Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DIY: crocheted rag rug part 2

Now the fun part! Or the tricky explaining part if you're me!

Grab one end of the sheet yarn and make a simple slip knot. This is going to be the centre of your rug.

Insert your hook into the loop.

Pick up the long end of the fabric and loop it once over your hook

And pull that loop through the first loop (the slip knot loop)

Pull it through to make a new loop.

I also made a video to help you see the process a little better:

Continue making a chain of loops until you have between 5-7 chains. I'm never really precise with this either and I probably should be. I usually just listen to what the fabric tells me since it tends to naturally want to curve into a circle on its own after a certain amount of loops.

This is kind of the tricky part. You have to find your original loop hole and, with your hook still in the last loop, stick it into the original loop

Loop the long end of fabric over the hook (just as you've been doing all along)

And pull that fabric through the original loop

Then keep pulling it through the loop your hook was already through (or the last loop in your chain) and close the circle.

Here it is in video form to help you see a bit better again:

Now you have to continue around the circle by finding a loop, pushing your hook through

pulling a new loop through that hole

and pulling it through the last loop

Another video helping you to see this a little clearer:

Continue around and around like so.

Some important things to note.

Try to keep the stitches (loops) tight but not too tight. If you make them too tight, the round will start to curve up on itself and you'll end up with a bowl (I've made my fair share of these!). If the stitches (loops) are too loose, then the rug will be too stretchy and you'll end up with gaps. This is something that takes a lot of practice to get perfect, so take your time figuring it out and don't feel discouraged if you have to take apart a whole rug and redo it. That's part of learning.

You'll have to add double stitches (loops) as you go along to help with keeping things comfortably loose (not too loose) and to help the rug lay flat. Double stitching basically means that instead of pulling one loop through a hole, you're going to pull two. So you'll pull your first loop through both loops (so many loops!) and then you'll pull another one through that same loop just as before.

Here's a video to help explain:

I usually don't have to make too many double stitches at the beginning, but as you get larger, you'll be using a lot more double stitches. The larger you go, the more space you'll need to take to make the rug lay flat. This just takes a lot of practice to know when, but generally, if my last loop doesn't match up with the next hole and I feel like I have to stretch it over to get into that spot, I'll make a second stitch (you don't want to pull it tight).

As I said before, if you mess up, don't be discouraged, just pull out the loops and start again. The great thing about this is that no matter how big you get, you can always pull out any mistakes you make and start over. I've had rugs almost finished and I find that all of a sudden, a round is getting a little tight and curving up. So I've pulled out the entire round and started again. It sucks but it's not the end of the world.

Practice this up and then next week, I'll show you how to switch fabrics!

And if you missed it, here is part one: how to make sheet yarn.


The Art of Doing Stuff said...

That's great! My mother has made these rugs, but I've never sat and watched to see exactly how she did it. Oddly, however, the most important thing I learned from your post is I want a clock that ticks. :) (you can hear it in your videos) Love it. ~ karen

GALaxy said...

Wow! Thanks for reading, Karen! I'm a big fan of your blog! The clock was a gift from my gram to my mom when I was born. I love the ticking, too. I can even hear it in the adjacent room! They just don't make clocks like they used to.

creativejewishmom/sara said...

I am a crocheter and I also make rag rugs, but using at least a 10mm hook, so I was baffled to see you using something much smaller, until I viewed the video. Your technique is really interesting and actually much easier on the hands as you determine the tension based on the size of the loop as opposed to the hook size dictating the loop size. Also the fact that you pull the second loop over the first with your hand is certainly not traditional crocheting, but quite possibly much easier especially for kids or when using really thick material. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

GALaxy said...

Sara: Thanks for the comment! I can definitely say that my hands don't get extremely tired from working on rugs. I have tried to crochet "properly" from videos and I find it really difficult and awkward when applied to the sheet material. Also since the material can tend to vary (from ripping it), I find it's a lot easier to gauge the size of the loop depending on how the fabric is feeling and how the looping is going. For me, it's definitely more feel than technique!

Ruby Ruby said...

The last video seems to be the same as the first video, it does not show the double stitches. Unless I'm missing something?

GALaxy said...

Hi Ruby Ruby! The double stitch is basically just doing the same stitch twice through one hole. I apologize if you can't see it very well in the video! All you have to do is pull your loop through the hole and through your main loop once, then pull another loop through that same hole again through the last loop (or the one you just made). Essentially you're just pulling two different stitches through the same hole (to add extra space). I hope that helps a bit!

Cristina said...

Hi, I´ve been trying to make this rug for days, and It gets really bumpy. Can I send you a picture for you to see what I´m doing wrong??

GALaxy said...

Hi Cristina! You sure can send me a picture if you'd like. My email is idle.wife(at)yahoo(dot)ca. However, the bumpiness sounds like you're making your loops too tight. Try loosening up your knots and see if that helps!

Ellen said...

I love how I already know I can do this, even in a decade without looking it up again, without even having started. Fantastically explained. Thanks!