Crochet

HOW TO MAKE A RUG OUT OF OLD KNITS

In attempt to clean out the closet and repurpose material I thought it would be a good project to make a "rag rug" out of some knit findings. We also don't own any bathmats, and I thought this might be an inspired way to combine these two things. It began with some t-shirts that had holes in them. My shirts love to get tiny holes right where my belt buckle is! There are a few ways to make these. One would be to braid strips of material and then sew the braids in the form of a rug. The ones I have seen of those are beautiful. For my rags and my time, I was fine to create as a go and went the crocheting route.

rag_rug_materials

What you will need:

  • old shirts, pillow cases, etc. I found knits with a little stretch were the easiest to work with.
  • scissors
  • crochet hook. I used a 12.0 mm. I went searching for one bigger, but this one worked fine!

Once you have your raw material cut it into 1/2 inch - 1 inch strips you want to work with. Try to cut the fabric in a way that gives you the longest strip possible. You will then add the fabric together. 

two_strips_fabric

You have your strips of fabric that is cut.

cut_fabric

Place the two strips of fabric on top of one another and make a small cut near the top.

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Then bring the bottom of the top strip and place inside the hole you created. Then pull through.

tied_fabric_strips

Then you will have one continuous line of fabric to work with.

Once you have a long enough string to work with you can begin creating your rug. I did this by doing a slip knot, then beginning with a circle and then just doing the basic crochet stitch all around. The experience is pretty organic and I would just repeat rows, or move around based on where I wanted the color to be. When I find myself stuck in crochet work and stitches, I refer to this Harmony Guide: Basic Crochet Stitches

crochet_rag_rug

I really embraced the raggy-ness of this project. It's lumpy in some spots and not perfect by any means. When I was with it, I trimmed up the back of the work where any loose scraps of fabric were hanging out. I also had any of the lump parts from the way you knot the fabric together to sit on the backside. I was hoping to keep going with the white, but in the spirit of the reused fabric, I wasn't going to gather some to complete the project. 

This rug is just the right size for what we needed in the bathroom. In case you were curious this was made out of 3 t-shirts, one cloth napkin, and one and half of an old pillow case. It's approximately 1.5 feet x 2. Now that I have made one I think the next time I try to set this up it will be a little easier. It took me a while to get adjusted to the large fabric and large crochet hook. 

HOW TO MAKE A KITCHEN SPONGE

Spring cleaning is in the air, or maybe it's that our traditional kitchen sponge is begging to be retired? Either way it's time for a new kitchen sponge here. As part of my "small changes when possible" ways of thinking, I thought there is no time like the present to make a sponge from scratch. I got the idea from our soap holder. I once knitted a coaster sized swatch when I was practicing some new stitches, and when done I washed it and it became our bar soap holder. It's great because when it starts to look a little down and out I just throw it into the wash and it comes out looking clean and ready for the job.

crochet

For this you will need wool yarn. I bought this yarn many many many years ago when I was feeling ambitious about learning how to crochet. It felt precious for a long time, and now I just want to use it up so I can move on. I still struggle with even crochet work. Can you tell? In this case I was fine just to get in the motion of crocheting and less concerned about perfection. It is a kitchen sponge after all!

You can make this by knitting or crocheting, and you can do any stitches you want! Here is what I did.

Materials:

  • wool yarn
  • crochet hook
crochet_rectangle
  • Make a slip knot and cast on about 15 stitches or so. Make it larger than what you want because this will shrink over time.
  • I did the Basic Double Crochet stitch and made myself a little rectangle.
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  • Then fold the rectangle in half until it is larger than your desired sponge shape. You can sew it together, or with slip stitches. What I did was go around the perimeter closing the square with a slip stitch.
crochet_square
  • Tie off. Cut off. Viola!
crochet_sponge

Spongey

crochet_kitchen_sponge
  • Put it through one round of wash before using. The hotter it is the more felting potential you have. I know mine will shrink over time, so I didn't get ambitious with the hot water.

Then you can use to wash dishes, the counter, and whatever else needs some sponge action! Wash and repeat!

So far it's working beautifully. It gets very sudsy. I will need to make a few more, so I have some to go in rotation.