So, my second post was going to continue on with the cupcake theme. I had intended to show off my cheats way of making a variety of different cupcakes however, we are in the middle of a heatwave here ATM and I really do NOT want to be baking in a hot kitchen. So, you will all just have to stay turned for that one. Instead, I thought I would share what I am currently working on… a RAG RUG!!! (Again, groan my kids!)
I love mats and rugs. Not only do they protect your floors, but it means the dirt is hidden until you find the time to sweep the floors! I also love functionality. A good rug for me is something that fits where I need it, can be easily moved and easily cleaned by throwing it in the washing machine or giving it a good shake out (excellent arm and back workout btw).
I was first introduced to rag rugs by another crafty lady at work telling me how easy they were to make and how it used up her stash of old sheets, quilt covers and scrap material. What a brilliant idea! With my kids moving out and also upsizing to double beds, I had an ENORMOUS stash of old single bed sheets and quilt covers, too worn around the edges or middle to be given away.
Now, the hardest part in all of this was trying to work out how to cut the sheets to end up with one long, continuous piece of ‘wool’ to crochet with. Now, you may know of a better way to do this, but below I have given an example of how I cut the sheets. I have read of people starting to cut them a little first and then ripping the rest, but this never worked for me. I would end up with the beginning being about 1/2 an inch and the end being 4 inches! I just couldn’t get it to rip straight. I am also not that fussy on cutting in a straight line, which is great, because I cut my sheets up on the breakfast bar and con my boys into cutting a few strips before they eat breaky!
First things first, find some old material. Now, this could be sheets, quilt covers, old dress shirts, old material, basically anything that is cotton or cotton poly. I have tried flannelette before – FAIL. I have also tried a satin like material – ALSO A FAIL.
Once you get your material together, cut off all hems/seams. If you leave the seams on, you will find this will eventually unravel your mat when the seam stitching begins to come away. Another experience of my FAIL! You can cut a little along the seam and then rip the rest, I have found I can get it pretty much right doing this.
cut and rip
Once you have done this, it is time for the tedious task of cutting all of this material. As I said, I am not overly fussy with straight lines, it won’t affect the finish of your quilt. However, keep in mind that if you want a really heavy, thick rug, then cut your strips wide (maybe about an inch and a half or 3 to 4cm). If you want a thinner rug that can be thrown in the washing machine then cut the strips no wider than an inch (2cm). I would not go much smaller than 3/4 of an inch or you may find your material rips when trying to crochet it. Now, to get your material into one continuous strip, I have taken some photos that may explain it better than my words…
So begin your cutting but…
Do NOT cut all the way to the end
Stop about an inch from the end. I then trim off the pointy corner. Not necessary but makes your rug less bulky and easier to crochet.
You then start to cut back down the other way.
I also trim to make the end look a bit like a racing track corner. Again, not necessary but does make the rug less bulky.
So that’s the cutting out the way. I don’t tend to cut my sheets or quilts all at once. I probably cut about half of a single sheet, roll up the strip, and then cut half another time. This means that, firstly, I don’t get bored while cutting the same material, and secondly, I can use the same colour more than once in a rug. I also tend not to roll up my strips into nice little balls but wrap them around and round my pinky and thumb in a figure 8 and then stash them all in a basket. I mean, does it really matter what your ball of wool looks like???
Now the easy and fun part! Assembling your rag rug through crocheting. So, this is one I am working on at the moment for a little girl who LOVES pink, purple and gold. As you may be able to see, some of the gold is sequined material that I had laying around. It works, but is not easy to crochet! I used a size 10 crochet hook (N/13), which is the largest I had. I guess you could go smaller but I find this size makes it easy to crochet with a chunky material.
For a rug this size, I chain about 55 stitches, plus 2 more stitches (which will be your beginning of your next row). You can make it as big or small as you want by just adding or removing stitches to your beginning chain, but always add 2 (for the beginning of your next row.) Turn your chain ready to single crochet back the other way. Skip first 2 stitches and single crochet in every stitch all the way back along. Once you get to the end, turn, chain 2, and then single crochet in every stitch all the way back. Now, one thing I have learnt, is make sure that you single crochet at the beginning of your new row in the correct stitch. It is a little tricky to find that first stitch and for some reason I occasionally start it right next to my chain. IT IS NOT THAT STITCH, it is the next one along so I always think to myself to skip the first hole and go into the second. Does that sound confusing? If so, COUNT the first few rows of stitches and if you end up with one extra, you may be starting in the wrong stitch.
So that’s basically it. You can individualize this so much once you have cut the material. For a beginner, this is probably the easier to complete but other ideas could be to use a half double crochet, a round rug, an oblong rug. So many ideas!
Here’s the pattern, if you need it.
Materials I used –
– old sheets and old material
– size 10 crochet hook
– scissors (of course)
My current project –
Chain 55, plus 2 for total of 57 stitches. Turn.
Row 1 – Chain 2. SC in each stitch until end (55SC)
Repeat until reach desired rug size. That easy!
Hope you have enjoyed this, until next time,