Guest Author - Iris ten Holder
Knitted rugs come in many shapes and sizes. Recently I saw a rug that shows a striking similarity to a braided rug. Although there was no actual braiding done, the characteristic alternating bands and the use of variegated yarn in some of the bands gave it the same appearance.
Instead of being composed of braided strips, this type of knitted rug consists of narrow knitted bands that are sewn together. This is similar to the way a braided rug is made, although in the knitted rug the sewing stitches are a bit finer. The oval shape lends itself well to this; constructing a center for a round rug is a bit more challenging.
Yarn and Needles
Start the rug by knitting a strip 1.5 inches wide and 14" long. For a nice thickness choose a yarn thick enough to have 5 stitches per 1.5, and use heavy knitting needles. Use polar weight yarn and size at least size 15 needles or as recommended by your supplier. Using two strands of a lighter weight yarn would also work as long as 5 stitches make a width of 1.5.
The rug is made of bands in several colors, all 1.5 wide. Each band is long enough to be fitted around the previous one. Unlike a braided rug, where the braided strip is continuous, in this knitted rug each band is a closed loop.
Making a drawing
To do some color planning, proceed the same way as for a braided rug. It is best to make a drawing to scale. My favorite way is to take 1 cm. for each 1 inch, which is roughly ¼:1. In this way a 24 cm drawing would translate into a 24 rug. You may not have such a "bimeasural tape. In that case use 1/4 to represent each inch. To calculate the actual measurements, multiply by 4.
The center strip of the rug is 14 long. Each additional band adds 3 to the width and 3 to the length of the rug. Consequently adding eight bands would add 24" to the width and length, and the final measurement of the rug would be 25" wide and a little over 38" long.
Choosing the colors
The next step is choosing the colors. Experiment on paper until you have a satisfying result. Let the color scheme of the room inspire you. For best result plan the first strip and the outer band in a darker color, and then alternate lighter and darker tones. Using variegated yarn in the center and in one of the strips will add some charm.
Assembling the rug
Knit each band to its approximate length, but leave the finishing until the band has been sewn onto the previous band. When doing the rounded part it will be helpful to put a double basting stitch along the inner edge and pull until the band lies flat. The nice thing about knitting is that the inner edge can be pushed together and that the outer edge will stretch a bit.
Sewing the bands
Threading a thread through the knitting loops at the edge of the band and through the loops in the edge of the adjoining band will make the sewing invisible. Sew to within 2 of each end. Then sew the ends together and finish sewing the band. Continue sewing all bands until the rug is complete.
The result will delight you.