This fabulous lady is Maymee Campbell, as photographed by one Schmalstig. What, you may ask, is she doing with that big, honking knife? Why, she’s whittling an old toothbrush, as you do.
And for what purpose is she whittling that toothbrush? To make a rug with naalbinding techniques, of course!
Okay, it’s not something done much now. It’s something you may never have heard of. I know I didn’t until I started learning a bit more about naalbinding as a technique this year. But it’s something that has been done for generations, apparently.
Maymee Campbell learned the technique when she wanted some old-fashioned looking rugs. How did she learn? From a friend of her daughter’s! I love that. When people see you doing something crafty in public, or see your craft work, they usually assume you learned it from an older relative… but some people get the skinny on old-fashioned crafts from younger friends of the family or the internet, too.
Anyway, if you want to read Maymee’s story and get learn how to make her ‘toothbrush rugs’, head on over here to this 1981 article from the Springfield-Green County Library.
And if you happen to have an old toothbrush (or very large naalbinding needle) and some cloth in attractive colors that go with the room you want it for… well, you can make yourself a dandy rug!