Monday, August 13, 2012

Lincoln's Crocheted Rag Rug: An Expedition in Creation

Remember way back when when I made grand plans for Lincoln's "baby" room? Seeing as how Lincoln is a full-fledged toddler and I'm expecting another baby, I figured now is as good a time as any to get at least one major project done for his "baby" room before I go on to making baby girl projects. :)

I found this gal's blog through Pinterest, and was inspired by her tutorial to make my own rag rug. I liked the chunky braided look of the crocheted scrap rug. I have been collecting and purchasing old bed sheets for the rag rug I have wanted to make for his room over the course of the last year or so. I even bought the large crochet hook I needed to do the job. But I kept making excuses as to why I couldn't start the rug. Really! I had so many other projects to do, and people to visit, and a little boy to chase around, and a family to feed, and blog posts to write, and piano to practice, and time to waste on facebook . . . Ok, I'll admit it - I was mostly just intimidated. Really intimidated. I have never crocheted in my life and so I was really starting from square one with this project.

And I had reason to be intimidated. Look at the little lumpy frumpy blob I came up with before I got the hang of things:

My very first attempt at crochet. It has to be documented somewhere, right?
Hideous!
I hated it. But if I poked it and prodded it and punched it and crossed my eyes just right I could hide the mound in the middle of the rug and all the uneven lumpy stitches and funky rows just enough . . . Uuugh. Who was I kidding? The thing was ugly. I just didn't want to waste it - that first little round took me several hours over the course of a couple days to crochet! So in exasperation and with tender weariness, I asked my sweet loving objective husband what I should do. Should I just rip up the whole thing and start again? He suggested that since I wasn't that far along with my first one, that I start a new rug and see if it would go better. If it did, THEN I could rip out the stitches of the first rug and use the fabric from it. So I started fresh. And boy am I glad I did! Look at the difference:

The difference is magical!
The crocheting went SO much faster once I got the hang of it. I did in 45 minutes what had taken me several hours and couple of days to do. If you already know how to crochet, this really is a simple project - and if you don't - it is still totally doable. Here are some things I found that helped me with my project:
  • I used a stretchier fabric (instead of bed sheets) for the center round of my rug the second time around. So there is no puckering - it all lays perfectly flat.
  • I made very loose chain and single stitches which made the rug easier and faster to work with.
  • Making sure I was being consistent in where my bed-sheet-yarn was laying when I entered the rug for the single stitches. 
  • I got into a pattern of doing one chain stitch and then one single stitch throughout the work, which helped a lot with the unevenness - instead of just winging it as I had the first go around. 
  • I ripped the sheets as the blogger instructed in her tutorial, but as I crocheted and got to a point where I wanted a new color, I sewed across the top of old color and new color bed-sheet-yarn nice sides facing each other, and closed the seam up inside the yarn and continued crocheting.
  • The "Knit Witch" video tutorials! I linked the three I used to the bottom of this post if you don't know how to crochet, but are interested in tackling this project yourself.
After I got to this point (see picture below) I had to go thrift store hunting to get more bed sheets. Apparently you need a lot of bed sheets to make a huge rug. Approximately 16 to be more exact.


Here is the finished rug! I think I may have it wrong side up - but I don't care. I like the way this side looks better. More like a braided rug than a knotty rug.

This rug is 60 inches in diameter.


And here is the rug in Lincoln's room. I love how it complements the beautiful quilt my Aunt Sheryl made for Lincoln:



It totally brightened up his space.
 Lincoln loves laying and rolling around on his new rug. It is pretty cushy and cozy. I'm glad he enjoys it. And I am so glad it is finally finished. I was sweating bullets over nothing. ;)

The only tragedy about all of this is that Squire can't weat my first attempt at crochet as a hat for Halloween as I had to take it apart for its yellow and red bed sheet yarn:

If you want to make a crochet rag rug too, watch the vlog tutorials at this link. If you have never crocheted before and need to know where to begin, watch, study and practice with these three videos from the Knit Witch to figure it out:







Happy Crocheting!

5 comments:

  1. What an awesome job! I also have grand dreams of making a rag rug for Piper's room and Brynn's room. I just can't get my brain to say "yes" to it. Kudos to you! maybe I can send you some t-shirts and material and have you make one or two :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lesly! And yes . . . Send that fabric to me in about another year two after I've recovered from having made this rug. Haha!

      Delete
  2. Wow, that looks great! I've done a lot of crocheting, but never a rug. I may have to try this sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melanie! If you already know how to crochet - this rug will be a breeze for you! Not to mention it's a pretty cheap way to spruce up a space.

      Delete
  3. Hi,
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    ReplyDelete

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