Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crocheted Rag Rug Tutorial: Part Two

Okay, everybody got their glass of wine? I just downed half a bottle trying to get this all written in a halfway understandable manner. I promise you making the foundation row of the rug and getting started on the first couple of rounds will be the hardest part of the whole process. So if you can hang in with me through this, the rest will seem easy.

To start your rug, you'll need to make a chain that will be the basic foundation of the rug. To know how long a chain to make, you need to decide what size you want your finished rug to be. (My demonstration rug is going to be another one about 2' x 3' so we'll work with those measurements.) Simply subtract the width (in this case 24") from the length (36") which leaves 12". Twelve inches will be the length of the chain I will make to start my rug.

Start the chain by making a slip knot about 6" from the end of your fabric.

Here's a close-up of the slip knot on the hook. Make sure your hook is pointing away from the tail and toward the bulk of your strip you're going to be crocheting with.

Then make a chain about 12" long. It took me 26 chains to reach the 12" mark.

This close-up of the chain shows that it looks almost like a flat braid with loops on both sides. For the first time up and down this chain, you will be putting your hook through those loops one at a time and picking up the strip of fabric to make your single crochets. Stay with me, you'll see what I mean.

You have your chain made to the correct length so now we're going to turn and single crochet into each of the loops going all the way down one side of the chain. To do this, with the chain on the left, turn and make a single crochet in the second chain stitch from the hook.

Right in there.

Put your hook through that loop and make your first single crochet.

Continue making a single crochet in each foundation chain on this first side of the foundation row . . .

. . . until you get to the next to the last chain stitch which is the one the pencil is sticking through above.

Starting with this next to the last chain stitch, make 2 single crochet stitches in that stitch and then 2 single crochet stitches in the next stitch which should be at the very end of your foundation row. You will be working close to your slip knot stitch, but don't worry about it, just make sure the slip knot and tail stays to the BACK of your work.

This increase you just made will make your first curve around an end.

Above is a closer look at the curve.

Taking a peek at the back of this curve, you will see your slip knot and tail which probably won't look very smooth or neat. Don't worry about that now. If the lump-bump doesn't straighten itself out, we'll beat it into submission later.

With your foundation row again on your left, continue down the other side making a single crochet stitch in each foundation chain stitch.

When you get to the other end, find three stitches that will be used to make another curve. The center one should be as much at the very middle end of your foundation row as you can find. Above the pencil lead is on the first or right hand stitch. My thumb nail is on the third or left hand stitch. The middle stitch is the closest one to the very end of the foundation row in between the right and left stitch and will count as the second stitch.

Make 2 single crochet stitches in the first (right hand) loop, then 2 in the loop on the very end (middle stitch), then 2 in the loop on the left.

You'll now be ready to start down another long side.

This time around, the only difference will now be that you are inserting your hook into the top loop of a single crochet stitch rather than a chain stitch (of your chain foundation row). This will now continue throughout the rug.

As you go down this row, your rug may start to curl up but don't worry, as we keep building on each side it will get it straightened out and I promise it will lie flat.

You now have a nice curve at each end of the rug and will be making a certain amount of increases around these curves so your rug will lie flat. I know this sounds scary (and I will illustrate more increases in the next tutorial) but you will be making a judgment call as to how many increases and where they should be made on the curve as you go along. When I made my first rug, I obsessed endlessly that I was either making too many increases and my rug would have a wavy edge or not enough and it would end up being a large, cupped bowl. If you just occasionally lay your rug down on a flat surface and give it a little patting, tugging and smoothing out, it's pretty easy to tell where to put the increases and how many.

Since I want this rug of mine to be scrappy and colorful, my fabric strips aren't long enough to go very far. Already I've run out of the yellow fabric I started with so I need to stop and add another strip in order to continue.

Open up the end of the strip you're currently using and do the same with the strip you're going to be adding. Put the right sides of the fabrics together.

Join them with a 1/4" seam.

Having done that you're ready to continue on crocheting.

Here you can see (sorry for the blurry picture) a few inches I've already crocheted with the newly added strip.

I think we've all had enough instruction (and wine) for this go-round (and this post is certainly long enough) so I'll end this installment of our tutorial.

Until next time!


Sue said...

Ich verstehe leider nicht.

I'd say it in Greek, but I don't know how to do THAT either!

But, I had to comment, because I haven't commented lately and I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you or anything. I have been sick sick sick (and not in a good way as hubby would say!) and haven't been on much lately. So hi, Mama Pea. And I still didn't understand this-LOL!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - WAAAAH! I told ya I wasn't a good teacher! If I could only get you here beside me and SHOW you it would be sooooo easy!

I heard through the grapevine (you cannot get by with a thing, you know) that you've been sick and you've been on my list to get an e-mail off to you with wishes for your recovery . . . but there's been too, too much going on lately and the hurrier I go, the behinder I get. At least I know now that you're well enough to toddle to the computer and push a few buttons. Take care of yourself, my friend.

Sparkless said...

Oh wow! That is so easy. Thanks so much for the tutorial Mama Pea. I actually understood this most likely because I've crocheted before.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyou! Yes, having to go to a YouTube or book to learn how to chain and single crochet would be a big stumbling block, but I didn't think I would be able to teach that via the blog post.

P.S. Sue, don't worry. I'm not upset by your comment. I know you're just yankin' my chain a wee bit. :o}

Wendy said...

Don't you just love making these. They are so much fun to make and come together easily. And you did a great tutorial, so anyone should be able to pick it up and make a go of it.

Mama Pea said...

Wendy - Yes, I sure do love making these rugs. It can be kinda addictive! Thank you for your comment!

LindaCO said...

Nice work on the tutorial!

Mama Pea said...

LindaCO - Hearing that from a professional presenter like you, I feel very complimented!

Stephanie said...

I can't wait to try this, when I am done with my current rope rug:)

judy said...

Easy peasy ,for a pea---:)

Erin said...

I'm nowhere near having time for this but thank you so much for giving me a goal this year, and a nice bookmark of how to do it!! I can however, get started now on sewing strips together LOL.. that should take me awhile!

Karen L. said...

Just getting around to check on your blog and Bingo! ... there the Tute #2. I also know how to crochet (but not knit) so this all made prefect sense to me. Thanks for all the great photos. That does make it so much easier to follow.

Dirt Lover said...

Makes sense to me, but I've crocheted before. Not fabric rugs like this, though. Thanks for telling us how to do it. I have tons of fabric I could use for this, and I might just do this! :)

Patty said...

Thanks, Mama Pea! I'm starting today. :)

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - So how's about you giving the rest of us a tutorial on your rope rug? That would really be interesting!

judy - You're such a clever little twit!

Erin - That's it . . . it's always nice to having something in mind that you wanna do . . . someday. We maybe can't do it right now, but someday!

Karen L. - Thanks, Karen. I was afraid the photos were getting to be a bit much, but maybe there is something to the old saying, "One picture is worth . . . "

Lori - I'm just loving that I'm using up some of this fabric I've had forever . . . and getting some mighty nice rugs out of it! Hope you do do the same.

Patty - Oooh-ooh-oooh! Pictures, I want to see pictures!

artie said...

These are great directions, photos and can't believe you did it with 1/2 bottle of wine! Please keep posting, it's helping greatly!