Monday, January 14, 2013

Crocheting with rags

I like to crochet rugs from material.  My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother (and so on I am assuming) were all quilters and liked to sew, therefore, had large material stashes. I am lucky enough to have been blessed with some of it and I have a lot more at my disposal. Since styles and designs change so often, striping out the material and crocheting it into rugs is the best use for some of the crazy stuff. It makes GREAT rugs!
First I cut the material into strips. I like to use strips that are about 3/4 inches wide.
Next you will need to link the strips of material together. Sewing them together with a zigzag stitch makes a nice (lump free) material to work with, however, that can be time consuming.
You can just link the strips together like this:
Hold the two strips together, overlapping by about an inch or so
fold them over together like this

make a small cut in both the strips together (being careful not to cut past the end of the strip)
now take the end of the strip you are attaching and link it through the hole 
pull tight
Continue to do this with strips until you have enough for your project. You will want to roll them up to keep them untangled and neat until you crochet with them. I have wound them into a ball before, but I have trouble with it rolling around on me while I am crocheting from it. For this reason, and the fact that it looks pretty, I like to roll them into a big wheel.
I usually either do a rug from similar colors, such as shades of blue, or I just do random colors and patterns linked together, which makes for a nice look too.
Sometimes I make wheels of similar colors and as I am crocheting, I can change colors just as I would with yarn.
Some of my latest rag wheels that are ready to work with:

Using strips of rags works with most patterns just the same as yarn. You will need to use a large hook. I usually use a size N because I like my rugs to be tight. If you like a looser rug that works up quicker, I would suggest a larger hook such as a P or Q.
Check back soon, I will post an original rug pattern for free!

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