Round and round: Rag-to-rug-crochet

Create a one-of-a-kind rug using fabric scraps.

Materials and equipment

What goes around comes around. Almost seventy years ago, Rose Lynch's mother taught her how to turn fabric strips into pretty yet practical mats. Rose grew up, moved away and forgot about the mats until the '70s, when she was living on a farm near Rock Creek, B.C. Since then Rose has made more than 30 rugs, some fullsize – for herself, family and friends – and some in mini hot-mat size to sell at bazaars.

In the true spirit of recycling, Rose uses soft cottons, preferring worn sheets and clothing to new fabrics. "I pick up fabrics and sheets at yard sales and thrift shops and from friends who watch out for materials for me," says this thoroughly modern craftswoman.

These mats were bright additions to a country kitchen long ago. Now you, too, can crochet a comeback.

ch = chain
inc = increase(s)
rep = repeat
rnd(s) = round(s)
sl st = slipstitch
st(s) = stitch(es)

Finished mat is approx 76 x 61 cm (30 x 24 in).

You need:
• Fabric scraps (old sheets, curtains or clothing)
• 12 mm crochet hook, for thin, lightweight fabrics
• 15 mm crochet hook, for thick, mediumweight to heavyweight fabrics
• Needle and thread

To make:
1. Prepare fabric strips: Preshrink fabrics if necessary. Cut or tear lightweight fabrics into strips approx 7.5 cm (3 in) wide; mediumweight fabrics into strips approx 5 cm (2 in) wide; and heavyweight fabrics into strips approx 4 cm (1-5/8 in) wide. (Note: For oval mat shown, you need strips totalling approx 215 m in length.)

With right sides together, machinestitch same-colour or same-print strips together, end to end, to make continuous strip. Press under approx 1 cm (3/8 in) along long edges of each strip. Fold each again, covering raw edges, so long pressed edges match; press. Roll strips into balls.

Plan colour sequence of concentric rings, working from innermost to outermost rings and using smallest to largest balls, respectively.

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Page 1 of 2 -- Find the remaining instructions to make this cute retro mat on page 2

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