Crochet goes large!
When I showed you my new craft room the other day, I didn't really get a chance to talk much about one of the brand new additions to the place, this colourful little rug of mine. I thought I'd show you a little more of it now.
I keep seeing chunky crochet everywhere at the moment, do you? I can certainly see the attraction, when you go large, you get results fast. That appeals. But when you are dealing with a large hook and thick ol' yarn, things can get a little tricky to handle too, so I haven't particularly had the urge to delve into the world of the oversized yet.
Until I saw the range of Tel Tek t-shirt yarn available on our Fibre East trip this year that is. Then, I found myself getting drawn in. I'd been mulling over the idea of a rug of some sort for my new craft room and had been eyeing up several ideas but they all went out the window when I saw some of the rugs made up in t-shirt yarn on the Creative You stand.
There was one in particular that drew my eye, a rectangle I think it was, made up of just double crochets, (sc's if you are reading in America) made into the back loops. I loved how it looked, it was reminiscent of those old fashion plaited rag rugs, another thing that I'm supposed to be making one day. It seemed like the perfect thing for my new crafty space and so I snapped some colours up.
I went for very 'Cherry Heart' colours, the pinks and mustard are similar to my little logo colours which I obviously love and that seemed rather appropriate too. I had decided that I wanted an oval rug though, not a square one and in theory that should be a simple shape to create but working with this chunky and yet stretchy yarn turned out to be a bit of a unique experience.
First of all it's fairly large stuff, so a 10mm hook is called for. I could have gone for a 12mm, but as I was making a rug, I didn't want to to be too holey. The size and the texture means that it's not the easiest to work and was quite tough on the hands at first. I got around the problem two ways...
First of all, I only worked on this project in short bursts. A little here, a little there, mixed in with other things so that my hands didn't get too achy.
Secondly, I loosened up my tension - a lot!
I loosened up a bit after working the first few rounds and that helped my hands tremendously. But then, as this yarn really does have an almost elastic quality, I found it would stretch out as I worked and formed the stitches and then everything would tighten again once they were complete. It made it tough to get things to lie nice and flat. So I loosened my tension up even more so than it ran through my fingers with no resistance at all really. That seemed to crack it, so I made a second start and things ran a little more smoothly.
I'd love to point you in the direction of the pattern I followed but in all honesty, I did end up just winging it rather. Even with my new super loose tension, I found that following a standard formula for the increases didn't produce the reliable results that it normally would, so I ended up going with the flow just increasing as I deemed necessary to get things to sit nicely. It meant a little faffing around, stopping, laying things out. Ripping back sometimes. You know how it goes, a little trial and error was needed. But in the end I got there.
I used four colours for mine so I was able to get a pretty nice big size of rug and I think it looks great up here in my room. The floor in here is a smooth wooden style and so I got myself a non-slip mat to pop underneath to stop the thing shooting across the floor every time I stepped on it. Essential for avoiding a broken neck! It works a treat, it sort of clings to the rug and floor at the same time so the rug stays beautifully flat and smoothed out and stays put. Perfect!
There's a few more details on my Ravelry page if you're interested.