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).
• 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
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
2. Crochet: Begin at centre: Ch 7. Turn.
Rnd 1: Beginning at second loop from hook, * work 1 sl st into loop, then work 1 ch. Rep from * to end of rnd, working once into each consecutive loop down 1 side, working twice into end loop, then working once into each back loop up other side of chain, as shown in diagram.
Note: Continue in spiral, loosely working into back loops only and keeping folded strips as flat as possible. Work will be loose and slightly wavy at edges for first few rnds, but will tighten up and flatten out as it gets larger.
Rnd 2: Beginning next st, * work 1 sl st into loop, then work 1 ch. Rep sequence into next 2 sts, skip 1. Rep from * to end of rnd.
Remaining rnds: Beginning next st, * work 1 sl st into loop, then work 1 ch, skip 1. Rep from * to end of rnd and, AT THE SAME TIME, inc by working sequence of sl st and ch into a total of 3 consecutive loops at each "corner" of oval.
Continue as established, until work is desired size.
Final rnd: Continue as established, but work no inc. Fasten off.
Note: When you reach end of strip, stitch to next strip, end to end and right sides together, folding seam allowances to inside. If work begins to cup, inc more sts per rnd. Finished mat will expand slightly with use.
3. At beginning and end of crocheting, trim strip ends to approx 2.5 cm (1 in); tuck between stitches on wrong side of mat; hand-stitch in place.
Machine-wash and dry; block after drying if necessary.
EXTRA TIP: To make circular mat or hot mat prepare fabric as in Step 1 above.
Begin at centre: Ch 7, join to end loop with sl st, forming ring. Read notes and work rnds 1 and 2 as in Step 2 above, working around ring.
Remaining rnds: Beginning next st, * work 1 sl st into loop, then work 1 ch, skip 1. Rep from * to end of rnd and, AT THE SAME TIME, inc by working sequence of sl st and ch into a total of 3 consecutive loops at 4 evenly spaced intervals around ring.
Continue as established and finish as in Step 3 for oval.
Page 2 of 2