3 sisters. 2 states. 1 story.


Go Big or Go Home

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Today marks the day that I begin a new crochet project and it takes a little prep on the front end.  Behold:

I plan on crocheting a rag rug for our guest room and to do that you have to start by making rag yarn. Now, if I had started by showing you this photo:

You might have thought one of several things:
  1. Donna Walkush is breaking out of the Big House, the Hooscow, the Pokey, the Clink!
  2. Donna Walkush is mummifying someone. (Note: if you are a long-time blog follower, you would KNOW that we already did that for Halloween 2010 - it was yours truly!)
  3. I feel an uncanny urge to break out a rousing rendition of "On Top of Spaghetti." 
So, let's start at the very beginning.

How to Make Rag Yarn (Yarn from Fabric)
Fabric Scissors
Ruler, yardstick, tape measure, or measuring tape

Lay the fabric out on a large surface. (I chose our basement floor so that I'd have plenty of room.) Place your measuring device along the short end of the fabric.

Use the pencil to mark fabric every 1 1/2 inches. (If you are not as particular as I am, you can skip the measuring device and just fly by the seat of your pants here. However, having grown up with a father who was an avid fisherman, I find that my best guess at 1 1/2 inches isn't really anywhere near that and the strips don't end up a uniform width, which is important.)

Make short cuts on the marks.

Now this is important. If you do nothing else, try to do this. Find a cute four year old and convince him that tearing fabric is fun. Boy! I crack myself up. Realistically, said four year old will tear three fabric strips and you will tear the other 87,000, but it never hurts to ask for help. :-)

Once you have a pile of fabric strips, you will need to join them in order to crochet with them. The first step is to overlap the ends of two strips by a few inches. I have shown two photos here. Photo 1 shows the two strips lined up next to each other and how much they should overlap. Photo 2 shows them overlapped.

You will then take both pieces of the overlapped section and fold them in half so that the overlapped ends are even with each other. This will form a "sandwich" of four layers of fabric.

Take your scissors and cut a small slit in the middle of the fold formed on the edge of the "sandwich."

Open the sandwiched fabric back up to your starting position and pull the other end of the top strip through the hole you just created in both layers. Make sure to bring this end of the strip through the hole from underneath as shown in the picture.

While holding both layers in one hand, use the other hand to pull the other end of the strip all the way through the hole until a knot is formed.

Continue joining strips and roll into a ball of rag yarn. With this method, you can also join as you go, which will enable you to change colors in your project rather easily.
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Misty Turner said...

Is this for the rug I requested instructions on? I may have to wait awhile n this project. It seems kind of involved and I am just starting work on a mosaic table. :-(

Donna Walkush said...

This is for a new rug that I will be making for the guest room now that we put hardwoods in. I will be posting about it once I've made it, but this is the only part in the works so far.

I've made other rag rugs before, so maybe you asked about one of those? I don't have them anymore . . . They are really nothing more than crocheting in a circle with a really big hook and rags (like described above) instead of yarn.

Misty Turner said...

That's funny you posted this, then. I just tagged you in a pic on Pinterest and asked for instructiones on how to do a rag rug.

I'm glad that there is more ripping than cutting involved. When it comes to cutting, I may as well be Charlie Brown!

Anonymous said...

Donna, I can't wait to see the finished product because right now it sounds like more trouble than it would be worth to me (unless someone made it for me)!! Of course, I have never learned to crochet or knit.
Shirley P.

Misty Turner said...

Me too, Shirley! Also, I may need a video demonstration. Then, I will require a Howard to view said demonstration with me and explain it to me! lol

Donna Walkush said...

Tsk, tsk, Ladies! A rag rug is actually one of the very first BIG crochet projects I ever worked on. We learned how to make rag rugs in Mrs. Stigall's Home Ec class in High School. Of course, I already knew how to crochet by then, but the rest of the class didn't, and Mrs. Stigall was happy to teach them.

As I explained to Jaxon while he was helping me, if you want to crochet something big, you need to use big "yarn" - so that's why you start with this fabric ripping project. Plus, it gave Jaxon and me a project to do while Aidyn was at a birthday party. :-)

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