A few of you have expressed an interest in knowing how I make the rectangular rugs I've been crocheting with heavy rug yarn. I first made a few of these rugs about 25-30 years ago and although they are a little worse for wear, I still have them and use them on our enclosed entry porch. A year or so ago when I decided it was time to make some new ones, I was disappointed to discover the yarn I had used, Aunt Lydia's Rug Yarn, was no long being manufactured.
At my clever husband's suggestion, I found the yarn being offered on eBay by folks who had acquired it through estate sales, auctions, etc. Being patient and waiting until I could get what I thought was a fair price for colors I wanted, I've now collected a good supply of it and am back in the rug making business. (Just for our own use, that is.)
So let's get started. The rectangular rugs I've been making are approximate 2' x 3' but, obviously, you can make whatever size you wish. I work with two strands of yarn together, using a Size K crochet hook. The rows are worked from right to left and you can make your rug all one color or change the colors as you wish.
Disclaimer: I am definitely not an expert when it comes to crocheting so my directions may leave something to be desired!
Start by taking two strands of yarn, make a slip knot on your hook and start making the foundation row.
For the 2' width of the rug, I chain 50 stitches. (Make these chains for the foundation row on the loose side.) The wider the desired rug size, the more stitches you would chain, the more narrow the fewer. When you have your 50 chains, chain 2 more which will be the start of the next row.
Working to your left across the row of chain stitches, you are now going to do a single crochet into each of the loops of your foundation row. With the foundation chain on your left, insert the hook in the first chain stitch after the stitch your 2 chains come out of. Pencil in picture is indicating where I inserted my hook and made my first single crochet.
Make a single crochet in each of the chain stitches of the foundation row until you get to the last stitch which looks a little different, more like a "bump." (The last stitch in each row will look like this.) In the above picture I've made a single crochet in the last "regular" looking stitch. The very last single crochet you want to make at the end of the row will be in that "bump" stitch you see indicated by the pencil.
Go into that "bump" stitch from the bottom up and do a single crochet in it just as you have done in the top of each stitch across the whole foundation row. (I'll admit getting "into" this first "bump" stitch is hard. Following ones will be easier.)
Next, chain 2 which will actually count as the first single crochet stitch on your new row, but for the time being, let's just say you are at the end of your foundation row.
Now let's fast forward to when I was more than halfway through the rug. All the rows after doing the 2 chain stitches at the end of the foundation row are the same. So the pictures now take up at those same 2 chain stitches you just did at the end of your foundation row, but farther along on the rug. (Compare the picture above and the one below. There is more rug underneath the row shown below, but the rows will be worked just the same.)
You've made 2 chain stitches at the end of a row.
Turn your work around (rug will be on your left) to start a new row. Once again, insert the hook in the first stitch after the stitch your 2 chains come out of. (Indicated by pencil.) That will be your second single crochet. Remember your chain 2 before you turned your work counts as the first stitch -- of the 50 -- that goes across the row.
On each row you do you continue making a single crochet into each stitch . . .
. . . including the "bump" stitch at the end of every row. In the above picture, my left index finger is touching the "bump" stitch and four regular stitches. My hook is five regular stitches away from doing the "bump" stitch.
Go into the little "bump" stitch from the bottom up and do a single crochet in it just as you have done in the top of each stitch across the whole row. You are now at the end of another row.
Chain 2, turn your work and keep going back and forth across the 50 stitches until the rug is the length you want it to be.
Periodically, take the time to count the stitches in your row to make sure you haven't accidentally increased or decreased any stitches. This will insure the sides of your rug remain a straight line from start to finish.
When you complete the last row of your rug, your last stitch will be in that last "bump" stitch. To end the rug, don't make the last stitch a single crochet, but rather a simple chain stitch as shown in the picture above.
Cut your yarns and pull them through the last chain stitch to knot it off.
Now you have the task of weaving in all the tail ends of yarn that appeared where you joined a new color or ran out of one of the strands of yarn you were using.
I always add a fringe to both narrow ends of my rugs, but it's your choice as to whether to do that or not.
Actually taking yarn and hook in hand and crocheting the rug will make it much clearer and simpler than these instructions might make it seem.
If you wanted to make a much smaller sample before starting on a rug, you could use the same technique to crochet a hot pad to use under a casserole dish, for instance.
Hope this tutorial is enough to start you on your way to making some rugs that will last you thirty years!
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