In this ever evolving business, I found myself with loads of fleece scraps and strips. And, wanting to be as zero landfill as possible, I figured I could make crocheted rugs with the strips. Until I saw just how many there were.And this is not all of them. There are 4 more colors and lots more strips of each color. I would have to close down the sleeve business and just sew strips and crochet. Which defeats the purpose of starting the business. So I hit upon the idea of selling strips so people could make their own rugs! Like this one…
But I needed to have a pattern for them to use, and none of the ones I found online seemed to be just what I wanted. So I decided to make up my own. How hard could it be? Start with around 4 lbs of strips, sew them together and roll them up into a big ball…(those floor tiles are 14″ across, just for reference–that ball is quite a bit bigger than a basketball)
Then crochet and write it down as I go for a pattern. I had made several rugs without a pattern so this should be easy. Not. Four rugs later, I was still tweaking–or overhauling the pattern. I think I finally got it figured out but have asked 5 volunteers to make it for me, following the pattern, and to let me know if it is OK. I am posting the pattern here so I can just refer them to this link, but if any of you are interested in making one, email me and I can ship you enough pre-cut strips AND the right size crochet hook (size Q if you want to know) for just $15 plus the actual shipping cost.
So here goes! Basic Instructions for Crocheting an Oval Rug. Finished size, roughly 2’x3′.
Chain 12. Round 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in back loop only of next 10 ch, work 1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc, ch, 1 sc in the last ch; 9 sc, work 2 sc in next sc, ch 1, work 2 sc in next sc, ch 1, work 2 sc in next sc. (From here on out, crochet through both front and back loops) Also, stop and attach a twist tie or some other yarn or wire so you can identify the end of the rug where the rows stop and start. Trust me, you will be really glad you did! Round 2: 10 sc, work 2 sc in each of next 3 sc; 11 sc, (work 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc) 2 times, work 2 sc in next sc. (Helpful hint: as you start down each side, put another twist tie around the first sc of the run, so you have a starting place for your counting. Like this…)Round 3: 13 sc, ch 1, 2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc, ch 1; 14 sc, sc 1, ch, 2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc, ch 1.
Round 4: 15 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1; 16 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1.
Round 5: 17 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1; 18 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1.
Round 6: 18 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1; 19 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 1.
Round 7: 20 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, ch 1; 19 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, ch 1.
Round 8: 22 sc, ch 1, 7 sc, ch 1, 7 sc, ch 1; 21 sc, ch 1, 7 sc, ch 1, 7 sc, ch 1.
Round 9: 24 sc, ch 1, 10 sc, ch 1; 29 sc, ch 1, 10 sc, ch 1, 4 sc, sl st in each of next 2 sc, cut off strip, leaving 4-6” tail, pull tail through last loop to end crochet, weave tail through loops on back side to end rug.
Misc tips and tricks:
When sewing the strips together, trim and sew the seams on a slant. Note how I have reversed at the beginning and end of the seam, otherwise it will pull apart under the tension of the crochet process.
place right sides together to sew 1/4" seam.
Then clip off the corners that stick out. You will have a smoother finished product.
clip off the corners that stick out
This is what it looks like when laid out flat. (This is a trick we used in upholstery when stitching yards and yards of fabric strips together to make cording for the cushions and trim)
The strips will tend to twist. Don’t worry about whether the inside or outside of the fabric is showing. It will not make any difference to the finished rug. They will also vary in width and thickness. Don’t worry, when it is worked into a rug, it won’t be a problem.
As you pull up each loop, whether chaining or making a single crochet, pull a little extra through each time so that the loops are not so tight.
pull some play into each loop to keep it from being too tight=
And as you reach each seam, turn the fabric so the seam doesn’t show.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, even if you don’t like it and have to take it out again. You will learn a lot as you go. It should take a couple hours to sew the strips together and another couple to do the actual crocheting. That is if you already know how to crochet. Longer if you are learning. If you have problems, ask someone with more experience to help you with it.