How to knit a rag rug

Written by michelle powell-smith
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Rag rugs are a traditional craft that works just as well in today's modern world. Recycle old knit fabrics from T-shirts into colourful and attractive home accessories with just time and a little effort. While rag rugs are often braided or crocheted, you can knit one easily with large needles. You will be surprised how quickly a pile of fabric strips can become a hard wearing rug for your porch, entryway or kitchen.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cotton fabrics, recycled or new
  • Large double point knitting needles
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Upholstery needle
  • Upholstery thread

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  1. 1

    Use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut your rags, old clothing, or fabric into 1 1/2-inch strips. Cut to 1 inch from the end of the fabric width. Move up another 1 1/2 inches and then cut to 1 inch from the opposite end of the fabric. You will create a long zig zag, keeping the fabric joined at alternate edges. Repeat this process with all of your rag rug fabric. Cottons of all sorts will work, but do combine knits with knits and woven fabrics with woven fabrics for the best end result on your knit rag rug.

  2. 2

    Roll all of your fabric strips into balls. Avoid stretching the fabric as you roll it. Use a basket, box or bag to hold all of the rag balls for your knit rag rug.

  3. 3

    Cast three stitches onto one double point needle. Move to the opposite end of the needle and knit three. Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle and knit. Continue knitting i-cord until you reach the end of the first rag ball for your knit rag rug.

  4. 4

    Knot the next ball onto the first. Continue knitting from each end of your double point needle. Check the size of your rag rug by coiling your i-cord flat onto the floor into a round or oval shape.

  5. 5

    Cast off all three stitches when you reach your desired length. Decide whether you want a round or oval shaped rug. Using an upholstery needle and heavyweight upholstery thread, begin stitching the i-cord into a neat, flat round shape. A curved needle can be helpful. Continue until you reach the desired size.

  6. 6

    Use your rag rugs in the kitchen, porch, patio, bathroom or entryway. Smaller rag rugs can work well as chair mats. Wash by hand and dry outside on a sunny day as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose a single colour scheme or use a wide variety of rag colours for your knit rag rug.
  • A rug mat or grip will keep your rug securely in place on a hard floor.

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