My paternal grandmother was quite the craftswoman. Her specialty? Rugs. Braided, hooked, latch-hooked, she did it all.
The braided rugs were made from wool she bought at mill outlet stores (when New England was a center of fabric manufacturing) and yard sales (she bought wool clothing to recycle). Many times she dyed the wool to get the colors she wanted. I remember the Ritz Dye boxes lined up above her basement washing machine. She also fed wide strips of wool through a hand-cranked device that churned out lengths of spaghetti-like wool for her hooked rugs.
The braided rug in the above photo has been in my parents’ house since 1964. Before that it was in the living room in their previous home in 1955, where we lived until I was twelve.
There have always been braided rugs in our homes. Grandma stitched them together with heavy thread and thick needles. She must have had the strongest fingers in New England.
Son #1 is bringing the Funny Grandson to Rhode Island tomorrow. This will be the five year old’s first visit to the East Coast. Son #1 wants to watch his son play with his little cars and his little plastic Star Wars figures on the braided rug.
I think they are both going to have a good time. The rug will make sure of it.