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I first encountered the “rag-rug” when my mum started making them when I was a young child. When I was about 7 years old I drew a colourful jumble of animals on a boat under a rainbow which I proudly entitled ‘Noah’s Ark’ and somehow my mum managed to transfer the whole design to a piece of hessian, pulled rags through it with a clever hook device & recreated my drawing as a rug! I’d been wanting to try the technique myself but, having looked at the rag-rug books we have, it seemed that it would require quite a bit of learning and would more importantly take a large amount of fabric to make – fabric is expensive these days even in charity shops! I was really looking for something relaxing to work on in the evenings while making something I liked the look of. However what I also realised is that there are hundreds of different methods of making rag-rugs, some a lot more demanding than others… So thanks to a bit of browsing on Pinterest and YouTube, the idea I settled on required buying a giant crochet hoot & learning a basic crochet stitch!I managed to get a giant crochet hook from The Fibreworks in Chipping Norton, some fabrics from charity shops and some exciting Pukka teas from healthfood shop ‘Oats’ across the road, and I was on my way. Well, almost… I did have a funny conversation first in the knitting shop about the largest crochet hook they had. I kept saying – ‘what about that one, that’s a crochet hook isn’t it?’ and they said ‘No, that’s a spoon’ and I was like, ‘Um, I don’t know much about crochet, but I don’t think that is a spoon’ and eventually we figured out that behind a pot of spoons was a large crochet hook. Monty Python moment over. I don’t even remember why there would be spoons in a knitting shop come to think of it…When you pick your materials one thing to keep in mind is how much they’ll fray – the blue fabric I chose was a bit of a nightmare. I snipped off the excess threads at the end, and also tried to fold the underside and frayed edges onto the underneath side of the rug as I went along.  I used the fabric which frayed the least – an old bedsheet – to do the final ring around the outside, to keep it looking neat. The third fabric in this rug is a large pashmina-style scarf which worked quite well as although it frayed a little, it’s very soft underfoot. Having never crocheted or rag-rugged at all before, I’m pretty pleased with the result! It was fun sitting in front of films working on my giant crochet, although by far the most tedious part of the project was making strips and strips of fabric – it’s amazing how much you get through – and my bedroom & my clothes were covered in threads afterwards. I did end up with quite a stretchy, soft rug, perfect to dangle your feet off the bed and step onto on a chilly autumn morning.


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