The No Sew Rag Rug

First off, I need to acknowledge the contribution of Shanan to this piecemeal rug technique; she watched movies, tried different adjustments, and came up with a rug so large that I can barely lift it. Also, Rebecca was willing to be my first real student, and helped point out the design flaws by making fun of me once she became more skillful than I am.

I finally filmed the rug video with my web cam because it was the only way I could upload. Frankly, I’d be surprised if it was very helpful (and, oh, I am so weird on video). I wasn’t able to get good closeups with the web cam, either. Why does amateur p_0_r_n_0_g_r_@_p_h_y look so easy? Must inquire….Essentially, if you aren’t dedicated to the idea of making this rug, this video is like watching paint dry. However, if coupled with some photos explaining details, I think it’s…functional. These rugs are very simple; after you begin the rug with a small braid, the rest of the work is just one half-hitch knot after another. It’s the perfect movie-watching craft.

Oh, dear. I might make another video. I really have taught a lot of people to make these things.

Here’s a gallery showing an (almost) finished rug, the lockerhook tool, and photographs of beginning the rug, making the half-hitch knot, and attaching new strips of fabric.


Also, I’ll answer any questions, even if I have to crouch on the desk in front of my web cam and demonstrate knots. Just email me at the blog.

I have some lingering guilt over calling this the No Sew rug, since you need to make about 8 stitches (or whip out a hot glue gun – I fear them). But I liked the little rhyme.

Our Lady of the Unfinished Object

I can't believe this...they discontinued the sport-weight alpaca in "Caribbean Sunset."

They discontinued the sport-weight alpaca
in “Caribbean Sunset.” I may have to intercede.


These days, I am continually ripping out my knitting. I’m trying to figure out why – I mean, it’s really noticeable. Even non-knitters watch me and cringe. It’s not as if my knitting is getting any worse, although I admit I used to felt dropped stitches into oblivion. (Oh, felting – so forgiving. I love you.) And I never used to be a perfectionist about knitting. The closest I’m getting to an explanation is that I feel more confident in my skills, I’m trying more difficult projects, and I really want to master all these increases and decreases and sizing and my greatest fear…cables.

Knitting was something I never imagined I’d do (in spite of Grandma Sofia, She-Who-Knitted-Socks-In-The-Dark). It’s made me so happy. Being a mother was something I wanted, but couldn’t imagine doing well, mostly because my parents were odd, to the point that I did better in boarding school. No lessons there. But unimaginable motherhood has made me more than happy – it’s finally made me feel alive. I had definite goals for my academic career and my marriage, and they were both disastrous for me.

In spite of that, I know I need to plan ahead more, but there seems to be something seriously askew in the way I plan. For one thing, I think I plan on finishing things. I always think I’m going to arrive…somewhere. I never do. And I’ve become very tired of that lingering sense of unease over not being done.

So I salute everyone who has given up their guilt over unfinished objects and endeavors.

Speaking of planning: Rebecca and I just recorded a video on making “no sew” rag rugs that is so Lucy and Ethel (and so poorly edited by me) that I may make another one on my webcam that doesn’t involve misplacing tools and giggling. It’s meant primarily as promotional material for classes I’d like to teach, so maybe I shouldn’t seem quite so flighty. Either way, I’ll post some kind of how-to video this weekend, partly because la belle couseuse over at Silk and Wool requested instructions. Apparently she has a large pile of old baby clothes to dispose of and has made some beautiful crocheted rugs out of them. Head on over there if you like to crochet and have boxes of old clothing to use up. I certainly would never, ever hoard fabric like that. But I hear that other people do.