Sunday, November 27, 2011

TSR Bleat - Braiding Techniques

Adding-On Roving Strands

Since we keep our torn strands of roving only about 2-3 feet long, there comes a time when we have to add on the next strand. You'll notice that the torn strands have tapered ends. It's these tapered ends that are overlapped when adding-on.
  • Braid down until you have a 3-4 inch tail left on the braid
  • I like to do my add-ons when the short strand comes to the center
  • Just lay the new strand onto the old strand, right under your thumb
  • Bring the next strand over and keep on braiding
  • If a little tuft of roving peeks out, just tuck it in with the next strand or wait until after the felting process, if you can still find it then, just cut it off.

Adding on a Black strand to the short Lilac strand

Tuck the Black strand under the thumb

 Bring the next strand over the add-on

TSR Bleat - Braiding Techniques Part 2

Adjusting Strand Thickness
Ideally, I like to have my braids"Thumb-Thick". This means that the braid will be about the thickness of my thumb. Since roving comes in several thicknesses, some adjustment my be necessary. Look at the photo, you'll notice that the
  •  Lilac-colored strand is composed of several pieces of very thin roving, about 8 strands
  •  Teal-colored strand is quite a bit thicker, only 2 strands are needed
  • Brown-colored strand is very thick, so only one strand is needed

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

TSR Bleat - Braiding Techniques

Braiding correctly is the most important start to a beautiful rug. Braiding must be done tightly with an even tension.
    Photo 1
    Start by selecting 3 strands of roving, each should be a different length, see photo1.   
Secure the ends with a rubber band and fasten to a solid object with a spring clamp.


    Photo 2
    When you braid keep the strands separate with your fingers and your thumb at the junction as you bring one side to the center, this keeps the braids tight, see photo 2.

Photo 3

Change thumbs at the junction when you bring the other side to the center,
see photo 3
You'll notice that the braids form a "V" on the right side.
The next TSR-Bleat will be about adding-on roving sections.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Shepherd's Rug Bleats

We would like to introduce The Shepherd's Rug Bleats.
Every so often we will post a TSR-Bleat on this blog.

TSR-Bleats will highlight tips and techniques that will hopefully make your rug braiding ventures more enjoyable. Please be sure to post your comments and questions.

So here is the first one: 
Here is a photo of my braiding chair. It is a patio chair with a high back. Each revolution of the braid around the back of the chair equals a yard. As the rounds build, I can keep track of the yardage and see the colors develop. As you can see, I use the chair seat to keep all my roving at hand.

Here is the rug completed...

Monday, February 14, 2011


You can order from Letty or Annie.
Check or money order should be made out to "The Shepherd's Rug"
Price is $24.95 plus $5.65 for Priority Shipping with delivery Confirmation:

Letty Klein                                    Ann Brown
6881 N Sprinkle Rd                     4034 Grassy Lick Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49004                 Mt Sterling, KY 40353
269-381-0980                              859-498-1613       

You can also order using 'PayPal' from our "" store, see link on the right.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rug Workshop schedule

Annie Brown has two workshops scheduled so far, more details later:
Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival: May 20,21 & 22, 2011, Masterson Station, Lexington, Ky.
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair: October 21-23, 2011, Asheville, NC.

I will be teaching a rug braiding workshop at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival on Friday, September 9, 2011, then judge the fleece show on Saturday and give a fleece talk on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Our book will be available

Good News! Our book will soon be back in print! As soon as I have copies in hand, I'll post it on this blog and have copies available on our etsy store - so keep watch!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

More new rug ideas

Here are three oval spiral rugs, each done in a different technique.

This is an Icelandic Rug, roving was donated by
Marty Favre, Fence Row Farm, Charlotte, MI. It is an
oval spiral rug in 3 colors and weighs about 4 pounds.


I started this rug by braiding 40 yards of white roving from a commercial flock of sheep. Then I "Painted" the braids, using the same technique used to paint roving or yarn.
 . .

The person who donated the roving for this rug, had accidently felted  it during the dying process. It was felted quite solidly and the dye  uptake was uneven. I tore/cut the roving into strips and separated  it into color batches. It was very easy to braid and was a n excellent way to salvage what could have been a disaster