Sunday, 20 January 2013

A shaggy rug story

I've been getting on with this rug today. It's been rather dull outside so I reckon the best place to be is inside, keeping busy. I've put a few pics together here, because someone asked for a tutorial. I would have liked to do a little video about it, but with only one pair of hands, mine, it is near impossible.
First of all, cutting the pieces. I don't have any special tools to do the job, so this is my way. I've made a little template from a cereal box, it's 1 inch x 5 inches. I use it as a guide, the pieces don't have to be an exact measurement. Just move the template along the fabric as I cut.
I guess the width according to how thick the fabric is. Very thin fabric like a teeshirt, you can go to the one inch, or the thicker sweatshirts you can cut narrower, maybe half an inch.
I started off by using the latch hook, and yes, it does have the Readicut name on the handle, so it is from those rug making kits you used to buy many years ago. Go through the backing and out again, hook on a piece of fabric, about in the middle of it.  
Pull it part way through, the barb will close.
The next bit is a bit fiddly. take the two ends between finger and thumb, push hook through and wrap ends round, and pull ends through the loop you have made.
Tighten the knot up, not too much, and there it is.
Then I changed to a crochet hook. Same principal really, through the backing.
Pull a loop through with the hook.
Get hold of the two ends and wrap round hook, and pull through. The fabric is a bit stretchy so you need to pull the loop so there is enough slack that the ends will pull through it.
And there it is, one piece knotted onto the backing. You might be using some hessian which isn't so loosely woven as mine, so you might need to cut thinner strips as they might not pull through if they are too fat.
I am not following any kind of pattern, either with the colours or how far apart I peg the strands. I am working row by row, but not pegging into every hole. I am finding it is easier to keep the worked piece on the left hand side and work on the right. I can flatten the strands with my left hand as I poke the hook in with my right. You might like to work the opposite way round if you are left handed. You can work in any direction, turn the piece around to suit. I am finding it easier to work on the table rather than my knee, I can go at quite a fast pace. No need to be fussy about getting it perfect, the shaggier the better.
My backing is not a perfect square or rectangle. I am going to keep adding to it till I get somewhere near the edges. I might trim it, but I might leave it as it is. I will turn under a couple of inches to make the edges thicker and stronger as I work towards the outer edge.
I am not sure if I have cut enough pieces. I have more fabric and will cut more as I go along. Is anyone going to have a go with this? I am going to keep on with this, do a bit every day, because I don't want it hanging around for ages. Toodle pip.  

42 comments:

  1. When I made my rag rug it took lots of T/Sweat shirts and two years to make but it is worth it. It is heaven to stand on in front of my sink. Good Luck Nice blog.
    Dianne - Hereford

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  2. i love the idea of this and such a good use of old fabric, it will be nice to put your feet on by a comfy chair

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  3. Looks lovely and cosy so far. Great use of scrap material. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. That looks great. It will be lovely and soft to stand on. My granny used to make them with potato sacks and strips of cotton. I like the random colours of yours too.

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  5. A great use of old fabric, it's looking good so far.

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  6. I remember my granny making me a square rug in this way. I still have the rug. It lives between my two arm chairs in the living room. Its good 45 years old now, but still looks great. Do you think yours will last this long?

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    1. I think mine will last a very long time, probably outlive me. The backing is very strong.

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  7. Hi,from Jan.What lovely memories you have reminded me of ,thanks.Used to be 'rag' rugs in my grandparents house.Later on,had a beautiful rescue dog,perfect in every way,some woman who saw him commented that he reminded her of 'an old podged rug'.Never sure what it was,but he may have been a bit 'tufty'.Won't say what I said she reminded me of!!Dear old Scotch dog,same colours as little Rocky.He had a lovely life with us,always will be missed.My current old girl is same colours,always been a real star.Snoozing peacefully after draging me out in the snow!Looking forward to seeing finished article.Wonder if I could do that?

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    1. You could try a small test piece Jan. Ask at your market for an old mesh vegetable sack, cut up an old teeshirt you are about to chuck out. Then it won't cost you anything.

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  8. That looks, fun. Another craft project to add to my list! LOL
    What is the green stuff you are using as a backing called?

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    1. The green mesh I found in a shipping container, it was used to secure the load. I collect things which might come in usefull. It is very strong, like plastic coated twine, I doubt very much that it will biodegrade in the next 50 years.

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    2. I made a rag rug years ago out of old cotton socks. I raised six children and had a ton of single socks, so I divided them up and dyed them different colors in batches. Cut them up, about the same size you have and made my rug. I came this week to my daughters house (to dog sit) and she has it on the floor in my grand baby's room. It still looks great after ten yrs and I was tickled to death that she was using it.

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  9. Lovely bright colours! I won't be joining in with this, I am currently knitting a dishcloth (been about a hundred years since I knitted anything so I'm a bit slow!), an embroidery and just picked up 2 Christmas cross stitches from a friend who is closing her shop (if I start now, I might be done by Christmas haha!). This is my creative year, hopefully.
    Judy xx

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  10. It looks great! have to put some non-slip stuff on the underside maybe, see how it is when it is done.

