I haven’t made up the proggy bit, honest – that’s what these rugs are called :). This is an in progress photo.
After I posted this to the Stashbusting Sewalong group I was asked to give some instructions on how to do it, and putting it in a blog post is the simplest way because of all the photos.
This is the perfect way to rid yourself of all your bits of knit fabric. You can just go random, as I’ve done, or you can pick a colour scheme, but really any sort of knit will do – old t-shirts, scraps from projects, whatever.
All you need is a measure – 2cm by between 26cm and 46cm (roughly). The strips should all be around 2cm wide, but you want to vary the length so that your tufty bits don’t all line up.
You can make your measure out of anything – I just used a piece of cardboard, but I think it’s getting thinner because I keep shaving the sides off! The black line marks 26cm and the end marks 46cm and I cut anywhere between the two. If you finish up with shorter pieces, don’t throw them away, they are perfect for a hooky rug (again, I’m not making this name up!), which I can post about if anyone is interested.
When I have a nice pile of strips I start knitting. If you don’t want random colours, sort them into piles.
The first thing I do is knot a few strips together. Use the “finger” method, where you wind two strips round your finger and pull the end through finishing up with a tuft like this:
If you knot several strips together, you finish up with “yarn”
Now cast on in the usual way. I use the cable cast on method because I like the finish, but any method will do. I use size 10mm needles (I think this equates to 000), but you can go bigger if you like. Note that it is not the easiest material to cast on as the knots can make the casting on tight. Persevere!
Cast on 45 stitches and then knit back and forth, adding to your yarn by knotting more strips together.
You want to try and keep all the tufts on one side, which means pushing them through. One side will look like this
and the other side will look like this
As you knit, the tufts can go on to the wrong side
Just push them through to the other side at any time. A word of warning over using printed knits, as it is almost impossible to get the printed face to show. Can you see above that just about every stitch is showing the wrong side of the fabric? I am pretending that this is done on purpose!
And really, that’s it. Make the rug as big as you want. If you want to cast on more stitches that’s ok, but the rug does get heavy as it gets bigger, so be cautious. The big advantage of these rugs is that they can be washed, and if they get wrecked, it doesn’t matter at all. I am going to take this one camping so that my feet have something nice and soft to stand on when I get out of bed.
If you want further information go to http://www.shoal.net.au/~narrawilly/article/proggyruggers.htm. There is a book you can buy if you want the official version.
9 thoughts on “Proggy rug from knit fabrics”
Rag rugs are the ultimate stage of fabric recycling. Very clever and eco-friendly. I guess it could also make a nice doggy mat.
It would make a fabulous doggy mat. Sadly we no longer have a dog (sob!) and I did think about making one for Heidi, son’s dog, but she’s still at the chewing things stage.
Oh my fingers are itching!!!
Yay, go to it Jagoda!
I have been telling myself that I will make a rag rug soon, but cutting all of the scraps seems so daunting to me. The cardboard idea is so simple that it is genius! Thanks for sharing your technique, Sue.
Thanks Angela, Of course I ditch the measure pretty quickly and eyeball it which means that I have some wonky strips, but it doesn’t seem to matter 🙂
Looks very interesting – can’t wait to see it when it is complete!!
Hi Sue, looks great! Instead of the knots you could leave the strips slightly joined together at the ends when you cut them. Would love to try this as a form of recycling. Knowing me, I’d probably make it into some kind of garment though, like Kazz’s one here: http://www.sewweekly.com/2012/08/is-this-love/
Thanks for the link, I was thinking about knitting a sweater out of this fabric and here we are, someone’s done it!