Crocheted rugs are easy to make and allow you play with color throughout your home. Add a granny square inspiration, and the rugs take on a fun, folksy look you can dress up or down for bath, kitchen, or bedroom. To use this printable, click on the pattern image to download and print the instructions. You can find additional help with downloading and printing the patterns by using this guide.
Basic granny squares use chains, as well as double and single crochet stitches for the designs, although there are hundreds of variations.
- The basics are easy to learn, and you can adapt them for all sizes of hooks and weights of yarn.
- A granny square is an individual crocheted or knitted motif you can sew or crochet to other squares into a larger piece.
- Although called a granny "square," the individual motifs can also be round or rectangular.
- Granny squares are meant to mimic woven Oriental rugs or quilts, and patterns for the squares date back to at least the 1890s, in Volume VI of Weldon's Practical Needlework under "patchwork crochet." The patterns were popular as a way to use scraps of yarn. A shawl pattern from the time also resembles a granny square.
- Yarn colors come in dye lots, which mean all the colors with the same number were dyed at the same time and should match exactly. Check for the dye lot number on the label and try to match the numbers. If you can't, don't worry about it for this project since you change colors frequently and slight differences in color may not be obvious.
- When changing colors, be sure to crochet over the ends and trim to keep the back and front neat looking.
Basic Crochet Stitches and Techniques
Crochet uses a hooked needle, while knitting uses two straight-ended needles. Although there are many stitch patterns, you only have to master three to make this rug.
Reading the Pattern
Crochet uses many abbreviations and terms throughout patterns. This comprehensive list will help you to decode the directions in the printable. Some tips as you work:
- Count your stitches after each row to make sure you haven't missed (or decreased) a stitch. This will keep the rug edges even.
- When you are crocheting edging around your piece, don't forget to increase stitches in each corner to avoid curling.
- If you make a mistake, carefully pull out the stitches and rewind the yarn back to the error, then just pick up the design and start from there.
Changing Colors and Sizes
Granny squares lend themselves to new looks quite easily:
- To make the rug longer or shorter, you can add or subtract squares. Just remember that washing and blocking longer rugs will take additional time and effort.
- You can change the rug's size by switching out the yarns: use a smaller crochet hook (size J or so) and worsted or DK yarn. Double the yarn for a thicker look, but use the single strands for a table runner instead of a rug. For a dollhouse rug, use a fine hook (0) and cotton thread or embroidery floss.
- Based on your technique, stitch tension, and the yarn, you may have to go up or a down a hook size to get the look you want with different yarn weights.
- To add additional width to the rug, continue adding single crochet rows around the main motifs.
- You can use the double crochet (dc) stitch on the border, instead of a single crochet, which will add width.
- Colors are up to you when it comes to personal preferences, but you should color plan them on graph paper in order to see what the finished rug will look like.
- For an accurate view of your color choices, work a sample square.
You will be investing lots of work and materials in a crocheted rug, so it pays to think about some things before you begin:
- Will your rug be in a high-traffic area? Then you may want to consider a yarn that is easy to wash and holds its shape. Acrylics from companies like JoAnn are easy to work with, designed for wear, and can be machine washed and dried.
- Wool is long wearing, colorful, natural, and takes lots of wear but requires more care in washing and drying. Bulky weight, or rug yarn, is usually heavier in weight and may be spun with a slightly rougher feel in order to take a beating from feet and paws.
- You can purchase bulky weight yarn or mix and match thinner weights to create a heavier yarn. There are guides to help you determine yarn weights and hook sizes, which should be adjusted to accommodate thicker or thinner yarns.
- Cotton yarns, like Sugar 'N Cream, come in many colors and may be less expensive than acrylics or wool. Cotton also washes well although it can shrink. It also doesn't have the "loft" or puffiness of other yarns and can look flat. Because it absorbs water, cotton can be perfect for use in bathrooms and kitchens.
- When you wash a rug (hand washing is best), do not wring it, but gently squeeze out or blot up excess water using a thick towel. Place the rug on a flat, hard surface, carefully shape it, and allow it to dry. To touch up with a steam iron, don't press down but hold the iron close to the rug's surface, allow the steam to permeate the yarn, gently move the rug into its final shape, and allow it to dry.
A Touch of Style
Crocheted rugs will add a touch of style and whimsy to any room. With a little bit of Rumplestiltskin-like skill, you can spin a treasure from a simple thread.