I have spent the last 6 weeks on a bit of a project. I decided to knit...a...carpet! It has been the longest project I have done and probably the biggest thing I have ever knitted but I have truly truly enjoyed it.
I found the pattern for the carpet in a file of patterns that were donated to me through a mutual friend. These patterns were collected by a very organised woman through a weekly magazine and she has built two massive files just full of knitting patterns and tips and techniques. The magazine was run last year and was a weekly print that gave away free wool, needles and DVDs and could be collected into files. I feel really lucky to have these huge files for free without doing any of the collecting or filing myself. Anyway within these files was a pattern for a number of rugs and carpets, as well as knitted place mats and cushions. The rug I chose was a Fringed Runner Rug knitted in Basket Stitch.
The brilliant thing about this rug is that it is really simple and repetitive so you can relax with it and get a good rhythm going. One of the techniques for this rug that I haven't used before was to use 2 balls of yarn at once, the file calls it double yarn, but I call it 'twining' as you are literally twining the two balls of yarn together to make a stronger more durable finished piece. The key however is to keep the balls of yarn and the threads separate as you can end up tangling the yarn together and I got myself into a few knots.
For the carpet I used Marble Chunky Wool in size 6 with size 6 needles. The wool comes in 200g balls. The pattern asks for 450g but I used 400g, and a bit extra for the fringing. I loved this wool, it was such an array of colours from bight pink to reds, browns and oranges. As I was 'twining' it anyway it was quite a good choice of colours as they all mixed together and almost self striped, so it made a lovely marbled effect
The Basket Stitch knit is made by alternating 2 Purl stitches and 2 Knit stitches, and then using Knit rows and Purl rows in between. It's written like this:
1) Knit to end of row
2) K2, purl to the last 2 sts, K2
3) K4, *P2 K2 rep from * to last 2 sts and K2
4) K2, *P2 K2 rep from * to last 2 sts and K2
5/6) same as rows 1 and 2
7) K2, *P2 K2 rep from * to last 2 sts and K2
8) K4, *P2 K2 rep from * to last 2 sts and K2
You end up with a knitted border around the rug and an almost patchwork design with raised and smooth squares in a basket weave pattern.
Then you can add the fringe which I haven't done before (successfully.) So I used this video I found on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpJTKwwHbIs. You Tube is really good for finding little videos like this as other knitters pass on their knowledge. You can also get great ideas for new projects off here too.
For the fringe you wind the yarn around a length of cardboard, the length you need and then cut it into equal pieces, then using a crochet hook, you guide the wool through a section of the carpet (or knitted thing) and then simple knot and tie. You can then trim this to get the length you need but for this rug I left the fringe long.
I'm really pleased with my final project in all it cost just under £15.00, which I suppose you could spend in Ikea on a similar carpet, but mine means a lot to me because it's in my new house and it's something I made that I can keep and that I'm proud of. I plan to make more probably in different designs for different bedrooms, hall ways or bathrooms and using different stitches. The only drawback with items like this is the amount of time you have to spend on it. If you would like to 'commission' a rug of your own please let me know and I would be happy to make you a piece of knitted art for your home as well, if not just admire mine!!
Lots of Love,