“The Big Rug,” as it is known at my house, is a project with a long and complicated history. After a long hiatus from this project, I dragged it out from hiding yesterday and began working on it again, but the story of “The Big Rug,” really begins in June of 2008.
At the time, I didn’t know there was a rug, big or otherwise, in my crochet future. I had simply begun work on an afghan to enter in the North Carolina State Fair of that same year.
It was, as is usual for me, a rather complicated project that grew increasingly more complicated as the summer wore on. Eventually (July of 2009 to be precise), I finished the afghan in question; however, after putting that much work into it, I was unwilling to use it as a blanket and determined that it would hang on a wall in the living room of our house. That, in turn, necessitated a new throw rug.
Being the ever intrepid crocheter, I decided that I would make my own rug and began scouring patterns and yarns to figure out what I would do. Eventually, I hit on the idea of a project I termed “The Big Rug.”
In it’s first incarnation, the rug was destined to be 19 x 27 squares, each square measuring somewhere around 4″. I decided to use Lamb’s Pride Bulky weight yarn, a wool and mohair blend that I thought would hold up to foot traffic, with the idea that no actual shoes would be allowed on the rug.
One of Lily Chin’s tips to crocheters and knitters alike is to make a swatch of fabric and then launder and care for it as you intend launder and care for the garment or piece you are planning to make. Salient words to the wise, but I am not always as wise or as patient as would behoove me, and when I got to where I started piecing the rug together, I decided it needed a good vinegar and water soak to fix the dye.
My impulse with regard to fixing the dye was not wrong, but my timing was off.
I did as my Aunt Millie had taught me and prepared a tub of water and vinegar large enough to contain what was going to be the first of 5 strips of squares 5 squares wide by 19 squares long. Dye was released into the water, said dye was soaked up by my Shout color catching sheets, and I rolled the big-rug-to-be between towels and put it outside to dry.
Overcome with joy at having gotten the dye-fixing right, I didn’t initially notice the degree to which the fibers had relaxed and the stitches had expanded. My previously tightly crocheted work now had gaps through which fingers could fit.
Here is where I found myself:
Clearly, I should have soaked the yarn in water and vinegar before I crocheted with it rather than after, but I hadn’t, and I took the first of several breaks that I would take from the project.