Saturday night hockey

Saturday night hockey
Saturday night hockey

Monday, January 15, 2018

Knitted rug instruction

A couple of people asked me how to make the rugs I showed in my last post.  I haven’t made much progress since this photo, only about fourteen more rows.
Firstly I have to give credit to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I first saw these rugs on her blog post and was totally attracted to them.  My method of making them is only slightly different from hers.
She suggests using size 35 needles.  I had no idea what this size is, although I just looked it up on a conversion chart and see US size 35 converts to 19mm in metric which is what we use in Canada.  But at the time I just knew I needed big needles and I went with the biggest I could find, which are US size 15 or 10mm.  It is interesting for me to realize now that I am using such smaller needles than she has used.
Amanda Jean suggests fabric strips from 1/2 to 1 inch.  I have used scraps that I collect from our local quilt shop which often include lots of fabric strings.  For the first rug I used whatever size came along, but I found that some were very difficult to knit with because of the bulk.  For the second rug I have cut down any that seemed too bulky to 1 1/8 inch. Many of the strips are narrower than that, but I don’t usually go smaller than about 1/2 inch, unless they are batiks or other “colour both sides” fabrics.  Something that I do that she doesn’t mention is that any strips that are printed – ie the colour shows more on the “right” side of the fabric – I fold in half as I am knitting so the colour is showing on the outside.  With any that are the same both sides, such as batiks, I don’t bother with this.
The other thing that I do differently from her is that she ties her strips together.  She doesn’t say what kind of knot she uses.  I have been using a knot that I found somewhere on the web (that I cannot find again now – too bad, that woman had some beautiful rugs).  I thought it was called a “blood knot” but I have just looked that up and found that it is a completely different knot.  I found some instructions on the internet about how to make this knot, but they all suggest making up a “ball” of “yarn” to work with.  I add pieces as I go, sometimes adding on several pieces at a time, and sometimes only one, depending on the length of the strip.
Here is how you make this knot. 
Fold over the end of the strip that is coming from your knitting in progress.
Cut a slit in the fabric.  If you want your ends to be neater, cut this slit up to 1/4 inch away from the end of the fabric.  I like the knobby knots for their texture and look so I am not very careful about my cuts and they are often 1/2 to 1 inch from the end.
Do the same thing in one end of the strip that you want to join on.
Insert the end of the strip coming from your work in progress through the slit in the new fabric strip.  It is important to insert the strip from your work first, as otherwise you’ll have a problem.  Try it the other way and you’ll see…
Now insert the end of the new strip through the slit in the old strip.
Pull the two strips taut to make the knot.
As you can see, my knot is going to be lumpy and bumpy, just like I want it.  I am going to continue eroneously calling this a bloodknot because I think it fits.
For the rugs that I made and am making, I cast on 50 stitches.  That was all I could fit on the needles.  The rugs are knit in garter stitch, that is using a knit stitch on every row.  I used a simple cast off stitch and wove the long ends from the start and the finish through the knitted rows.   My rugs 23 inches wide by 29 inches long, just the right size for by a bed or in front of the kitchen sink.  They could easily be longer if one just kept knitting.  To be wider one would have to have longer needles, or perhaps a circular needle. 
There are various instructions on the internet for making rugs from fabric strips, old sheets, old tshirts etc.  This is the way I have done it.  I hope you will let me know if you try my method.  Smile  I have a friend who has old wool blankets from her family’s farm who has asked if I could make a rug for her using them.  I am excited to try another medium.  And one day I will try using tshirts.  I think they would be softer to knit with.


  1. I have done those rugs using a large crochet needle. It came out really nice.

  2. great way to join the strips, and so secure. Fabric ends, the little slices when you make fabric line up perfectly, they all add up to using this way.

  3. This sounds great. I have been toying with doing a rag rug this winter with all the non-quilty fabrics I have in my stash. But was overwhelmed with the instructions and trying to teach myself a new craft. Since I already know how to knit and have large needles I can jump right in on this.

  4. Love your rug. I watched a lady doing this in crochet & thought i could do that but you know what i should've just bought a rug from her beacause i know i'll never make on crocheted or knitted. Hugs, xx

  5. I thought of using up my string scraps by making a crocheted rug but after starting, was not to happy with the results . Maybe I will try your way. A group did try a woven piece with each person bringing scraps. It turned into a hanging but with great results.

  6. Love your rug but I will never do one myself. Have enough projects waiting to be worked on.

  7. Thank you for sharing! I really want to give this a try!

  8. One of my grandma's used to make braided rugs and the other one made hooked ones using strips of cloth. Yours reminds me of the ones they did. If I didn't have 'arthur' in my hands I would give your method a try for sure.

  9. Thanks for sharing how you make the rugs! I really want to make one, one day... maybe once I move.. I'll be sure to come back to this post for guidance! xx

  10. Thanks for sharing the method you use. I think one of these rugs might have to be added to my list of things to make!

  11. What a great idea! I remember reading about Amanda knitting a rug, and thinking that would be fun. Thanks for sharing how you do it.