Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Rag rug tut. And dessert.

found a recipe I had to try

with ice cream on the side and icing sugar on top, hubby approved

Now onto the tutorial.

Start with strips the same width. Snip a little slit near the end but not too close.

If you join strips this way they will look like this. Alternatively you can knot the ends together but this is less bumpy.

 To do so, get the next/2nd strip and poke it through the slit in the end of the last/1st.

Then, poke the end of the same/2nd strip through the slit of the 2nd strip.

 If you pull it gently it will end up looking like that first picture. Don't pull too tight in case you tear the slit. Don't be afraid to use your fingers to jiggle it down a little. It will look like that as the loop gets smaller before the knot is created.

The 'tool' I use is just a safety pin. You can poke the strip through the hole or you can just pin the pin onto the fabric. Whatever works for you.

 To start you have the knotting strips (white) and the guide - is what I'm calling it. In this case I have used green to show you the difference and so you can see how it shows up later. You don't have to use different colours if you want them to blend.

Join them as instructed above and drape the white ( which will be hereto referred to as the 'feed' strip) over the green (guide) in a 'q' shape.

As with making a knot tuck your feed strip under you guide and up through the loop you left in your 'q'.

 Pull as tight as you wish for your pattern.

Keep going until you reach the desired length using your guide as

To determined length, work out whether you want a circle, oval or squared off shape - more about this later.

 To widen, turn your work and drape your guide around an imaginary corner.

From now on in you knot BOTH around your guide and the loop from the last row.

 Continue around your corners watching your work grow.

If you are doing one in the round you may need/want to do 2 stitches in the same hole around the 'corners' to account for any curling up around the edges.

If you find later that there is too much fabric and it is bunching up you are also able to skip a stitch and move on to the next hole. Work it out as you go along.
This photo was taken a couple of hours later after I taught my boyfriend how to do this.


As you can see, the green guide fabric is still visible. This is not always the case depending on the thickness of your strips and the tightness of your knots.

To finish the rug simply choose an appropriate place i.e. not in the middle of a row where it's noticeable. Try to blend it in. Tie a knot onto the stitch next to yours and tuck the strip in so it wont come out and unravel anywhere. You'll figure it out but basically you just tie it to something, there is no magic way.

As mentioned you can go around and around or in straight lines. Round is easy. To make a circle make a relatively short first row and go around it. For an oval make it longer to stretch it out.

To make a straight edged rug takes more focus. As you can see round builds on itself, with straight lines though you need to continually use your guide strip to make new rows. You are essentially zig zagging your guide all the way through your piece. While it is relatively easy, the tricky part is keeping all your edges the same size because they are loops so you have to pull them tight but not too tight.

There are other methods of making rag rugs: crochet and braiding and stitching. I have tried both of these methods and found this to be the easiest one out there.

As for the strip width - the size of your rug depends on the strips. The rug will be thicker if you use a wider strip. The same could be said for a thicker fabric.

As for your tool. I use a safety pin because it suits my strip size and has a hole I can thread through. I have seen people use a toothbrush shank - if you buy the ones with the hole in the handle.

Good luck and happy knotting.

P.S. I taught my boyfriend how to do this in about 10 minutes the other day. He picked it up quite well. He is blind, so he learnt how hands on, without the pretty pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the tute.I have wondered about doing this. Another on my to-do list. I love that you have taught your b/friend.