Look at this!
(with a disgruntled expression)
(with a disgruntled expression)
|There's a big hole in my lounge room throw rug.|
This is what it once looked like (back in 2007):
|This throw rug and cushion set adorns my couch.|
This was the first throw rug I ever crocheted, taken from a Panda Yarns pattern book, Throws & Cushions in 8ply. (Pattern details appear at the end of this blog entry).
The throw rug consists of 96 square motifs and the cushion 18 (9 on each side), bordered by a double crochet and crab stitch border.
'Crab stitch' is also known as 'reverse double crochet' stitch. The last round in crab stitch curls towards the right side of the work and gives an effect similar to sewn piping found on the edges of cushions and linen.
This pattern 'crochets first, joins later'; no JAYGo (Join-As-You-Go) technique here. As it was my first ever motif blanket, it didn't occur to me to investigate JAYGo techniques. The throw rug is very large so JAYGo could have been impractical for handling. In this pattern, squares are joined into strips which are then joined to make the throw.
I discovered that it took about the same amount of time to join all the motifs together as it did to crochet the motifs themselves! I have adopted this as a rule of thumb for estimating the time required to finish motif/modular projects; e.g., if it takes 10 minutes to make the motif, expect to spend 10 minutes joining it later.
What is your experience? I am slow at sewing: you may have a different experience if you are adept at stitching.
Panda rates this pattern as 'Advanced Crochet'* but that didn't stop 'beginner me' from trying. The best advice I received from my early crochet mentors (Val and Laurel) was to "choose a project that you love or that excites you; don't worry about the difficulty rating because if you love the project, you will be motivated to learn what you need to create it. What is difficult for one person may be easy for another, so just give it a try."
|This is how the squares should look.|
I use my couch regularly and handle the throw rug frequently during the daily tidying. The throw and cushion are about 10 years old now so the no-name-brand 8 ply acrylic from the local discount shop is a little aged and shaggy.
There are pills here and there and some of the joins between motifs need re-stitching after 10 years of pulling, tugging, stretching and general punishment that only 3 children and their friends can give.
After this experience I can say that cheap acrylic was a good fibre choice for this purpose because it stood up to frequent washing, was light on the line when wet and it kept its colours well. There was no stress about ruining some expensive luxury yarn either.
|The damage is near the bottom edge where it has been sat on and pulled; |
also in reach of young explorer bunny's teeth!
I can see from the gaps in the corners around the damaged square that this one has been tugged by bunny. I don't think Max intended to have a good chew or feed but, like young children or a puppy he likes to investigate the world with his mouth. He is still a kitten after all but his teeth are razor sharp and will cut through many items with ease!
How do I mend this? One of the beautiful things about granny square motifs that are sewn in is that is easy to remove the damaged square and replace it with a new one.
Fortunately, I kept the yarn leftovers just in case, knowing the abuse this throw would receive from a busy family. This is also a good reason to keep sample squares: either have ready-made 'spares' or, if the tension is incorrect, they can be frogged as a source of matching yarn.
Unfortunately, this mending job is not as simple as undoing a seam. The complication is that the damaged square is an edge square and has the border rounds worked directly into it. I am not prepared to undo the entire border!
|Can I mend this square without removing it or the border?|
The plan is to undo some of the square, join in new yarn and re-work it. That will take some thought and special tricks. I have some ideas to try and will let you know how I go!
Have you ever mended crocheted fabric?
How did you go about it?
Here's a 10-second video of Max, happily playing on the couch today:
*Advanced Knitting/Crochet (according to Panda Yarns):
- For knitters and crocheters with experience
- Fair Isle
- Lace patterns
Name: Throw & Cushion in Squares (Pattern no. 8)
Source: Panda pattern book 210 (code PB5555) Throws & Cushions in 8ply
Hook: 4 mm
Panda Magnum 8 ply (100 g balls)
Panda Woolbale 8 ply (50 g balls)
Panda Woolblend Crepe 8 ply (50 g balls)
I used a generic yarn: 100% acrylic "Knitting Yarn" made in China with a purple label, no yardage or dye lot listed. The bar code lists "Item no. 21421".
I used at least 12 x 100g balls.
Panda Yarns, Throws & Cushions in 8ply, book no. 210, code PB5555, Australian Country Spinners Pty Ltd, 314–320 Albert Street, Brunswick, Victoria, 3056, Australia, 2006.
The book quotes the web site as: www.pandayarns.biz
Pattern help service (for Australian residents): 1800 337 032
The book is balanced with 5 crochet and 5 knit designs:
- 1 x beginner knit
- 4 x easy knit / crochet
- 3 x intermediate knit / crochet
- 2 x advanced knit / crochet
Related Posts on Lupey Loops
"Messy to the Max", 29 September 2015: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/messy-to-max.html
"Autumn Colour", 15 April 2013: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/autumn-colour.html