I've been having fun experimenting with rag yarn lately and I'm finding it quite addictive.
It all began when I was looking for a small rug to put by Angus's bed to cover up a really bad mark on his carpet which annoyed me every time I looked at it. I bought two balls of Boodles yarn from Hobbycraft, found my 10 mm hook, and off I went, crocheting what is basically a massive doily.
It's very addictive. A bit hard on the arms at times, but the rug worked up so fast! My only complaint was that one of my balls of Boodles yarn must've been a bit of a dud - the thickness varied hugely throughout the ball, from so thin I thought it might break to so thick I could hardly wrap it around my fingers, which is why the outer edge of the rug below is so inconsistent and wiggly.
You can imagine how this annoyed me. My tension issues are in my shoulders, not my crochet! But the rug does the job well, cost about £10 and is gorgeously soft and squishy underfoot. You have to watch how tightly you crochet as this yarn does have a lot of elastic in it and my rug was turning into a very large bowl at one point. But once you remember to crochet really, really loosely, the whole shape of the thing is transformed.
Of course then Bella wanted a rug too, and so we bought more yarn and made another. This time, all the other balls I bought were lovely to use, consistent in width and with only a few joins. I think joins in rag yarn are inevitable due to the nature of the fabric, but can easily be hidden in the work.
The colours were her choice and she has named it her Watermelon Rug. I struggle to name things I've made. I should give her the job.
While faffing around taking photos of the rug, I happened to put it in our bedroom so I could get a clear downward photo in good light. I rather like a rug there, I think. It breaks up that expanse of cream carpet.
I dragged in this black and white one from Angus's room, just to be sure, and yes I do definitely like a rug there.
My plan is to crochet a round one, like the ones above, but larger. I think I'll use cream or white and grey, with some darker pinks and blues to bring out the other colours in the room.
The pattern is the Small Rug from Modern Crochet by Molla Mills. I know I've mentioned this book a few times before but I really feel like it's made me rediscover my love of crochet, particularly in the things I make for the home. I've found that some of the patterns don't translate from the author's native Finnish that clearly but luckily the step by step photos are excellent and I can usually figure the pattern out by reading the photos rather than the words. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has that book and what they think if it.
Rugs aside, life continues on as normal here. I was completely wiped out on Friday night after only four days back at work, but a weekend of cooking and gardening has restored me. Bella and Angus are happy to be back at school and overall the transition has gone well for all of us. We're all readjusting - the kids to their daily school reading and weekly homework, me to cramming in supermarket shops and housework in little hour-long pockets of time here and there - and the weekends between now and Christmas are filling up at an alarming pace. This school term can feel like a race to the holidays and I don't want it to be a race. It's not a busy contest. I want to go slow, go gently. Please remind me of this in three months time when I'll no doubt be in the midst of some kind of self-inflicted, hand-made festive meltdown.