Monday, 1 October 2012

Stripey rug pattern

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd have a project to show off soon. That was a rug I was making for our laminated floors, which get pretty cold in the winter. Initially it was supposed to be a lovely  big round rug, following a pattern I found online. However, no matter how many times I pulled it apart and started again, no matter how many times I checked my stitch count and made sure I was following the patterns, it stopped being circular and wasn't lying flat.
The rug before I pulled it apart.
When it was smaller, it looked nice, and had an attractive wavy pattern as you can see above. But the bigger it got, the worse it looked. I'm all for home made things not looking completely perfect, but I was using rather expensive wool (just over £7 per ball). I wanted it to look good. So I changed it to a rectangular rug. Hence me not finishing it as quickly as I thought I would!

The wool I used was SMC Select Highland Alpaca, which is 50% Alpaca and 50% Andean Highland wool. It's lovely and soft to the touch, and I wanted to make a decent quality rug that would last years. I can't say how many balls of wool I used, but it's approximately 12 balls. Initially it was going to be all white, but I miscalculated the amount of wool I would need. And when I went into John Lewis, they had no white. So It became white and mocha (that's what it was called in the shop. Personally I think it looks a little more latte) instead. Here's how I made the rug!

SMC Select Highland Alpaca

You need 12 balls of chunky sized wool, 100gs each, 6 of one colour, and 6 of a complimentary colour. I used an 8mm crochet hook, but you can use bigger or smaller, depending on how you want the rug to look. Tension isn't important. I would suggest having a rough size in mind, and adapting the amount of chains in the pattern according to whether you would want it bigger or smaller.

Ch 48

1st Row (white) Ch 1, then 1 dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc into every chain to end.

Rows 2 - 10, repeat Row 1

The first section of white

Change colour

Row 11 (mocha) Ch 1, then 1 dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc into every ch to end.

Rows 12 -  20, repeat Row 11

Continue alternating colours until you have the sized rug you want. I did 8 different strips. I also added a fringe to the bottom and top of the rug, with the mocha fringe by the white strip and the white fringe by the mocha strip.

The finished article.

I then went off to work on Saturday, 6th day in a row, and was asked to help out with an event being held by my Monday to Friday job after my part time Saturday job. I came home and decided to wash the rug. A part of my brain (very tired) was telling me to put the rug on a woolen wash, but as it couldn't explain why this was necessary, the stupid part of my brain put the rug on a 40 degree wash. It was only after the cycle finished that I remembered why my brain was telling me not to put it on that high. At that temperature, wool shrinks and felts. I took the rug out of the machine, worried I'd messed up my (rather expensive) brand new floor covering...

After the accidental felting

What I got was something with sides that are neater, a centre part nicely meshed where there were slight holes before, and something that (to my eyes) looks better and more professional. It's slightly smaller, yes, but I like it! I still need to sort out the fringe a bit, but my mistake, far from being the disaster it could have been, turned out beautifully!

However, I will not do that again, unless I know what I'm doing! No more messing with things when I'm absolutely exhausted, because not all my mistakes will turn out so well!

*As a note on the pattern, I did not find this online, I thought I would try this and see what happens. However, as it's a pretty simple pattern to do, I am sure this can be found elsewhere. Any patterns I find online I will link to them on my blog.

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