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.
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.
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.