this tutorial. A few days later, and my husband and I have a new rug. My husband has named it "Jean Valjean", pronounced without the French accent of course, as he finished reading Les Miserables at the same time I finished the rug. Here's my own version of a tutorial on how to make this rug:
At least 3 or 4 pairs of jeans
Sharp scissors or rotary cutter with ruler and mat
Size N crochet hook or larger
Lint roller, and vacuum, and duster!
1. For this rug, I used 4 pairs of jeans. To cut the jeans into a yarn-like material, I started by cutting up the sides, cutting the bulky side seams right off. Then I cut up around the pockets, across the top, and down alongside the zipper and the inside leg seam. The point is to remove all the bulky stuff while still keeping the largest piece of fabric intact as possible.
2. After doing this on each side, front and back, I was left with four panels (and a very interesting garter belt type of accessory). I cut the bottom hem seam off each panel, then removed the back pockets with a seam ripper. Surprisingly, the fabric under the pockets is so much darker, which made for cool color variations in the yarn.
3. Next, take one panel and lay it flat on a table or cutting mat. Starting on the long side which is straighter, cut a 3/4 inch wide strip from top to bottom, stopping 1 inch from the bottom. Next, cut a 3/4 inch strip from bottom to top, stopping 1 inch from the top. Follow the diagram below. It's okay to angle your cutting a little bit, to get the most from the fabric.
4. Once your panel is cut into one long strip, you can trim the corners on the turns you made at the ends. This will take some of the bulk out of those spots so your crocheting will be smoother. If you like the rougher look, go ahead and leave the turns alone.
5. Once all your panels are cut, roll each pair of jeans into its own yarn ball. I kept the pairs separate so I could alternate colors (some pairs were lighter/more stripey than others).
6. Now comes the crocheting. Take a fabric strip and make a chain of about 20 or 25. The longer the chain, the more rectangular and less square your rug will be. (Square rug directions at the end of this tutorial.) Next, 1 sc in the second chain from hook. 1 sc in all of the chains, then 3 sc in the last chain to turn the corner. Then 1 sc in the back of each chain stitch. 3 sc in the last stitch.
7. Continue spiraling around the outside, but when you get to the first of the [3 sc in one stitch], 3 sc in that stitch. This 3 sc cluster will make your corners. This is a bit of a guessing game, as I noticed my rectangle was losing its shape after a while. I adjusted which stitch I made my 3sc in, so the shape of the rug would be straighter.
8. When you run out of one strip of yarn, simply leave a few inches of a tail and start a new strip. I suggest weaving in the tails as you go by trapping them within the first few sc's of the new strand. I doubt I would find a yarn needle large enough for this yarn!
9. When you reach the size you want, bring the last round to a corner, then slip stitch it to one of the corner stitches. With the tail, I threaded it in using my crochet hook. All done!
*Be warned, this project is pretty linty. Pieces of denim will cover your outfit, your couch, your floor. And the finished project has some loose fibers that stick out of the rug. I think it adds character, but you could always choose a less-ravely fabric for a cleaner look.
To make a SQUARE rug:
I haven't tried this style yet, but this is how I'd imagine the pattern going.
1. Make a chain of 5
2. Join to the first chain to make a ring.
3. 16 sc into the ring.
4. [1 sc in next 3 stitches, 3 sc in next] four times.
5. [1 sc in next 5 stitches, 3 sc in next] four times.
6. Repeat this pattern in rounds until the rug is as large as you want!