Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Large Green Rag Rug

I've made a couple of different attempts at making rag rugs, my most successful before this was the heart shape one I made a couple of years ago. The method I used this time worked up a lot quicker, was gentler on my hands and produced what I think is a neater result.
rag rug made by crocheting acrylic around strips of rag
I've been meaning to make a rag rug like this for quite a while. For this rug, I ripped an old sheet that had torn into 2 inch wide strips, then I sewed the ends together with my sewing machine. If I simply tied the ends together, it made an ugly knot in my work. I didn't hem the edges of the rag strips either. This way the bulk in the rug was reduced, I just tucked in the ends.

Using the principles of a flat circle, I did sc around the strip. At first I used a 4mm hook, then I switched to a 5mm hook at about the 4th round. After about 10 rounds I switched to a bigger hook again, this time it was a 6mm hook. Because the rug had started to buckle up, I undid a bit and with the bigger hook stitched more loosely, so the cordage would fall flat better.
an attempt at rag rugging
Back in March I went to my local library to learn more about rag rugging. This workshop was the main driving force to get me to put Thomas into day-care, which was very hard for me. But then he liked it so much and was getting so much out of it, we decided he could go two days a week instead of just the one. I was fairly unhappy with the method they taught me at the rag rugging workshop, it was basically platting and gave a messy result. It was fairly slow going too, so I gave up on that idea. At least they taught me how to rip up a sheet, which is fairly basic. You just rip it up! And that's a lot of fun, too.

Towards the end of this rug, I did a couple of rounds that were non-increasing because the edges were ruffling up. Then the rug came flat again so I went back to increasing once at each of the 9 sections. I had to keep checking the flatness of the rug throughout my work, often stopping to place it flat on the floor to see if it was buckling. By the end I was using a 5mm hook, and just used a tighter or looser tension to make the rug lay flat. To finish off, I did one round of scallops, they're just 5 dc into one sc, sk 1, sl st into next, sk 1, repeat. But because I didn't count every stitch to make sure there was a multiple of 4, I started with 2 ch and 2 dc into same. That way, at the end I could insert an extra stitch to make the joining scallop a little larger (3 dc, dc into next, sl st into 2nd ch).
detail of the scallop edging
The end result does have some buckles in it, but you can stamp them flat and that's all you need. As the rug ages it will become more and more flat. I will put this in the high traffic area of the kitchen, if it ages well I will make another one. I ended up ironing the rug flat and it came up better. It also slips on the tiles, so I need to get some non-slip rubber to place underneath it. I hope to make a smaller pink one for the ensuite bathroom!

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