Knitting & Crochet

Knit and felt a patchwork rug

Author: Canadian Living

Knitting & Crochet

Knit and felt a patchwork rug

Finished size
Each square: 8 ins x 8 ins square (20.5 x 20.5 cm)
Rug before felting: 21 ins x 27 ins (53.5 x 68.5 cm)
Rug after felting: 16 ins x 25 ins (40.5 x 63.5 cm)

Yarn
You will need about 810 yards (740 m) total of bulky weight wool yarn. (Superwash wools, synthetics, and cotton yarns will not work in this felted pattern.)

We used Reynolds Lopi (100% Icelandic wool; 110 yards [101 m]/3.5 oz [100 g] skein):
Colour A -- #57 Gray, 330 yards (302 m)
Colour B -- #332 Antique Gold, 80 yards (73 m)
Colour C -- #389 Burnt Red, 80 yards (73 m)
Colour D -- #240 Golden Green, 80 yards (73 m)
Colour E -- #215 Plum, 80 yards (73 m)
Colour F -- #104 Terra Cotta, 80 yards (73 m)
Colour G -- #98 Cadet Blue, 80 yards (73 m)

Needles
US size 11 (8 mm). Adjust the needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Gauge (before felting)
10 stitches and 20 rows = 4 ins (10 cm) in garter stitch.

Notions
US size Q (16 mm) crochet hook; tapestry needle

Note
When a knit wool piece is washed in hot water with lots of agitation, felt is created. The fibres lock together under these conditions to form a dense, heavy fabric. As you may have discovered the hard way if you've accidentally washed a sweater in hot water, felt is forever.

Make the rug
Using 1 strand of Colour A held together with 1 strand of Colour B, cast on (CO) 1 stitch (st).

Row 1: (RS) Increase (inc) 1 st by knitting into the front and then the back loop of the same st (k1f&b) -- (2 sts).

Rows 2-26: Work in garter st (knit every row) as follows: Knit 1, k1f&b, knit to end of row -- (27 sts).

Cut Colour B, leaving a 4-inch (10-cm) tail to weave in later.

Row 27: (RS) Join Colour C, and with 1 strand of A and 1 strand of C held together as one, k27 sts.

Row 28: K1, knit 2 sts together (k2tog); knit to end of row -- (26 sts).

Rows 29-54: Continue k2tog decreasing (dec) at the beginning of every row (work dec using the second and third sts from the edge as you did on Row 28), until 1 st remains. Cut the yarn, leaving 6-inch (15-cm) tails, and pull the tails through the remaining loop to secure -- (1 square completed).

Follow the instructions for Rows 1-54 to make the remaining 5 squares, changing colours as follows:

Square 2: 1 strand each of Colours A and D for the first half; 1 strand each of Colours A and E for the second half.

Square 3: 1 strand each Colours A and G; 1 strand each Colours A and F.

Square 4: 1 strand each Colours A and D; 1 strand each Colours A and F.

Square 5: 1 strand each Colours A and G; 1 strand each Colours A and C.

Square 6: 1 strand each Colours A and B; 1 strand each Colours A and E.

Finishing
With a tapestry needle, weave in loose yarn tails to the wrong side (WS) of work and secure.

With 2 strands of Colour A threaded on a tapestry needle, whipstitch the squares together as shown on this schematic. Make sure the squares are sewn together closely so they felt together as one fabric.

With a crochet hook and two strands of Colour A held together as one, work 5 rounds of single crochet (sc) around the outside edges of the rug; at the same time, work 3 sc in each corner stitch to smoothly round the corners and prevent puckering. With a tapestry needle, weave in loose yarn tails to the WS of work and secure.

Felt the rug
Place the rug in an old pillowcase. (Do not add towels or other items in the washing machine, as they can shed lint, which easily gets trapped in the felt.) Fill the washing machine with hot water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Add the rug in its bag and start the machine on a normal agitation cycle. Once the wash cycle is complete, check to see if the rug is felted sufficiently. Felting is complete when the stitches are obscured and the rug has shrunk. The amount of time it takes to complete the felting process varies from machine to machine. The rug shown here required two full wash cycles.

Fill the machine with cold water to rinse and remove any detergent residue. Rinsing in cold water hardens the felt and creates a firmer fabric. Remove the rug from the rinse water and squeeze out the water by hand. Roll the rug in several heavy bath towels to eliminate as much excess water as possible. Pull and stretch the edges into shape as necessary. Sandwich the rug between two dry towels and then place something heavy on top to help flatten curled edges and absorb additional moisture. Remove the towels and let rug air-dry completely.

Excerpted from Odd Ball Knitting: Creative Ideas for Leftover Yarn by Barbara Albright. Copyright 2005 by Barbara Albright. Excerpted with permission from Potter Craft, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.


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Knit and felt a patchwork rug

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