Thursday, April 9, 2015

the raggy rug not-tutorial

I know, I know, I know, I haven't been here for months. No need to linger over it; sometimes we just need to pick up and move on as if nothing ever happened. (Which clearly has been the case on this blog.) So, pretending that zero time has passed since my last post, today I'm going to share a not-tutorial for a rag rug I just finished. It's a not-tutorial because it is not a tutorial. You don't want step-by-step instructions written by this hand, believe me. My crochet method is very *ish*, if you know what I mean -- lots of guesswork and eyeballing. Not much pattern action and even less counting or measuring. But I enjoy crocheting so much that if it ignites anyone's fire to pick up the hook & go at it themselves, then I've done my job. So here are the basics, at least, and I hope your expectations have been properly managed from the beginning.

1) Making the yarn: Gather as many worn out or thrifted duds as you can manage. It takes a lot! I use all knits since they are soft and stretchy, but cotton works fine too and I'm sure other kinds will be able to fit the bill. Cut out the seams, weird angles, etc. and get as many fabric strips out of them as you can -- about 3/4" wide. Length can vary. You can sew the strips together, tie them together, or use the slit & join method like I do. Up above you can see kinda how I do this. I cut tiny slits about 1/2" from both ends of two strips and then loop them together to form a knot. (I found a great tutorial on the NobleKnits blog that does a great job showing & explaining this process). Repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat. Wind into big balls. Repeat, repeat, repeat even more until you have enough to make a rug, or until you get so fed up with the tedious process that you shove it all into a closet like I did, and then discover it two years later when you've regained your patience.

2) Rug: Use a jumbo crochet hook (size Q). Now it gets fun. Near instant gratification. The yarn works up super quickly and delivers the reward you thought would never come while you were making those big balls. Though, be forewarned -- I will say that crocheting with a hook this size can be really brutal on the hands. Don't feel badly if you have to take breaks. For a doormat or bathmat size (like I'm making here), make your foundation around 35-40 chains long, do 12 to 15 rows of double crochet (eyeball it & stop when you're happy), then do a single crochet around the edge to finish the piece.

You can also go here to see the magic carpet I made a few years ago (with a few more helpful links). 

If you have questions beyond what I've got here, I'll try to answer, but more than likely you will have to rely on your own good resourcefulness (read: Google) to get to the finish line. At least this will get you started!