Whenever I weed through clothes, I set aside any t-shirts or clothing that I would like to use in a future rag rug. Itís easiest to crochet thin material, but not impossible to crochet thick material like denim, so you can pretty much save any clothing colors, types or patterns you like, however, youíll want to use material that has similar thickness in each rug so it will be fairly even. Of course, if the clothes are unstained and in really good condition you may want to consider donating them to a thrift store or friend before cutting it apart; I usually use stained or worn out clothing for rag rugs; small stains and holes usually donĎt show up in the finished rug. Another idea is to use sheets; I have not done this because I havenít had any sheets to recycle yet, but I know theyíd work really well and would be easier to cut than t-shirts.
Later on, when Iím watching TV and the mood strikes, Iíll take out one of those pieces of clothing and cut it into one long, approximately 1/2 inch wide strip. The way that I do this with t-shirts is to begin at the bottom, cut into the shirt about 1/2 inch then cut around and around the shirt stopping around arm level and discarding the rest. The strip doesnít have to be a perfect 1/2 inch; if it is a little off here and there, it wonít harm the finished rug. Once I have cut the entire shirt, I wind the strip into a ball (like a ball of yarn). It is important to keep the material in one long strip rather than making a lot of short strips to prevent as much joining of strips as possible. Joining strips will make the rug a little thicker in those spots, so you donít want to join too much. You will need a few t-shirts for one fairly large crochet rug. Cutting the strips is actually the most work of the project; once this is done, the crochet works up quickly because you are working with big stitches.
Something to think about before beginning to crochet is that you will want to make a rug with a pleasing color combination. You can use the same color in different shades for a nice effect or you can use complimentary colors. Patterned fabric works in nicely; just look at the main color of the pattern when planning your color scheme. The main thing is to do a little advance planning.
When you are ready to begin crocheting, select a large crochet hook. A ĎQí size hook is best, but smaller ones will also work; just be sure to crochet loosely. Here is the instructions for crocheting a round crochet rug:
Ch 3. Join with slip stitch (Sl
st) into a ring. Chain (Ch) 1, work 9 single crochet (sc) into ring. Sl st into top of ch 1. Do not turn.
Increase Row: Ch 1, work two sc in each stitch around. Join with sl st in top of ch 1. Do not turn.
Pattern Row: Ch 1, work a sc in each st around. Join with sl st in top of ch 1. Do not turn.
Continue working pattern stitch unless the piece starts to "cup", then work an increase row. Continue working in pattern stitch with increase rows as needed until the rug measures desired size. End and fasten off.
To join strips onto the rug, sl st the new strip into the next st and leave a 5-6 inch tail; crochet over this tail in your next few stitches to secure it.
Hint: This pattern and
material could also be used to make pot holders!