*Tutorial by ChiWei @ One Dog Woof for her win of the Thrift Store challenge of Season 12*
I’ve seen a lot of crocheted and woven and braided rugs out on the internet; it was even one of the first things I pinned to Pinterest, but I never got around to trying one of my own until now. Â I always thought it was going to be difficult, but actually, it’s really quite easy, and no fancy instructions needed!
Step 1. Â Acquire fabric. Â In this case, I used XXL men’s t-shirts from Goodwill. Â Choose t-shirts that are mostly or 100% cotton, and have no or very little print on them, preferably, only above the arm line. Â You’ll also want the fabric weight to be fairly consistent, so don’t try to pair up a Hanes t-shirt with a paper thin cotton shirt from BR.
Step 2. Create your yarn. Â There are oodles of t-shirt yarn tutorials out on the internet. Â Feel free to choose any one of them, or try this one on for size. Â The basic idea is that the shirt is already in the round, so you’re cutting a continuous strip from the bottom hem up to the armpit. Â Actually, remove the hem before cutting – it doesn’t curl well (or, at all). Once you have the big strip, stretch the strip and allow the knit in the t-shirt to curl in on itself, thus creating the yarn.
Step 3. Ball up your yarn. Â This is actually pretty important, but once I started to crochet, I realized I twisted the yarn as I balled it, so there was a lot of tension. Â I ended up unraveling the whole darn thing before crocheting, which kind of defeats the purpose of balling it up in the first place. Â C’est la vie.
Step 4. Crochet. Â I used a single crochet here for a dense weave. Â I don’t know the name of the method I use, but I twist the yarn onto my hook, chain 2, then SC my first round. Â You can also start with a magic circle, or any other method to start crocheting in the round. Â For an crash course in crochet, start here with my lovely friend Rachel!
I started with 6 SC in the first round, doubled it to 12 in the second round, and slowly increased beyond that. Â In retrospect, I think I should have started with 4, doubled to 8, and then actually counted my way around.
1st round: 4 SC
2nd round: 2 SC in each stitch (8 stitches)
3rd round: *1 SC in next stitch, 2 SC in next stitch, repeat from * (12 stitches)
4th round: * 1 SC in next 2 stitches, 2 SC in next stitch, repeat form * (16 stitches) and so on.
Or, you can be like me and just make it up as you go, increasing as necessary to keep the piece flat. Â If the work is curling up, you need more stitches in the round. Â If the work is ruffling, you can either take it apart and not increase as many stitches, or do a round with no increases, sort of to bound the problem. Â I also tried to alternate where I made the increases so as to keep a circle shape. Â I’ve noticed that if I increase in the same spot each round, I end up with a polygon instead of a circle because of the budge that extra stitch makes.
When you’ve come to your desired size, or to the end of your t-shirt stockpile, pull the end through the last loop and pull tight. Â Then weave in your ends.
Sorry this isn’t a very detailed tutorial, nor is it a class on crochet. Â My mind wasn’t really focused last week due to some family issues and this was an easy mind-numbing project!