prepping jeans to knit a rug

diggerb2June 29, 2009

i didn't search for this, but i have a huge pile of old jeans that i'd like to use to knit a runner rug for my upstairs hall-- something like 30 inches wide by 8 foot long. other than cutting the jeans into strips what do i need to do to prep them for this project. details would be appreciated especially as to how wide to cut the strips

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Babka NorCal 9b

What a cool idea. Do you sew the strips together first? What size needles? Wouldn't the edges of the strips get all frayed?

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:59PM
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justlinda

I cut jeans into strips to make braided rugs. I cut the strips about 1", then folded them over and zig-zag stitched them. This kept the fraying down to a minimum, but they still to this day, fray.

I found the denim quite stiff also, so it may be a bit of a pain to knit with. My fingers were very sore after a session of braiding.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 3:44PM
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diggerb2

thanks for the responses. i've checked a couple of sites on google. but no one seems to give details.

yes fraying would seem to be an issue but also part of the charm.

guess i'll be doing more research, but please keep posting any info here as well

diggerb

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 3:49PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

OK. Is this to be braided or knit? When I picture braided I think of round or oval shaped rugs. How would you knit with the denim strips? Attach 3' pieces as you go by overlapping or sewing them end to end? Got any photos of one made?

-Babka

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 12:59PM
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justlinda

The braiding that I do is called "in-braiding". One strip of the 3 braids is braided into the previous row...i.e., the rows are not 'sewn' together. Makes for a very strong rug. I cut all the strips into widths I want, then sew them all together, end-to-end. Each strip cannot be too long as it has to be threaded through the previous row, so yes, the sewing machine is an integral part of this type of project. I assume that when knitting, each strip could be sewn together, then rolled into a ball for knitting. It might be a bit more manageable than I was doing, as I really wanted the strip to be heavy duty, but I think it would add to the charm with a bit of frayed edges. I just think a pair of scissors could be your friend to cut off the long threads though.

This one shows the zig-zagging:

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 4:09PM
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acraftylady

I have only seen directions for crochet ones and googling brought up no directions for knitting them. Here is one way do it that is not crochet. Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: Denium Rug

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 4:09PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

Linda, what a pretty rug. I just love it! I think knitting would be the hardest way to make a rug out of jeans. I think I would try a Q hook crochet.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 9:12PM
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donna_loomis

This site will give you information on several ideas about how to cut the strips and how to sew them together. There is also a way to loop them together without sewing. I'm not that good at explaining it, so I am going to see if I can find instructions online for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cutting and sewing strips

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:18AM
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donna_loomis

I'm sorry, I couldn't find what I was looking for online, so I'm just going to type these instructions I found in one of my books:

To join a new strip of fabric to working strip, cut a 1" slit 1/4" from ends of both fabric strips.

With right sides f strips facing up, place end of new strip over end of working strip and match slits.

Pull free end of new strip through both slits from bottom to top.

Pull new strip firmly to form a small knot. Right sides of both strips should be facing up. Continue working with new strip.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:28AM
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justlinda

I used this method (or tried to) but found it left quite a lump where they joined. I used to take a hammer and pound on the lump to make it flatter, but alas, that only seemed to make it "stiffer". I think that might be prolematic when trying to knit.

Ummm... maybe I'll leave this to the knitters ~~ I crochet and have also tried crocheting denim which didn't work out too bad with a big "Q" hook.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:55AM
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donna_loomis

I'm sure you're right, Linda. Especially with denim, the lump could be a problem. My grandmother used to crochet rag rugs, and she just cut the ends of each strip diagonally and sewed them together. The difference between doing them at an angle versus doing them straight is that it wasn't as bulky since the seam was not all in one spot, but spread for a couple of inches.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 12:13PM
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justlinda

Yup, the angle-cut is better....and stronger also! :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 3:33PM
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Maggie4

I just bought a needle for making a crochet rug from one inch strips of old tee shirts. I too use the previous row for sewing them together for my tee shirt rugs. The web site on the needle is www.aunthpillys.com I tried this and it works. I haven't had a chance to look it over good though. I do have loads of jeans and have made a few rolls of one inch strips. Now how to put them into a rug of some kind.
My needle is blue and about four inches long. Just thought maybe you might want to check it out too. I'm not sure if this would work for yours.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:49AM
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donna_loomis

Maggie, I think I've seen what you're talking about. I believe they call them "toothbrush" rugs, as that is what the original needles were made from. I have that booklet, but haven't tried them yet.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:23PM
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donna_loomis

Maggie, I think I've seen what you're talking about. I believe they call them "toothbrush" rugs, as that is what the original needles were made from. I have that booklet, but haven't tried them yet.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Maggie4

Digger,
Just wondering how you decided to make your rug. I have found a lady in our area that makes jean rugs on her loom. All I have to do it cut my strips to her width for her loom. I have bought these rugs at craft sales. Usually in the fall. They wear forever. I thought that maybe you could check your craft stores for a name in your area.
I have never seen a knitted one. Just wondering what you have found. GoodLuck.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 10:35AM
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diggerb2

no, i haven't started my project yet. i'm still trying to get a feel on how to prep the jeans. i figure i'll be cutting them into 1-1/2" strips and then doing a 'double fold' like you would for making a braided rug and then rolling the fabrick into balls and then start knitting. i figure i'll be using about size gigando needles (maybe #24)
i figured to knit it in seed stitch-- which should be nice and even wearing for the floor-- but might be tough on bare feet-- i'll have to try that out. i figure with the
'yarn' i'm making out of jeans and big needles i'm looking at about 2 stitches per inch maybe 3 at the most so i'll be carring somewhere around 60-90 stitches. the other idea i had was to knit it on the diagonal- increasing on one side and decreasing on the other after i'd gotten to a 30 inch width-- since i could just knit the whole thing which would be much easier than seed stitch.

i'm still doing research. but will probably have to sew the strip together on the diagonal. the other way would be to cut the jeans on the bias (as a spiral up the legs-- giving me a much longer strip.

digger

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 3:00PM
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