Sunday, August 22, 2010

Step A/ How to make a rag-rug

Currently the days are extreme with heat.  An occaisional scattered rain storm hits but does little by way of respite when it comes to washing out the thickness of the humidity..if anything it seems to make things worse.
 This time of year is known as The Dog Days.
Dog Days is defined as a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant and humid.  Lacking in or marked by dull lack of progress.
 It's just too hot to even breath.  The humidity is so thick and sticky it can be spread with a knife.  All one wants to do in these conditons is hide in the shade...lounge under the air conditioning or at least stay wet with water hose, pool or ocean. 
That being said "I promise Fall is tantalizingly forthcomming. It's then I love dabbling in certain crafts geared towards cooler weather such as Rag-Rugging.  It's so practical. As the work progresses from a tiny coaster size circle into a lap size round .. your left with something that covers your waist and legs keeping you all snuggly and warm.  I love to lounge under a blanket with my work on top of me for extra warmth and crochet to the crackle song of the fire-place or while watching TV.  I love sitting outside too with my craft and feel the cool breezes and the air being embraced by the smell of burning leaves. It's magic.                                                                  
I decided the hot weather still lingering like a bad guest requires more prep than the doing of when it comes to making a rag-rug.
Get the car keys ... your trusty bike .. or lets walk to the nearest yard-sale or thrift store ... lets see what supplies we can gather for this project on the cheap before we actually spend in a "Regular" store.

1.  Old sheets ...
I usually find these in the linen section of the thrift store..depending on pricing they run 1.00 a sheet maybe cheaper at yard sales.  Don't by-pass fitted sheets.  They can always have the elastic corners trimmed away.  Flannel sheets are wonderful! They produce softer fluffier rugs.  In winter using them near the side of the bed or bathtub is ideal.  What better way to keep your toes cozy.
With regards to yardage there are many factores.   For the sake of simplicity I will detail later on the amount of material for certain rugs.  For now I want things easy breezy... so ... just gather up as many sheets as you wish...3..4..5 whatever...
Make sure you wash them well!!  Even if they look and smell clean.  You have no idea where those sheets have been living! YUK !! ciggerette smoke...doggie hair...buggy telling what!! I love to line dry my sheets in the sun so they are further de-germed.

2.  Plastic or wooden crochet hook ...
I prefer large wooden crochet hooks.  The wood feels silky soft in my fingers.  It seems the more I use my wooden hooks the better they feel.  Large plastic hooks are usually a good deal and sometimes they show up at thrift stores on the cheap. Usually digging around the bottem of a shoe box filled with notions produces some nice hooks.  If you do purchase plastic hooks you can find them all day long at any retail department store.  I got lucky once and found a cool set of hooks that had wooden handles and metal hooks attatched. I found them at Big Lots. The best of both worlds.  I'll post a few links on the bottem of my tutorials for places that offer both types.  I purchased a huge wooden crochet hook in Australia once way back in the day when I was pregnant with my now 20 year old daughter.  Nothing special about it but just because I purchased it at the "OP' shop makes it special for me.  I think I paid a quarter for it.  When you begin your project your fingers and material will dictate the size needle to use.  Just play around with differant widths of material and varied sizes in hooks to determine what your finished project should look like and how comfortable you feel. 
You can always make a practice coaster size peice and undo it easily if things don't feel or look right.

3.  Strips ...
 You can cut or tear.  I prefer to make snips and then tear.  Some people prefer clean strips... thus cutting ... others love the shabbier look.  Tearing creates softer edges .. cutting is cleaner and produces sharper edges.  It's all in your personnel preferance and what supplies and time you have.
Tearing creates strings however .. some sheets produce more strings than others.  This is no big deal for me as I just snip those naughty strings away.  A rotary wheel is helpful but not absolutely needful.  If you choose to cut your material you can double fold to get more bang for your effort.  Just use your own discretion.  The kids enjoy getting in on the tearing project and rolling your segmants of torn strips into adorable balls.  Just have fun and don't fret.
Lite weight fabric or sheeting can be tron into 1 1/2 to 2 in strips.  If you choose heavy material over sheets just cut thinner strips.  No biggie. Again determine the size strips based on the size hook you are going to use.  Fater hook...fatter strips...

4.  Sharp scissors-
You knew that right?  Common sense dictates whatever you have on hand to work with.  The main point is to have fun.  You don't need a lot of fancy to make a rag-rug.  That's the fun is this.  Not to mention the "green" effect.
Ok sweet friends .... head on out  ... get all the stuff above so the  next tutorial will teach you how to work magic.

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I love shabby,used,chipped,white,old,vintage, antique,junky gently loved stuff. I would love to dumpster dive but I could get a citation from the county. I adore my dogs, my grand kids and bathing in my tub outside. I am sensitive, eager to make friends although self conscious about it. I am faithful and very very generous at heart. I cry over stuff sentimental and sweet. I adore April Cornell clothing (although I can't afford her stuff)and anything sheer and vintage and loose. I'd live in my pj's and never ever wear a bra again. I love the beach and dancing in public places with my grand darlings and day time babies. I adore my kids and love my hubby although I could kill him a time or two. Yard sales and thrift stores are my died and gone to heaven activities. I love to spend money on these but usually am broke.