Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Extremely bohemian Scandinavian rya pillow + a needle rya tutorial

Rya, or as we in Finland say - Ryijy, is a handmade knotted wool rug that used to be used for warmth instead of furs in homes and sleighs. Nowadays, it's used mostly for decoration. Traditional rya is made by knotting yarn on a loom. There's also another way of doing it, which is with a needle on a base cloth (that's what I did). My grandparents had several ryas, pretty much one on the wall of every room in the house, and my mother has many of them now. 
I've always thought they were slightly dated, but these things seen to grow on me as I get older. In fact, I got very exited when I learned this needle rya technique that I made a rya pillow! It's a very bohemian pillow, and maybe not every one's cup of tea, but I love it!
I've always thought making rya was difficult (and maybe on loom it is, I don't know), but this at least was not hard at all. Time consuming, yes, but easy once I got the hang of it. I've tried rya before (you can see it here) and it was just not working, so I just cut of my previous work and started anew with a needle.
Very unlike me, I just went for this project, and just learned as I went. I made several mistakes, but just continued on. Really, this was such a project for learning to let go, great for a recovering perfectionist (*waves*).
I chose the cross/plus sign pattern again, because I like it and because it'd work no matter what way the pillow was placed. I just drew the pattern on the base cloth with a permanent marker and then roughly followed it. It's a very haphazard, uneven pattern, but I really wanted a relaxed, bohemian pattern. And that's what I got! 
Some of the crosses are more even.
And some are basically just blobs.
It's all good.

I used a wool yarn that I had bought for a sweater, but that ended up not working with my coloring. For our bedroom color scheme, however, it was perfect.

Now, if you want to try this (do you? maybe I scared you of with my crazy pillow), I made a little tutorial. I originally followed this tutorial, but I found it a bit difficult to follow.

Continued under the fold ->

You will need: 

  • a base cloth of open weave cloth or canvas. 
  • a tapestry needle 
  • wool yarn, I'm showing this with cotton yarn, because it's no fluffy and what I'm doing is easier to see, bus as you notice the result is very "stringy" and not at all nice 
  • a ruler
You are supposed to remove the horizontal thread where you sew, but I didn't and it worked fine.
Pick where you want your row to start. Push the needle under a vertical thread from right to left.
Pull through leaving a tail.
Use your rule as a guide. It doesn't have to be exact, you can cut the ends later.
Push the needle under the next vertical thread from right to left.
Pull through.
Until it's tight. That's the first knot!
Place the ruler under the yarn coming from the needle, then pull the yarn under the ruler, looping the yarn over the ruler. Hopefully, that made sense?
Push the needle behind the next vertical thread from right to left.
Pull through.
Push the needle under the next vertical thread from right to left.
Pull through. That's the second knot!
Continue this until the end of the row or until you run out of yarn. 

Cut the yarn the length of the ruler. 
Pull the ruler out.
Cut the yarn at the end of the loops.
For the next row, push all the first row up out of the way.
The original tutorial said to leave seven horizontal rows between yarn rows, but that causes a visible stripe pattern. Instead I did three rows for a fuller effect.
Work just as you did the first row.
Here's how to cut the loops. Push scissors through the loops, pull taunt downwards, and cut.
Two rows. With wool yarn the effect will be nice and full.

That's it! Let me know if you try it or if you have any questions!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...