Friday, 16 May 2014
Magic Knitted Carpet Ride
Have you ever knitted a rug, or considered knitting one? It's an idea with great possibilities, because you can make a rug of any size or shape or colour that you want. (Speaking as someone who spent ten months searching for a satisfactory bedside rug, I feel this is a quality not to be taken lightly.) Rug knitting is usually technically much easier than knitting a sock or a sweater and probably also faster, because you'll be using a bulky weight or at least a worsted yarn, or even multiple strands of worsted or bulky. I would be inclined to put a hand-knitted rug in an area of the house where it's not going to be likely to meet up with any muddy shoes, such as the bedrooms, the bathroom, or the living room. If slippage is an issue — as it's likely to be on tile or wood floors — you can always get an inexpensive mesh grip mat to put underneath. For a more toe-pleasing experience, you can even buy padding to put underneath the knitted rug.
I'd encourage you to go ahead and design your own rug, but let's look at a selection of rug patterns to get an idea of what can be done. The photo above is of the Seed Stitch Rug, by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence, which is so evocative of the traditional rag rug. This pattern is available for download for $4.99(USD).
This pattern is Absorba, The Great Bathmat, by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, and it was published in Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures. This pattern uses three stands of double worsted Peaches & Creme held together, and the pattern promises that it's "the sort of mat that will absorb two or three gallons of bathwater".
This is the Grass Rug, by Kim Hamlin, and it's also a good pick for someone who likes the shag style. This pattern is available for free.
This is the Ocean Currents Rug, by Moira Ravenscroft of Wyndlestraw Designs. I like it for its beautifully blended colourway. This pattern is available for $4.50(USD).
The Odds and Ends Rug, by Kim Russo, must be the ultimate in stash-busting projects. It's knitted out of many little balls of leftover worsted yarn, which work together beautifully. This pattern is available for $6.00(USD).
The Log Cabin Quilted Rug, by Donna Druchunas, is another very traditional style re-imagined as a knitted rug. Garter stitch pieces are sewn together to make this rug, which is then lined with a fabric backing and interlined with quilt batting. This pattern was published in The Knitted Rug: 21 Fantastic Designs.
Here's another wonderfully cushy-looking bath mat, the Spa Bath Mat, by Black Cat Designs. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.
The Slip-stitch Kilim-style Rug, by Black Cat Designs, is another example of a traditional rug design translated into a knitting pattern. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.
This rug is the Elegant Celtic Cabled Rug, by Donna Druchunas. This pattern is available for download for $2.65(USD).
The Circular Rug, by Alison Barlow, has a more complex construction than most of the rugs in this post, but looks totally worth the work. This pattern appears in Fashionable Projects for the New Knitter.
If you like a little touch of mid-century modern in your decor, the Retro Wallpaper Rug by Cristen DiPisa may be for you. This pattern is available for download for $1.99(USD).
Here's another fun take on a traditional rug style, and even better, it's one that won't mean the death of some poor animal. There are several bear rugs on Ravelry, but unfortunately my favourite pattern was only available in Finnish. I went instead for my second favourite, the Bear Hug Rug, by Phyllis Smith, which looks perfect for a kid's room because it's both a rug and a toy and should be machine washable and dryable. This pattern is available for $14.95(USD).
I'd want to expand the size of the Annie rug, by Sarah Hazell, considerably, but I love that interesting, cheerful pattern. This pattern is available for free.
This You're a Star! rug, by Minttu, borrows from traditional Fair Isle knitting patterns. This pattern is available for $2.00(USD).