Sunday, February 26, 2012

Winging It

I was messing around on Pinterest the other day and found several beautiful crochet rugs. It was such a coincidence because the day before I was walking in town and saw a similar one hanging in the window of one of my favorite shops here - the Taito Shop. (This is the shop where I bought the paper yarn and saw the Yule Goats in December, which I brought back and made with my staff after Christmas.)
Rug hanging in window, like ones I'd just seen online
I knew that seeing one in in town and then seeing several online meant that I had to make one myself. So I grabbed my coat and headed out for the Taito Shop. Inside the shop I immediately spotted another example of one of these rugs - this one was only about 14" across and was a bit different than the one in the window. I studied it to try to determine whether or not I could reproduce it successfully with my limited crochet ability. 
Small example of rug, about 14" across
I found the women there who always helps me (her English is good and she's very helpful) and asked her about the rug in the window. Luckily she had made it. I asked if she had a pattern for it and she said no, it was in her head. Then I asked her about the increases - I know how to increase properly in single crochet, but this rug has doubles and half doubles and I figured a pattern would certainly be helpful.

Unfortunately, she told me I just had to "wing it". She said if the edges started to turn up, rip back and increase more, and if the edges started to ripple, rip back and increase less. Even in my limited knowledge of crochet, I DID know that much. But okay! I was in love with this rug, and determined to WING IT.

I had my Denise Crochet Kit with me, and when I pulled it out to ask her if the largest size hooks were big enough for this project you should have seen her eyes! She had never seen anything like this crochet hook kit before - her eyes just about popped out of her head. We settled on a 12mm (US 17) hook.

I bought two huge hanks of a very thick cotton jersey type yarn - in total about 2.8 kilos. I wound the first one into a ball and it was massive!
First ball, wound

And then I got to work. I haven't crocheted in a while so I pulled out my TNNA How to Crochet guide. This is my go-to book for crocheting. It covers all the basics and is really helpful when you need a few reminders. I'm experimenting with half doubles and doubles and so far "winging it" has been going pretty well. I've only had to rip it back a few times.
The beginnings of my rug
I'm making this rug for the girls' patio. Of course it's still way too cold to use the patio, but we've had a few days of above freezing weather here with lots of sun, so we're already thinking about spring. They love the color I picked and are excited to have this thick, comfy rug for their own space. 

Each round is now taking so much longer to do, and it's very hard work on my hand and arm. And talk about HOT flashes... this thing is so heavy and warm I have to sit by an open window to work on it. It's almost 2' across now, and I am aiming for 3' or a little larger. As you can see, the first ball is now almost gone.
Getting larger. It's HOT on the lap!
I'm having so much fun with this large scale crochet that I am considering making a few crocheted rag rugs for our other patio. I may use this jersey yarn, or I may hit the "As Is" department at Ikea and pick up some fun fabric remnants to make the rugs a little more colorful. And I'm definitely going to go for rectangular shapes on those... this "winging it" stuff is a little stressful on my Type A personality.

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