Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My New Rug!

I'm quite excited, as you can tell by the exclamation point :) My front door rug, a once-lovely rag-rug,  has been in a state beyond disrepair all winter, unable to be washed because it would disintegrate if I did. I have been thinking, in the back of my brain, for some months about the replacement but all I knew was that I wanted to make it myself. Then I had back surgery in January & my mind was on things other than rugs... While talking to my friend Momo some weeks ago (by skype, since she's in Japan :) she showed me the new kitchen mat she'd crocheted from cotton yarn, & it hit me that I could crochet my new rug. Up until now I have knitted them all, log-cabin fashion, in garter stitch with 3 strands of cotton worsted. This sort of rug would be too thick to fit under the front door when it opened, which was another hitch in my rug-ruminating. So it all slowly came together in the weeks following my conversation with Momo (thanks!!). Crochet stitches are thicker by nature than knitted, so I wouldn't need triple strands of yarn to make a sturdy rug. I wanted something absorbent, so cotton was indicated, & machine-washable, since they all get washed regularly. Last week I finally decided to order yarn for it & chose KnitPick's CotoLin sport weight, in 2 shades of red. I estimated I'd need 6 skeins total, 3 of each colour.
photographed against a lighter floor to show contrast...

Our front hallway is floored with tiles that were painted long-ago, & it was painted red when we moved in nearly 18 years ago.  We've had it repainted in a chocolate brown (to better match the woodwork), since we discovered that the layers & paint can't be removed to restore the tiled to their original glory :(
Part of what had been holding me up was the question of colour(s) for the new rug, in light of the dark brown floor. The old rag-rug was basically an indigo colour, which I loved, but it wasn't really distinctive. I thought it would be nice to have the new rug be pretty, & the contrasting colours of red really look nice together. I was just going to granny it, but my research into crochet motifs that make good dish-cloths led me to try using motifs at the centre. I chose motif # 023 from the wonderful book of crochet motifs from Japan, and as I made & attached them I measured it against the old rug, going for the right rectangular shape (I used a size G/6/4.0mm hook, too).  Then, when I had the right centre rectangle size, I just grannied it the rest of the way, finishing (when I was just about out of yarn) with a round of single crochet for stability. My estimate worked well- I have 4 tiny balls of yarn leftover. I soaked it & lay it flat to dry, & it measures ~23"x33".
here it is in front of the door

I really like it!!  It was fun to make, too, with the motifs being technically interesting & then the mindless granny bit soothing. Somehow I feel like I've leveled-up, rug-making-wise. Maybe it's a good thing my kitchen rug is getting scruffy... (hee, hee)

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