This rag rug is small, measuring only 23 inches wide by 18 inches high, but its visual impact is huge and dramatic thanks to the vibrant colors. My rug is comprised of colorful batik print fabrics, which definitely make a statement; if you use different fabrics, your rug's "personality" is likely to turn out completely different, depending on the prints or colors you choose. You could use this same pattern to make rugs in a variety of different looks, from country casual to tropical chic.
This size rug would make a nice welcome mat or bath mat.
Fabric Cut Into Strips: To crochet my sample rag rug, I used a bit less than two bundles of Stripz fabric strips. If you're cutting your own fabric, you'll need about 7 yards of woven cotton fabric at about a 46 inch width. For best results, it's a good idea to cut your fabric on the bias (diagonal.)
I cut my fabric into strips measuring about 1.25 inches high by about 46 inches wide. Then I stitched the strips together end-to-end to make one long continuous strip. Since my fabric edges were frayed, an additional step was necessary: I folded the frayed edges inward and then stitched all the way down the strip to secure them. Then I wound the strips into a big rag ball.
If your fabric edges aren't fraying, you can skip the extra work of stitching the edges inward.
I used a size N - 9.0 mm hook to crochet the sample rug. Note: it's a good idea to go by the measurement in millimeters rather than the US hook size. I noticed that different hook manufacturers have different size "N" hooks. For the record, I used a Boye hook.
This size hook could be used as a starting point, but I'd encourage you to use whatever hook feels most comfortable in your hands as you are crocheting with the fabric. You may need a different size hook to achieve a comfortable tension for the way you crochet.
Also, take frequent breaks and rest your hands often. Crocheting with fabric can be really hard on your hands.
One full repeat of 3 dc sts + 1 ch = about 2 inches, give or take a bit. With a rag rug, it's normal for your your stitches to be a little uneven.
If you have plenty of fabric strips on hand, gauge is not critically important for this project, as there's no compelling reason you'd need to make your rug exactly the same size as my project sample. The biggest concern would be running out of material. As long as you have enough fabric, and it looks like the rug will turn out to be a size you can use, I wouldn't worry too much about the gauge. If you're short on fabric strips, that's a different story; in that case I'd recommend matching my gauge closely to avoid running out of material.
Finished Size: My sample rug measures about 23 inches wide by 18 inches high.
Bigger Rag Rugs: If you want to make your rug bigger, you can crochet a longer starting chain, adding multiples of 4 stitches. Keep in mind that you'll need more fabric if you choose to crochet a larger rug.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
Starting with row 2, work in front loops only throughout.
If you want your rug to have more than one color, there are a couple of ways you can approach it. If you're OK with the color changes being random, the easiest way to do it is to stitch different colors of fabric together into the same rag ball. This is how I did mine. If you want more control over where the color changes occur, you can make separate rag balls and then do color changes whenever you want to attach a new color. That's up to you. I haven't written any color changes into the pattern, so feel free to put them wherever you want them.
If you don't know how to do color changes, here's a free tutorial: How to change colors in crochet. The tutorial shows you a demo using yarn, but you can use the same technique with fabric. Make your stitches loose for best results.
The turning chain counts as 1 dc st throughout.
Row 1: dc in third ch from hook. 1 dc in ea of next 2 dc sts. [ch 1, work 1 dc in ea of the next 3 sts.] Repeat the sequence in brackets all the way across the row.
Row 2: ch 4, turn. The first 3 ch sts count as 1 dc; the 4th ch st counts as 1 ch st. [Skip the next st. Work 1 dc st in ea of the next 3 sts, ch 1.] Repeat the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. End the row with a group of 3 dc sts.
Repeat row 2 until your rug is the size you want it to be.
End off. You can weave in your ends as usual, and if you like you can stitch them down using a sewing needle and thread for extra security.