Friday, 9 April 2010

Circular Crochet Rag Rug – Instructions

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Circular Crochet Rag Rug Tutorial

This pattern is for a circular rag rug to illustrate the process of crocheting a rag rug in the round. Once you understand this concept you can then choose a variety of patterns to work with - ovals, squares, rectangles or even a hexagon.
A rag rug crochets up fairly quickly but the time consuming aspect is in the preparation. You will need to gather a variety of fabrics to cut and turn into your yarn. Think about the properties of any particular fabric you choose - is it stretchy, flexible, coarse, closely woven. Is it likely to fray? Although most fabrics do initially shed some fibres some materials are worse than others.
You will need a fairly large hook I always use 10mm but anything between 10mm and 15mm would be suitable. I find a 15mm hook a tad unwieldy in the hand.
Your next job is going to be to cut the yarn into strips with as few joins as possible. To avoid too many knots cut in a zigzag style from side to side or cut from out edge in a spiral manner to the centre. The fabric should be approximately 2cms wide or 1”. This measurement is not cast in stone and there will be slight variations in the width which is a natural property of any handmade crocheted rag rug. Roll the yarn into balls. It is difficult to estimate the amount of fabric required but I always find it is more than you might initially anticipate. If you prepare approx 5 different colours/patterns to begin with you should then be able to estimate how much more is required to complete the project.
If you are not used to using your hands intensively you may end up with aching hands during the cutting up stage - I think in my eagerness I even ended up with a blister or two. It is worth preparing the yarn in advance as it can become frustrating to have to stop crocheting to do more cutting up. It will also take a while to get used to working with such a large hook and fabric as it it is a very different experience to crocheting with yarn.
As you become more familiar with the process you will learn to assess which fabrics work best for you and your design. You will also learn when you need to make additional increases etc to stop the rug curling. The structure of a crocheted rag rug is synergistic each separate stitch is dependant upon all other stitches and the properties of the fabrics used.
175-7583_IMG1. Chain 3
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2. Join the ring with a sl st, ch 1 and then sc x 5 into the ring, join the circle with a sl st.
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3. ch 1, (It may be useful at this stage to start marking the beginning of your round with a safety pin). sc x2 into each st,then join with a sl st.
175-7589_IMG 4. ch 1, *sc twice into next st, sc 1 in next st* ** rep to end, join with sl st.
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5. ch 1, *sc twice into next st, sc 1 in next st* ** rep to end, join with sl st.
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6. Now begin working in the round (no more ch at beg of row and no more sl st) *sc twice into next st, sc 1 in next st* ** rep to end.
175-7594_IMG7. Continue to use pin to mark your rounds. 1 sc into each st. 
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8. 1 sc into next 3 st, sc x2 into next st and every 4th st to end of round.
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9. 1 sc into next 4 st, sc x2 into next st and every 5th st to end of round.
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10. Complete 1 round 1 sc in each st to end.
11. sc x 2 into 1 st, sc for next 3 st, sc next st and every 4th st to end of round.
12. Complete 1 round 1 sc in each st to end.
13. sc x 2 into 1 st, sc for next 3 st, sc next st and every 4th st to end of round.
14. Complete 1 round 1 sc in each st to end.
Continue with these rounds (13 & 14) until work measures required diameter.
At this point my rug measures 19” diameter.
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You can keep going here for as long as you like – but be warned they can become difficult to work with after a 4-5ft diameter.
170-7010_IMGHere is one of my earlier rugs and this reached approx 6ft.
Note: If your rug begins to wrinkle you are increasing too often – reduce amount of increase for 1 round.
If your rug begins to curl upwards, like a bowl you are not increasing enough. 
Happy Rug Making.

16 comments:

Doris Sturm said...

How nice! I knew an old layd who had 10 daughters and back then they wore stockings, not pantyhose. She'd save all the old stockings with runs and wash them and then crochet them into rugs. They came out really sturdy too.

I've yet to try making a rag rug. Yours looks very nice and sturdy.

Anjie said...

I'm putting this on my long list of 'Things I would like to make'. I'v given you a Kreativ Blogger Award. Please do with it what you will, don't feel you have to take part, I won't be offended!

Izabela said...

this is something on my list to do! I love it - the texture, the colors just great :)
x

brenda said...

How do you prepare the fabric to make it into "yarn"?

The Sunroom said...

Hi Brenda,

Make sure all fabric is freshly clean and then cut as described or some fabrics will let you tear them. You will need to gather a variety of fabrics to cut and turn into your yarn. Think about the properties of any particular fabric you choose - is it stretchy, flexible, coarse, closely woven. Is it likely to fray? Although most fabrics do initially shed some fibres some materials are worse than others.
You will need a fairly large hook I always use 10mm but anything between 10mm and 15mm would be suitable. I find a 15mm hook a tad unwieldy in the hand.
Your next job is going to be to cut the yarn into strips with as few joins as possible. To avoid too many knots cut in a zigzag style from side to side or cut from out edge in a spiral manner to the centre. The fabric should be approximately 2cms wide or 1”. This measurement is not cast in stone and there will be slight variations in the width which is a natural property of any handmade crocheted rag rug. Roll the yarn into balls.

danita said...

I think this is great I love to recycle so lots of old shirts are going into mine.I do have a question about step 11 and 13 it says to sc x 2 in 1 st, sc next 3 st, sc next st and every 4th st to end of round,should it read sc x 2 in 1st st,sc next 3 st, sc x 2 in next st and every 4th st to end of round? It doesn't make sense to me the first way.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited that i found your instructions on how to make a rag rug! i have a bunch of rags set aside and just did not know how to even start making them into a rug. Thank you!

Sys said...

Which size of crochet hook do I have to use?
Regards
Sys Borgquist
Sweden

Sys said...

Which size of crochet hook do I use?
Regards
Sys Borgquist
Swedeen

The Sunroom said...

Sys,

I use anything from 8mm-12mm id depends on what feels comfortable in your hand.

Best Wishes,

Aileen

Nishna said...

This is great! Easy instructions, thank you!! I've started a rag rug with some fairly neutral colors, but your rugs are so pretty!! Great Job!!

Rebecca said...

I have made this rug with scraps of worsted weight yarn. I went through my scraps dividing them by size first and then by color useing ROYGBIV order. It turned out very beautiful and used daily.

Unknown said...

When rolling the fabric together in a ball,do you join each piece of material together? If so how? Or do you leave each piece seperate and just have a ball of material pieces?
Thanks
Jill

Jill said...

Hi, I have been researching rag rugs and dolls and would like to know how you form the ball of material? Is the material each individual pieces or do you connect them to for a string? If so How? I'm anxiouse to learn a;; about this, as I would like to teach this to to some students at my daughters school.
Thanks
Jill

The Sunroom said...

I try to use the largest piece of fabric I can find then cut in a zig-zag style to reduce the amount of joins. When I do need to join I just tie them in a not and weave end in when finished. I know that some people sew the fabrics together but this would take forever in my opinion - so It's really down to personal preference.

Hope this helps,

Best Wishes,

Aileen

Betty48125 said...

My grandmother made rag rugs as a way of life, we lived in the smokie mountains and I learned sitting by her side, I am trying to teach my grand daughters, and your instructions will give them somthing to follow , thank's for keeping a lost art alive