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  11. I've just finnished a pegged rug it took me ages to do, good luck with yours.

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  12. My aunt taught me this craft back in the early sixties. I have made a few since then, but none recently. Now would probably be a good time to get back into this as everyone seems to be cleaning out their closets right now. Better get in there while the pickings are good. Love to read you r blog daily. Love the pics from your wanderings.

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  13. Looks good, am thinking of having a go myself. I havent made a rug for a long time. Dont forget to fold over the edges and go through both the layers to keep the edges strong and neat. hugs Vix

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  14. I would like to this. I wonder how it would hold up using a plastic mesh bag? I like to do projects that I don't have to buy anything for.

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    1. With plastic you have to be sure it is not made of biodegradable material. I was thinking a strong onion or veg sack might work. You could overlap the joins by a couple of inches and peg through the two layers.

      I like the idea of not spending any money on craft projects. Gives me the satisfaction of using something which might have been thrown away.

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  15. The colours are lovely and it's going to look fabulous when it's finished, really vibrant. I made a small one last year which i have in front of my bathroom sink, keeps my feet warm in the morning. Can't wait to see the finished item x lizzietish from South Pembrokeshire, West Wales where we've had snow at all!!!




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  16. That'll keep you off the streets for a while!!! I remember doing one in primary school. It took our whole class ages, as the enthusiasm wore off and, as little kids, sitting still working on one big rug became less of an attraction than playing outside.

    Like other posters, I love how it repurposes old material and looks so bright and cheerful.

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    1. Yes, keeping up the enthusiasm on a big project is difficult for me, I get fed up easily. I am going to leave this on my table in the living room so it's in my face, and not put it away to finish another time.

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  17. I'm doing a similar thing but crochet with a HUGE hook (15 mm) and strips of t shirt fabric - I have a peg loom rag run on the go as well - but I really like your rug.

    Maybe I could use that old potato sack and make one similar but from wool ends - I have a rug making hook - and lots of wool ends too short for much else.

    Your rug looks lovely and will be cosy to stand on when done

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    1. Hi. I like the idea of weaving long strips of rags, might try that next. You could use potato sacks if they are strong and won't rot. You could join several by overlapping. You could use wool but you will need lots of it.

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  18. Love love love it. I do want to try this and may get some plastic from Joanne's Fabrics. Will you have to put a backing on this? I guess I can also look at tutorials on you tube...but I sure like the way yours is going. Good job!

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  19. What nice colors in the rug so far. I have a question. Can you wash the rug? I was wondering what the backing was made out of and if it will hold up in the washer. Just curious. You're very good at crafts. I used to be but haven't done anything in a long time. You are making me feel like I want to try something again.

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    1. Hi KG, The rug will be very heavy when it is finished, I doubt it will fit in my own washer, maybe have to be cleaned in an industrial type washer, like a launderette. My backing is very strong, like plastic coated twine, I think it will stand up to washing.

      I will place it somewhere where it won't get walked all over with outdoor shoes. Perhaps the cats might like it to sleep on. If I shake it regularly outside and hang it on the line to air, maybe it won't get that smelly.

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  20. Looks very cheery, Ilona! I think the crochet hook is a good choice for big pieces of fabric like that. Those grabby-latch things are designed for thick yarn or thin strips of wool, if I remember correctly.

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  21. Love it !
    (())
    Mabel

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  22. I've cut up some t-shirts into long thin strips and knitting them into mats. I will work on a tutorial but it will be a while yet.
    Carolx

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  23. Great start, Ilona. From Housefairy.
    Love the idea of crafting for no money.

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  24. Ilona, you are making steady progress and it's looking good...can't wait to see it all finished.

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  25. I love the mix of colors. Years ago I made this type of rug from yarn for my Mother. I only ever made one as working on it made me feel like smacking someone...anyone at all really.:-) I think your kitties would really love to lie on your new rug. I bet it could be washed off with the hose and air dried on the line a couple of times a year.

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  26. that is brilliant, can't wait to see it finished.
    Briony
    x

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  27. nice work, that technique is very time consuming though, I like it but would have to work in short bursts, I don't have as much patience as you !
    I've finished my rag rug now, and just posted some pics if you want to pop over and have a look.

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  28. Hi! I just came upon your blog and am so pleased to have done so. I am making a similar rug but using the non-slip rug backing as my base and hand-tying the scraps. I think now
    I should use a crochet hook. Please stop by my blog to see how I live simply and easily,

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  29. Thanks for the tutorial Ilona-cant wait to see the finished article!
    Ruth x























































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  30. Just a note, if you use the latch-hook like you do the crochet hook you won't have to fiddle with the ends. Put the fabric around the shank of the hook, hook it through the base material, stick the ends into the closing part of the hook and pull. It will pull the ends around the base material and through its own loop. Though, like somebody else said, I think it's made more for yarn than thick fabric. =)
    I love the way it's looking so far, so do whatever makes you comfortable!

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  31. Just one of the crafts that I'd like to try at sometime but will not be doing. Need to stay focused and concentrate on the things that need finishing for the moment. x

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