Friday, January 30, 2015

Rag Rug Sombrero

I love it when my friends send me photos of their Pinterest projects, especially the ones that didn't go quite as planned. It seems odd for a person to enjoy the fact that their friends think of them when they see a "failed" project, but it truly makes my day. My friend Sandy (who is incredibly crafty and talented in so many ways) found a pin on Pinterest about making a toothbrush rag rug and gave it a try. 
The Original Pin
The instructions on this site are pretty good. Her instructions are easy to understand, and you don't have to have any prior crochet or knitting knowledge before hand to do this as it is just the same knot over and over again. Neat! 

Sandy gave this one a try and didn't quite end up with a rug. 

The Pinstrosity

Unless you have a bowl shaped floor, this rug probably isn't quite what you're looking for. Luckily her husband found a great use for it anyway!

I don't have the fabric strips on hand to personally test this one out so I turned to the original site, Google, and perused rag rug sites and discussion boards to find an answer. In her picture it looked like she made the knots more and more loose as she went around. Finding that perfect looseness though can be hard, especially for a newbie to rag rugs (or so I'm reading on sites I have found on rag rugs). I finally happened on the jackpot of knotted or crocheted rag rug tips for rugs that won't lay flat.

Some of the suggestions from the discussion board to prevent a rug from turning into a bowl are:

  • "Just add another stitch every 4 or 5 stitches all around the whole thing whenever I wanted to increase OR, do the regular stitch for 3 or 4 rows, then do 2 stitches in a hole every other stitch for one round, then go back again to one stitch per hole for 3 or 4 rounds" -Cyinda
  • "Lay the rug down quite often to see if it is staying flat. When ever it looks like it is going to start turning up I crochet a extra crochet stitch in the same hole." -Suzin
  • "If you are trying to make a round rug you have to increase the amount of stitches at the ends. When you go around the end of the rug put two stitches in every other stitch until you get back to the long sides. It is much easier to do a square or an oblong rug rather than a round or an oval rug.
    Good luck." -Judy Bond-Tucker
So to try and get a flat rug you need to monitor it as you go along. If it looks like one side is starting to pull, add in extra stitches! In the few round crochet projects I've done you have to add extra stitches in each time around. The first time you do one stitch in each hole. The 2nd row you do a pattern of 2 stitches in one hole, then one stitch in the next, 2 stitches in one hole, one stitch in the next. The third row you'd do two stitches in one hole, then one stitch in each of the next two holes. The rows increase like that each time. I imagine it would be the same idea with a round rag rug. 

Some suggestions to try and flatten an already bowled rug are:
  • "You might try steam ironing it. Mist lightly with water, then
    place a towel underneath and iron it directly on the floor." -Lesley
  • "Dampen it then set something heavy on it until it's dry." -Cyinda
  • "If it was made of wool, you could block it with pins & then steam it with an iron. These may force it down. But, this technique won't work if your fabric is polyester or not a 'natural' fiber." -Cyinda
  • "I had the same issue on mine I made from old flannel plaid sheets i used. It turned out wonderful but wants to rise up in the center much like a bowl with sides. I laid a heavy item on it for days and it helped some by still not completely flat." -Julie

If none of those tricks work and you really wanted this to come out well, you may have to go back through and pick out your work and redo (which will be quite tedious with this knotting pattern). 

I just love that the internet makes it so easy to find answers, and to share your knowledge and help others. There are a lot of negative things you can say about the internet, but there are a lot of positive things too! 

Thank you Sandy for sending your project to me and letting me share it on here! What a fun way to use up extra scraps!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Craft Fail Book giveaway by tonight at 11:59 PM MST! 


  1. Hey this happened to me! I figured out how to unofficially do crochet ("it's just loops through other loops!") and tried to make a circle rug. It was going well for quite a while but since I didn't add stitches it became a bowl. I pulled it all out (that's the pro of crochet!), looked up a video on single crochet, and made my rug "the right way." I used t shirt yarn for mine!

  2. I think it came out great! Even if it is more of a bowl than a rug. But it could be used to hold yarn skeins or other decorative or craft items. Or you know...the sombrero works too. lol

    1. I like the idea of using it to hold skeins of yarn!

  3. I had to laugh at the sombrero. Looks like it fits him perfectly!

    1. I forgot to ask: anyone know why it's called a toothbrush rug?

    2. I forgot to ask: anyone know why it's called a toothbrush rug?

    3. In the tutorial the author explains that many people modify a toothbrush to be their tool that they use to make the rug. They end up turning it into a giant needle of sorts. They named the rug after the toothbrush tool.

  4. This really made me chuckle! Ah, Pinstrosity always there to brighten my day!


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