's Lesson: Have a Plan. Aka, a DIY Rug Beginning

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Work is keeping me from you all!  No, please, I'm happy to be getting some freelance work but it does cut to the front of the line.  Thankful for the work I am, though.  Work keeps the house projects funded!  Oh right, and food and utilities and ya know, other stuff, pffft.  But house first.  (heh)  Priorities man, gotta have 'em.

After finishing up the master bathroom vanity I thought wow, ok, what am I going to work on next?  Whoooie!  I got worried about my list -- am I going to rip through it too fast?  One minute the list feels short, the next it feels never-ending.  Not in a bad never-ending way of course.

It's tough, deciding what's on the docket next.  I opted for the library rug.

If you last remember, I got the chair from an aggravating Craigslist guy, moved my favorite table from my grandparents into the library and decided the room needed a rug.  And a colorful patterned pillow on the chair, I determined today.  I'm so all decorate-y in this room, it's weird.

But anyway, a rug.  Rugs, as we all know, can be expensive.  And not always the right size.  Or the right shape.  Or the right colors, material, texture, price!, you name it.  So why not, for a room that's less often used, make my own gosh darn it.  It'll be fun, c'mon!

I perused lots and lots and lots of DIY rugs out there in the interweb ether.  Of course.  Because I'm a nutball researcher.  The internet is good for that, finding concepts to get the creative juices going, sweet nuggets to start with then morph into my own.  I highly recommend it.

After poking around online, probably for far too long, I culled the imagery down to this rug and pom pom rugs.  Yeah I know, heaps of dislike out there for the pom pom rugs and I can see why but I think they're pretty nifty.  Because I'm weird, let's break rules, and hey, pom poms inspire smiley happy.

I kinda sorta tried to relate my floppy shaggy pom pom rug idea to Mike and he did one of those slight head shake things then asked if there were any outlets in the room (there are not).  Befuddled by that odd correlation I asked why.  Without saying so, he hinted that the room is leaning pretty 70's groovy; he said we'll need a hifi set up in there.  Heh, that guy!  (xo, babe!)

Right, the rug.  To start, I skipped over to my favorite store and picked up a 5'x8' rug pad, ya know, the kind that's spongy lumpy with holes in it.  The one I got still isn't popping up on Menards' site but it's something along the lines of this one.*

Next up, the hard part.  The yarn.  Oh the choices.  Oh the colors.  Oh the options.  Smelling salts, please.

After a few purchases and returns over at Joann Fabrics, I went with this one in off-white* and then also the same Red Heart brand in Aran Fleck (which seems to be no longer available, ack!!) because I thought it was cool.  No plan in place.  Not even sure if I have enough.

Months pass and now I'm finally starting.

Right, so here's where we left off last time.


And here's my partial stash 'o goodies.


Those floppy pom poms are the sample ones I made a few months back just to see.

Ok!  So because I have no plan of attack here I started by laying out the rug pad.


Now you really get an idea of how narrow this particular room is as the pad width there is the five foot direction.  Yup.  Narrow.  Why the flipper didn't just make the whole back area one large room but instead made two is quite confounding indeed.  (See our house plans here, by the way, and join in the head scratching.)

I stood back, did the head tilty thing, hemmed, hawed.  I kinda already knew I wanted a swoopy sort of midcentury bean shape so I grabbed my Sharpie and did some sketching.


Well, all right.  So my very large trusty furry assistant Finn (tfaF) had other ideas and thought he'd be of great butt help here.  Once he got bored and peeled off, I got some sketchy lines down.


All I could hear ringing in my head was "measure twice, cut once."  But, since I wasn't using the whole rug pad, there is plenty left over should I change my mind.

Which, in all honesty...Indecision Galore on this project, as you'll see ahead.

With the rug pad trimmed, it was time to turn to the yarn.

I'll round off those back corners once I get the pad out from under the furniture.
Sometimes, ya know how you feel like you have soooo many options, too many almost, and you feel a smidge lost at sea?   Ah, the trials of a crafty designer.  Yeah..................(Ready?)

How much yarn per pom?  Which colors?  What sizes should I go with?  Should I do mostly one color with spots of the other? Should I mix the two yarns together in one pom (oh crap, just thought of that one as I'm sitting here)?  Did I pick the right colors?  Should I use all one size?  The larger pom or the smaller?  Should I mix the two sizes and if so, how?  Should I vary the yarn quantities per pom?  Oy dear me.

Part of it is I don't want to waste the yarn and have to get more, if I can help it.  That probably isn't helping as I'm limiting the experimentation process with that attitude.  Maybe, ultimately, I'm not feelin' the off-white I chose?

I'm digging the oatmealy yarn but it's too devoid of color for this gig.  It looks dirty against the chair if I were to do the whole rug with it.  Not sure why I'm so indecisive here; I'm frustrating myself.

I made a bunch of larger poms in the off-white color, then a small one in the oatmeal color, then a few large ones of the oatmeal color.  Then a few off-white large poms with less yarn as they seemed too floofy when grouped en masse.

My findings?  Plenty of texture.  Yay, +1.  Not enough color?  Pattern?  I don't want to go too haywire as the books offer plenty of color and pattern.  For such a wee sized room, I don't want the rug competing heavily for visual focus.  It's purpose is to help the eye move around the room, not suck your eyes out.

Then it got too dark outside to take pictures inside and I was way awash with questions and options, too directionless, drowning in choices, so I thought it best to back away slowly before my head popped off. 

So, Lesson of the Day?  Have a plan.

I'll get back at it, hopefully today.  My brain is already a-swirl with options to try.  After I get some headache medicine.....

What would you do?  Besides just go out and buy a rug.  ;)

*The non-slip rug pad is an Amazon affiliate link.  The yarn is a Joann Fabrics affiliate links too.  Mwah, thanks!

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