Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wool Rug and Mini Rag Rug


My basket buddy, Teresa, and I were teaching basket weaving class at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, in 2000, when I happened upon a lady demonstrating making wool rugs.  She told the crowd that her grandmother had someone make the special crochet needle with a small hook on one end and a tappered blunt point at the other end.  It is ~8" long  Then she started creating lovely oval or square rugs.  


Wool strips, 1/2" to 5/8" wide, are cut and can be any length, from as small as 1" to as long as a yard.  There is no wool wasted when making this type of rug.  The width of your strips determine the thickness of the rug.  Woven wool has to be cut on the bias to prevent unraveling. I had this navy blue and red check wool from a box of fabric/notions that my grandmother gave me.

Once the strips are cut, you load the needle by pushing through the middle of the strip onto the needle with a 1/2" space between folds.  When you come to the end of one strip, you begin another strip, as if it was one continuous strip .  It is not necessary to sew these strips together because as you begin to crochet the rug they will stay in place.

Using carpet warp,  you begin to crochet between the loops, then pull off one fold, crochet, pull off a fold and repeat around the rug.  When you get to the curve part, you pull off two folds to increase the size of the rug.  This keeps it from rolling up and allows it to lay flat.    

The folds lay close together and this is the depth of the rug.  While I was watching that first demonstration, if there was a strip a bit taller that the rest, the lady took her scissors and trimmed it to be even.  I was amazed!

You can see when I separate the folds, the crotchet part is well hid.

I added a few extra colors of green and gold here and there and added a strip of black to break it up.  Notice how small the extra green and gold are.  This was my first rug and I didn't know how big it was going to be so I thought that adding extra colors would help make it a decent size.

This rug has a dreamy, fuzzy look to it and is soft to stand on.  If I had to do it over, I would not have added the extra color wool.  It was kind of hard to guess what the rug was going to look like.  From a distance it doesn't look too bad.  The size is 1.5'x2.5', not very big, but that was all the navy/red wool I had.

You can make chair cushions with this technique, rugs and hot pads to use in the kitchen.  The size depends on how much wool you have and what you are making.



When Buttercup found out that I made a small rug for Sherri's doll house, she would not talk to me. 

All she has for a rug is a worn out doily!

So I went to work on a colorful area rug for her.  I choose matching colors of her furniture that had some dynamic patterns to them.

I wove it on my small metal pot holder loom.  It matches well 
and she can place it anywhere in her 'room'.

Buttercup is soooo happy, she jumping on the bed!
(sorry for the blurry pictures.  Not sure what went wrong there.  Must be operator error!)


 Thanks for visiting,


  1. You gave a great tutorial on making the crochet rug. I think it looks terrific with the bits of color and the black added. Your home must be amazing with all the added handmade touches. Buttercup should be so happy too with the wonderfully colored new rug for her place. The colors match perfect. You are so talented. I enjoy seeing all your different projects.

    1. Thank you! This type of rug making is also called Pleachet or Shirred. The rugs in this style are so beautiful when I look it up online. I'm always eager to do something new and fun.

  2. This is so interesting! I've been thinking about crocheting a rag rug to use up some scraps. I have a wooden crochet hook that is to be used for making rugs. I've been told some women tear up old sheets to make rag rugs.

    Perhaps your pictures are blurry because Buttercup is jumping on the bed. :)

    1. My grandmother worked for a casket company many, many years ago and the waste fabric from the lining of the casket she would bring home and crochet rugs. That was before I was born, so I never got to see them. I'm not the best at crochet, but this was fun to do. My grandmother gave me an old ivory crochet hook. It's my special treasure.

  3. I am glad to see you are taking care of little Buttercup's want and needs!! Ozark fairies can be quite demanding but I'm sure she's very happy with her new colorful rug. The Rugbee rug is lovely.

  4. Hello, I love the tutorial and the story about the rug. I am planning on making a rug for my kitchen from scraps of flannel shirts that I have made into strips. I have folded and ironed the strips so that the do not unravel. So this tutorial was very helpful as I decide on how I want to make it!
    How sweet Buttercups little rug is! I am sure she is very happy!
    Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Hello, just stopping by to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year!