It finally happened. And quite unexpectedly. The knitting has taken a back seat while I explore the art of Persian Rug weaving.

This art form has fascinated me for many years and just recently I picked up a book ‘The Root of Wild Madder’ by Brian Murphy from the library, and that was it! I’m away and on the Persian rug weaving train.

Not being happy with just reading the book, I wanted to learn and create my own Persian style rugs. It’s amazing how much information there is on the net about Persian rugs but not much on how to actually make them. After hours of searching, watching what videos I could find, a few written instructions on knots that I came across, I gleaned enough information to know what to do.

So, not having a rug weaving loom at my fingertips, my next stop was to find a suitable sturdy picture frame as a ‘stand-in’ loom. I did. At the local charity shop.

Well, who said I had to wait?

‘Loom’ now in hand, I go in search of wool for the pile – anything will do providing it’s pure wool, of the same thickness, and I have enough to weave a ‘practice’ piece. Cotton for the warp and weft I also found, in my stash.

But, oh dear, it will be a ‘piece of many colours’. I found a multitude of discontinued tapestry wool in a variety of colours at a craft shop to get me started. Authentic rugs are made with handspun wool and vegetable dyes, although some weavers now are using machine spun and commercially dyed wool, as this saves time and is much easier and cheaper.

Now for the ‘tools’. After a little thought, out comes a crochet hook, embroidery scissors, kitchen fork for beating the weft, and I did buy a decent pair of scissors for cutting the pile. Ah, and a 30cm ruler sporting a hole at one end. It was duly ‘shaped’ with sandpaper to a rounded point at the other end and I now have a weft threader by attaching the cotton through the hole. Works very well too!

Armed with all my bits and pieces, I warped up my ‘loom’ and start knotting. All is going well, until…

Not being content with just ‘knotting’ I needed some kind of pattern or it would look very plain.

Out comes my Patternmaker for Cross Stitch program to design a simple, very simple, ‘cartoon’ (as the printed patterns are called) to transfer to my practice piece.

The pattern has started to show with the couple of rows so far knotted.

Rugs are worked with one row of knots and two rows of weft to hold the carpet firm. Some rugs are worked with more than two rows of weft, depending on the style and outcome desired.

As it grows, hopefully, the pattern will all sit in line and not turn out a mushy mess. It IS my first piece after all!
The first four rows were ‘practice knotting’ getting used to the technique, using different types of wool.

The back of the weaving looks very neat, although a little up and down. Using the different types of wool, the thickness varies creating an uneven line. This can be corrected by adding an extra row, or two, in the uneven area.

And as it grows, I will attempt to blend in the rich array of colours I have sitting in my box. There are already areas where improvement can be made on the next attempt, but I am happy with progress so far. Progress update I will add as I go.

Its an adventure that I will have lots of fun with for many years to come. The possibilities are endless, and leaves another opening for my spinning with handspun yarn and naturally dyed wool for my rugs and carpets.

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