Crochet Rag Rug

Reader Contribution by Jennifer Sartell
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To make this rug, you will need to have some basic sewing skills and basic crochet skills under your belt.

You will need to know how to make a slip knot, how to crochet a chain and how to work a single crochet stitch.

The finished oval rug is 20 inches by 40 inches.

Scrap fabrics
Rotary tool (optional)
Cutting mat (optional)
Sewing machine (or serger)
Jumbo crochet hook (around 19mm)

To begin, collect fabrics for your rug. You can purchase new fabric for your rug, or you can use old clothes, sheets, leftover fabric from past projects, etc. Denim makes a sturdy rag rug, so save those old jeans! Thrift stores are a great place to find material. Check the bedding and curtain areas and look for half-off days.

Natural fabrics seem to make the best rugs; cotton, linen, wool and flannel work well. I like to keep similar fabrics together to make a rug. This keeps the crochet pattern somewhat uniform.

Start by cutting the fabric into 3-inch lengths. To make things go quickly, I fold the fabric onto itself several times and cut through the layers with a rotary cutting tool on a rubber mat. You can use scissors to accomplish this as well.

Cut the fabric so that you’re getting the most out of the length of the piece. You don’t have to worry about measuring just yet, just try to cut the longest pieces available for the piece of fabric.

For my rug, I had a collection of pastel fabrics from old quilting projects and two white flat sheets to work with. I am remodeling a spare bedroom and wanted the fabric to correlate with the color scheme of the room.

I wanted the different colors to be distributed throughout the rug. To do this I first cut all my pink lengths, then yellow, green, blue, violet, etc.

Within the pink color scheme I alternated the patterns.

I did the same with the other colors.

Then I alternated the colors, mixing pink, yellow, green, etc. in a rainbow pattern to get my finished stack of colored fabric. This gave me a good distribution of all the colors throughout the rug.

Because I had so much white, I decided to alternate a color piece with a white each time.

Your rug does not have to be this calculated. Some of the most beautiful rugs are very spontaneous. Try different patterns and see what you like.

Begin sewing your pieces of fabric together end to end, right sides together. I am blessed to have a serger which gives me a nice, neat, finished edge, and cuts the two fabrics evenly as it goes. But a serger isn’t necessary. A sewing machine does nicely. Leave a ¼ inch seam with each join.

It’s amazing how quickly the fabric adds up, within two evenings I had 186 yards of fabric joined together.

I wound it onto my yarn skeiner to count the yards.

From this point you have some options. You can begin crocheting your rug right away. I’ve done this in the past and it makes a nice rug. But I like to wash my rugs in the washing machine. Because cotton fabric is prone to fraying, all those unfinished edges will let loose and knot on themselves in the washer, so I choose to finish my edge.

Again, the serger works great for this, but a sewing machine would work as well. I fold the fabric in half and serge the open edge.

If you have a sewing machine, sew along the side as close to the open edge as you can get. A zig zag would work even better. You’ll still get some fraying but the stitch will provide a stopping point.

Once your fabric is all finished it’s ready to start crocheting.

Begin by tying a slip knot.

Chain 20 stitches. (There are 30 shown here because later I took it out, as the rug was getting too long for the space I wanted to place it.)

Turn and go back through the second hole from the hook.

Stitch 3 single crochet stitches in this stitch.

Single crochet to the other end.

Stitch 3 single crochet stitches in the last stitch.

Single crochet to where the rug begins turning around the end oval.

Single crochet in that first stitch, then crochet two in the next stitch, then one in the next. Repeat this till you round the corner then single crochet to the other side. Stop where the oval begins to curve. Repeat the stitch 1 then 2 pattern until you round the corner and repeat this until the rug is finished.

Depending on the material you’re using, you might have to adjust the increase or decrease of stitches. If the rug starts to bowl up on itself, add more stitches (in an even manner); if it starts to wave, then decrease stitches in an even manner.

To finish, pull the tail of fabric through the last stitch and tug it to tighten.

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