My family moved around a lot when I was a kid. I’ve never gotten a clear answer as to why; for all I know, my parents were on the lam.
Anyway, the place I consider my childhood home is my maternal grandparents’ house. They never moved, and my sister and I enjoyed a lot of time there. Most of it was spent sitting on a multicolored woven rug in the den watching cartoons. Since those years, I have wanted a rug like that in my home.
I did a little research and found if you order the rug my grandparents had from a popular catalog, it goes for more than a thousand dollars. I have no idea why we were allowed to sit on a thousand-dollar rug, let alone eat our Saturday morning cereal on it, but that’s a subject for another time.
Try as I might, I could not justify spending a house payment on a rug, so I decided to take a crack at making my own. I’ve been crocheting for a while, and this is a pretty easy project for someone with a moderate knowledge of the craft.
Basically, you just keep circling (or oval-ing) around and around until it’s the size you want. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
As with all the most important things in life, step one is to select your color palette. Figure out where in your home you want the rug to live, preferably in a room with wood flooring, and pick colors that work with the other colors in that room.
Then go to your favorite craft shop and buy the giant skeins of multicolored yarn in your colors. The big ones go for about eight bucks apiece, and you will need at least six to complete this project. My rug is not as large as the one my grandparents had, but the cool thing about this design is that more layers can always be added if you move it to a larger space, or as you can afford another round of yarn.
To begin, roll each skein of yarn into a ball to prevent knots later. You’ll start off with four of the balls of yarn — I used three multicolored skeins and one solid green, but you can stick to just the multicolored ones if you find all the colors you want together.
Gather the ends of each of the four balls and treat them as a single thread going forward. Beginners may find this easier if they twist the yarn a bit in their left hand before grabbing it with the crochet hook in the right hand.
Make a chain of 20 links, turn and follow all the way back to the beginning. Chain two links into the original link to wrap around the end and then chain another 20 links to the opposite end. At this point, you should have a long oval of three rows. Chain two links into the second end to wrap around it, and do it all again.
After the initial loop around, alternate chaining into each link once and then twice — that is, entering every other link two times. This will make each trip around a little longer than the last, which is what makes the rug lie flat. If you make every trip around the same number of links, you’ll end up with a cylinder. That’s just math.
When the rug is the size you want, or you run out of yarn, tie it off and put books around the edges to make sure they don’t curl. After a few days, come back and add more layers, or finish it off with one round of a solid color.
That’s it. Simple enough, assuming you know how to crochet. If you don’t, you should really learn.
It’s super easy to pick up, and you can do it in front of the TV.
Plus, people are always impressed when you say, “I made it myself.”
SHANNON GOLEMAN is a freelance writer and contributor to the Local Spin blog. She is the director of marketing and communications for United Way of Denton County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .