Learn Simple Basic Shapes for Rugs

Making Circles

Learn the basic concepts of creating and shaping your toothbrush, crocheted, or nalebinding rugs One of the biggest questions I have been continually asked is “I don’t know where to increase”. Don’t worry there are some very basic rules to follow when creating rug shapes and since I think that a circle is easiest we will start with it. Before we learn how, I want to suggest using markers. Pieces of yarn, bent paper clips, large safety pins or whatever you prefer will work fine. Once you get the hang of it, you probably will not need the markers but personally I always use markers because I’m pretty lazy and I don’t like counting. There is a very simple “formula” to create a circle and don’t let this scare you ( I am very intimidated by math), it’s easy to remember and you can use ANY number. There are two different “magic numbers” that I like to work with , especially for rugs but again you can use ANY number. In order to keep things simple (remember I like simple) my “magic numbers” for circles are 6 or 8, they are even numbers and so far they create a nice size rug. If I am using smaller width of fabric, I always use 8 and if my fabric is wider I use 6. Using whatever method (crochet, toothbrush, nalebinding) make 8 stitches, this is the center of your rug, place a marker in the first stitch even if you are joining rounds. Pull the tail end of your fabric and tighten it up as much as your can, this helps to make your circle center look nice and neat. Now place 2 stitches in every previous stitch, you now have 16 stitches. (move your marker up) Increase in next stitch, work next stitch plain, repeat around (24 stitches) Work next 2 stitches plain, increase in next stitch repeat around (32 stitches) Increase in next stitch, work next 3 stitches plain, repeat around (40 stitches) See the pattern? You are increasing 8 stitches per round which is the same exact number as your starting stitches or the center of your circle. Also notice how you alternate where you do your increases, by doing this you create a nice round circle. So here are you easy to remember rules: 1. Increase every row, the number of stitches you started with. 2. Do not place your increases in the same stitch you prviously increased in. 3. Use markers. If your rug starts to get wavy, alternate one row with NO increases, and the next row with increases. If your rug starts to look like a bowl, you need more increases. So once your rug starts getting larger, throw it down on the floor and take a look at it and if necessary make adjustments to your rows. It’s that easy.

Making Squares

Learn the simple basics to making a square shaped rug that applies to just about all methods of rugmaking. One of the easiest ways to make a square is to start at the bottom and work back and forth all the way up to the top. You will have to continually check to make sure that all four sides end up being exactly, or almost exactly, the same length. You begin with your base row (cast on, chain, or what ever method you are using), and to check the sides’ evenness you will fold your piece into a triangle: lay piece flat, fold bottom right corner to upper left corner. Sounds pretty easy right? Unfortunately this method does not always turn out right and for me, 9 times out of 10 they end up looking more like a deformed rectangle rather than a square. Now don’t get me wrong, you can use this method to make smaller squares, but in my honest opinion it is best to make a larger square working from the inside out. Before we begin, it helps to think/imagine that in order to make it “square” you will need 4 corners at all times. I highly recommend using markers and yes I use them. For crochet, nalebinding, and toothbrush you will begin with a circle. Inside that circle you will need to create 4 sides and 4 corners. I will use crochet terminology for this but you can just exchange it to either the nalebinding or toothbrush: ch 6 join to form a ring (this is our circle). Ch 1, in ring work [2 sc, ch 2 ] 4 times join. **this created your 4 sides (the sc’s) and 4 corners (the ch 2’s)**. Next row: Ch 1, [sc in next 2 sc, sc in next ch 2 loop, ch 2, sc in same ch 2 loop] end with sl st into first sc. Next row: ch 1, [sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch 2 loop, ch 2, sc in same ch 2 loop] end with sc in next sc, sl st into first sc. See how the numbers in bold will increase by 1 every round, so your next row you would sc in next 4 and at the end you would sc in the next 2 sc. Simple right.. See how it is working, with every round you are making your sides and your corners larger. Basically you are just increasing in the corners you created each and every time. Now if you do not like the look that a ch 2 corner gives you , get our your markers and you can do: ch 6 join to form a ring (this is our circle). Ch 1 , in ring work 12 sc, join. Ch 1, [sc in next 2 sc, 3 sc in next sc, place your marker in 2nd sc (this is the middle stitch or your 3 sc and of course this is creating your corner)] 4 times, join. Next Row: ch 1,[ sc in next 3 sc, in marked stitch work 3 sc and place marker again in 2nd stitch ], 4 times, join. What you are doing here is instead of using ch stitches to make increases or corners you are using actually stitches and remember just like the ch 2 increase method, the number of stitches in bold will increase every time.

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