Monday, March 14, 2011

Make it Monday...An Oval Rag Rug

   Braided, crochet or even knit, rag rugs are an excellent way to give new life to old sheets or extra pieces of fabric. We have used dollar sale remnants, denim, and even old t-shirts to make durable rugs for our little homestead.
   Once your fabrics have been stripped, the strips may be joined together in several ways. Some stitch the strips end to end on their sewing machine; later winding the strips into bobbins or balls. The book Rags to Rugs by Leisure Arts shows to "connect-as-you-go" joining strips by making small slits in the strip ends and looping them together. (I find it makes a "knot" that is difficult to crochet in) I generally join them by simply weaving in as I go; tucking a new strip end under another and crocheting along.
   Today we would like to share a basic oval crochet rug patter we use the most.

The Oval Rag Rug

Make your slip knot by making a loop at the long end and slip your size Q hook through.
Chain 20 stitches. Each chain will look like a V.
Single crochet in each chain. **I use double crochet; just my preference.
Single crochet twice in the last chain stitch. Work down the opposite side of the starting chain, and single crochet in each stitch.
Increase at the end of the row by single crocheting twice in each end stitch. By increasing at each end of the rug, you ensure it lies flat. **while working the rug, some curling will happen; once you lay it out it will take care of itself.
Continue working around the rug, single crocheting in each stitch and increasing at the ends. As the rig becomes larger, space the increases evenly around the end stitches to accommodate the size. You must increase the same numver of stitches at each end to keep a symmetrical oval shape. Slip-stitch in the first stitch of the precious round.
Finish the rug by pulling the fabric strip to the back side, cutting a slit in the strip lengthwise and tying the two ends of the slit in a knot. Weave a few inch length into the rug for stability.

   There you have it. Quick and simple using supplies already on hand; great for yourself, to give as a gift, or to create a treasured memory. When my kids outgrew their favorite "character" bed sheets, I made them into rugs for their rooms.
   Now, go raid your storage areas and make something beautiful!

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