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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Crochet rag rugs

Today we will look at crochet rag rugs and the pro's and con's of making them.
The first good thing about them is that you do not need any special tools. Just a crochet hook and a pair of scissors. The crochet hook needs to be a large one. I used a size 12. Hook sizes vary in different countries but a size 12 is about as thick as my index finger. Exact size is not crucial.
The other thing you need is fabric. Any fabric will do but something with a little stretch makes the job easier. I have used mostly old t-shirts. The fabric needs to be cut in to long strips. If you are using old clothing first cut out any seams, the collar and cuffs etc. This will give you a nice flat piece of fabric to work with. To get the longest strip from your fabric I recommend that you cut it in a spiral as shown above. This will avoid having to make lots of joins.
Choosing colours
I like bright colours and my kitchen ( where the rug is to go) has wooden cabinets, a grey slate floor and neutral walls so a brilliant splash of colour will look good in there. If you like something a little more controlled or subdued why not try lots of different shades of one colour?
Choosing a shape
One of the downsides of crochet rugs is that, unlike hooked rugs, they have to be square, rectangular, round or oval. However that  still gives you quite a lot of choice. The easiest shape to make is a rectangle. You simply make a crochet chain the width that you want your rug to be and crochet in rows. You could also have the stripes going the other way and make your chain the length of the rug.
Square rugs can be made in the same way or for something a little more visually exciting you can start in the middle. Make a chain of five and join in to a circle. Make 12 stitches in to the centre of the circle. I used double crochet which I believe is called single crochet in the USA.
When you have made your 12 stitches join with a slip knot. On the second round make 3 stitches in to the first stitch of the first round then crochet 2 stitches then put 3 stitches in the next stitch. Repeat 2 stitches and then 3 in one hole until you reach the end of the round you should have 4 groups of 3 stitches, each with two stitches in between. The groups of 3 stitches will become the corners of you rug and each time you reach a corner on subsequent rounds put 3 stitches in one hole. That is a lot easier to do than to explain!
For circular rugs make a circle with 5 chain and crochet in to the centre of the circle until no more will fit in. I can't give you an exact number of stitches because it will depend on your hook size and the thickness of your fabric. Join with a slip stitch. Make 2 chain to start and continue to crochet round. The only problem with this is that you must increase the number of stitches in each circuit or you will end up with a dish!
Oval rug
I think this is the hardest and this is, of course, the one I wanted.
 I have never made a crochet rug before. To start make a chain of about 12 stitches. Then crochet 2 more and begin to circle the chain. Mine worked fine at the start. I was very conscious of the fact that I must increase the stitches on the curved end though and to begin with I put it on a flat surface after every round to make sure it was lying flat. Then I crocheted about four rounds without checking it for flatness and instead of getting the dish shape I had feared I had added too many extra stitches and ended up with a frilly rug! I have tried pulling it in to shape and treading it down but it stays frilly. I  will not give up and have now undone the whole thing and will start again but this time with a rectangular one!
Crochet rag rugs are very portable when in construction which is another good point. You could even make one whilst on a long car journey if you are the passenger.
When I complete my crochet rug I will post a picture of it for you.  

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