A Hat or a Halo?

A hat made from "Archangel" roving from Malabrigo Nube line.

A hat made from “Archangel” roving from Malabrigo Nube line.

This may look like a hat (and technically, it is!).  However, this adorable hat was made from dyed wool roving–the Nube line by Malabrigo–called “Archangel.”  I chose the roving as some of my first spinning wool because I liked the bright colors; I had no idea how beautiful the yarn would be.  And I have to say, although my crocheting is adequate, I think the colors make this into a halo fit for an angel.  I am proud to present it to a lovely lady as a “thank-you” gift.

Dyed merino roving and two-plyed yarn made with "Archangel" by Malabrigo

Dyed merino roving and two-plyed yarn made with “Archangel” by Malabrigo

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.

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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.

 

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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.