My new project is not turning out as well as I expected. Actually I expected difficulties, but I also expected to resolve the problems and make this the best rug I could. I hope my enthusiasm prevails.
My strips, cut by hand with as rotary cutter on a mat, are not to my liking. I keep pulling out loops, and now I’m worried about the monks cloth, though it appears to be holding up. I thought my new Bliss Cutter would solve my problems, but because of a bad Ebay seller it only exacerbated my dilemma. All of the suction cups were missing, and one of the screws had broken off at the head and they, whoever “they” are, filed it down so you can never replace it without drilling it out, extruding a new screw hole, and finding something that will fit. That’s a man’s job, and not even my man’s kind of job, so I’m stuck until I can find and borrow a drill press. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $15 on new suction cups, but Ace Hardward had workable ones for $1 a piece. You just have to poke a hole in them for the screw to go through.
The unit itself was dirty and covered in either grease or cigarette tar, whichever smells worse. Also the blade was rusty and required a good hour with 0000 steel wool and WD40. Now both the blade and the cutter look better and don’t smell, but it was a lot of work.
The shank is longer on this model allowing space for another cutter blade if I could figure out how to get it on there. If anyone knows, please email me or comment.
Clearly I need larger-sized blades, so I ordered them from Lavender Wool and am waiting for them to arrive.
The bottom line is that “very good condition” was NOT a good choice of words for this broken cutter. I’m going to leave appropriate feedback if he doesn’t respond to my complaint.
Every cloud has a silver lining though; even this one. While waiting for the cutter, and now more blades, I’ve learned more about dyeing. Rit works, but not well. I’m going to try Cushings next. They have a formula book, and I intend to order them together. I also decided my first class should be about dyeing wool. I’m really looking forward to learning this ancillary skill of rug hooking. Colors are paramount to a well-crafted rug, and it seems everyone over-dyes their wool to get exactly what they want.
I also had time to read Amy Oxford’s book Punch Needle Rug Hooking (the reviews are not exaggerated) from start to finish. It’s a phenomenal book covering everything from the history to design and the mechanics of punch needle. If you want to learn this skill and can’t get a class, this book is all you’ll ever need. It’s also funny.
My Ebay days may be coming to an end. The problem with Ebay is that they can not protect their brand because anyone can sell on the site, and the site is their brand. But that’s their dilemma. Mine is the waiting game.