Sunday, August 30, 2009

rag bath mat tutorial

i'll start my first post back with a finished project/tutorial! a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and i were planning to throw out this huge king size comforter. it was just so much fabric though, that i couldn't bear to part with it. so it sat beside the doorway for about a week, before it came to me. rag bath mat. so, i bought the gigantic knitting needles - size 19! ripped the comforter, made yarn from the fabric strips, and knit it up into a mat for my bathroom floor!

Before                                                                                        After
rag bath mat tutorial knitting knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

i followed the tutorial by cocoknits, but here's what i did.
i started by cutting little slits at every 1.5" increment.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

then, i ripped with my hands each strip until i had a whole bunch of strips. ripping with your hands is MUCH easier than actually cutting the strips, and more accurate too. it rips right along the grainline perfectly so you have very even strips...and it's FAST. it also makes a very gratifying noise.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

to attach the strips to each other (knotlessly), you first cut about 1" slits at each end of every strip.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

start to wind one end of the strip up. before you wind, leave the little tail of the first strip free (not pictured here). this will be very helpful if you need to add more yarn later, after you get started knitting.

then, put the first strip through the slit in the 2nd strip.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

take the other end of the second strip and run it through the slit of the first strip.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern


now pull the strips til they lock hands. pull snugly.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern


keep feeding the strips through then wind them into balls.
knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

you're ready to start knitting. if you need to add more "yarn" to your project after you get started, go back to your first ball where you left the tail sticking out and add yarn there.

now that you've got your yarn, it's time to knit the thing. i just did a basic 4x4 cable with seed stitch on the sides. it knit up very quickly! each row was about 1 inch tall, and my bathroom is tiny so this thing was done in no time.

knit rag bathmat tutorial out of old sheets pattern

Check out my other patterns and tutorials!

35 comments:

janice said...

wow, this is pretty cool! does it work well as a bath mat (just wondering about all that water)?

acommonthread said...

yep, works pretty well. this thing is THICK and DENSE. and the comforter was cotton so it soaks everything up pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Do you think using old bath towels would work okay?

acommonthread said...

@anonymous hmmm...maybe so? if they were the thin worn kind of towels? otherwise, it might be really thick to knit. with the sheets it works because the fabric is so thin it kind of folds up and acts like yarn. let me know if you try it!

Anonymous said...

Terrific! I've been saving a torn sheet for exactly this purpose, but I've been nervous about how to go about it since I could never find understandable instructions on making the rag yarn. Your pictures and step by step instructions did the trick - THANK YOU! :D

Anonymous said...

Terrific! I've been saving a large torn sheet for exactly this purpose, but have been nervous to start because I could never find understandable instructions for how to make the rag yarn. Your pictures and step-by-step instructions did the trick! THANK YOU!! :D

Bathroom Mats said...

wow its look so kool how you have made that bathroom mat :) it looks gorgeous :)

blackberry jelly said...

this is great! thanks so much for posting. i just finished mine up, and wrote out the pattern for others like me who are unfamiliar with cabling:

http://blackberryjelly.tumblr.com/post/1176266961/bathmat

craftink said...

what needles did you use??????

acommonthread said...

@craftlink - size 19. i think they are those gigantic lion brand kind...the biggest ones i could find at my craft store.

LinMidwest said...

Thank you so much for the inspiration! I've planned a bathmat project for awhile, but sharing your method, "source" and cable design have put me much closer to actually BEGINNING!

Tout Un Fil said...

It's genius and beautifull !! Thank you very much for sharing

Hayley said...

This is awesome! Is there a reason you tore the strips instead of cutting them?

Thanks!

acommonthread said...

Hi hayley, tearing is faster, easier and more precise actually. When you tear the fabric, it easily rips right along the grainline in a perfect line and really quickly.

Amber said...

beautiful! I crocheted up one out of old t-shirts...I LOVE it!!!

Inta G said...

Thank you for great idea. Can not wait to get my hands on to make my own i have 2 old sheets to use for it.
Thank you once more :)

MeliFluous said...

This is precisely why I never throw anything away. All of these old pieces of clothing that I couldn't bring myself to part with (due to nostalgia and a desire to fix them) can now be of some use! I applaud your creativity and commend your incredibly easy-to-understand instructions. Thank you so much!

garden clippings said...

this is crazy awesome!!

Carlyn Clark said...

This is brilliant! What a great idea!

Julie said...

I love this. I have seen fabric used as yarn before but never thought of using it this way. I love the idea of fabric as yarn. So much cheaper!

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing back in the 70's. But I used bread wrappers. They were great for door mats when we went camping.

The Vagabond Priest said...

awesome! I have an old comforter that has been awaiting just such a craft like this! Just one question- do you double over the yarn after putting it through the slits??

dontbuyathing said...

This rug is awesome! I love that you re-used the comforter for a new purpose instead of tossing it. http://dontbuyathing.wordpress.com

PaulaJA said...

When you pull them tight how do you keep them from coming loose?

acommonthread said...

Hi PaulaJA - I'm not sure what you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

Did you dye it?
The finished rug looks more butterscotch colored.

acommonthread said...

nope, didn't dye it. it's probably just the lighting from the photos in my bathroom that make it look a different color.

Anonymous said...

I really like your rug, but my question is about your shower curtain - can you tell me where you got it? Thanks!
Debra

acommonthread said...

hi debra - yep, i actually get that question a lot! it's been several years now, but it was called something like "flora and fauna"....I think they carried it at bed bath and beyond for a while too?

Lynn said...

How well does it wash up? How do you keep it from falling apart?

Lynn said...

How well does it wash up and how do you keep it from falling apart?

katelders61 said...

That is an Awesome idea, thank you so much for sharing that. I do that too, with the material just too much to discard, lol.
Great minds think alike ;-)

lauren said...

I just did this out of terry cloth strips! Old towels work great! Not as thick of strips... like an inch. And it's awesome!

More Like June said...

I've knit up a small bath rug with a stack of old tee shirts, but I could only get it 'so' wide because the length of the needles. Did you use circular or manage to squish up the 'yarn' enough to make it as wide as you did?
And great job by the way. The cabling is a nice touch!

acommonthread said...

hi More Like June,

Thanks!! So, I could only find one set of needles that were fat enough, and I think that they are circular....though the cable is really short in between them (which makes no sense)...so I'm sure I'd have a max width at some point. Thank goodness my bathroom is pretty narrow.