Crocheted Rag Rugs

Rag rugs have been around as long as there have been rags.  There are many ways to make these rugs, including weaving, braiding, crocheting, and hooking.  I had some rags that I tried to braid, but I found that my rugs ended up looking more like canoes.  So I figured, “Hey, I like to crochet!” and off to the store to get the biggest crochet hook I could find.

rug2

Oval rag rug, crocheted with 1″ strips of fleece.

I did the oval rug first.  It started as 2 yards of fleece; I liked the browns and greens of a wildlife print.  With the help of a friend and some serious rotary cutting, I had several rolls of 1 inch strips of “yarn.”  I didn’t use a pattern, I just started with a length, and then worked around, increasing a few stitches on the end.  It does have a little wobble in one end, but otherwise it looks marvelous.  I liked the fleece for a bathroom throw, as it doesn’t absorb much water or mildew.

 

rug_round

Round rag rug, crocheted with strips of cotton scraps.

The round rug truly was a basket full of rag strips.  It was challenging, because not all of the strips were consistent in width–once again, I worked without a pattern because I had to adjust the rug as I went.  I could only work on this rug for short periods, because I would get a rash from the fabric as I worked it (I assume from the dye and sizing).  I love the colors!  After a couple years of use and washing, the rug has softened but it is wearing very well.

One tip I will give:  I found that sewing the ends of my strips together did not work well for me.  It was time-consuming, and after use and cleaning, the threads would come undone and my rugs ended up with holes.  I found that using a joining technique (shown here), worked best even though there were little regions in my “yarn” where there was extra yardage to work in.  I especially liked this technique on the round rug, because the “tails” pop out all over the place and give it a softer look.

 

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