Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fabric Cutting Olympics

So this week's craftnite project was crocheted rugs out of fabric strips. Above is my rolled-up fabric strips. I love the colors together. I got the idea for this rag rug from Quick Crochet, Huge Hooks, and showed the gals how to cut a sheet of fabric into a long strip. I had made a rug like this before--see my ravelry projects page. After some cheese and crackers and s'mores, we began. As an aside: Not having a sterno for the s'more setup, we tried three ways to melt the marshmallow:

attempt 1 - tealight :-(
attempt 2 - gas stove :-(attempt 3 - put entire s'more in the microwave and heat for 8 seconds (no, not 7 or 9) :-) :-)

Then we began cutting fabric. We never ended up actually crocheting, our huge blue crochet hooks waiting optimistically on the sidelines. Sorry, huge blue crochet hooks. :-( Cutting all the fabric takes a long time! This is Heidi rolling her perfectly cut fabric into a ball. Amy, Tanya, Heidi
Me, rolling my very un-neatly-cut-but-that's-how-I-wanted-it-I-swear pumpkin colored cotton into a ball.

Here 's how to cut fabric into one long strip:

Step one: With fabric folded in half (if you buy it from a fabric store, it will already come this way), and folded edge at the bottom, cut from bottom to top, stopping one inch from the end. Tip: If your fabric is more than 1/2 yard, it's easier to cut like ten or so of these slits, then stopping and doing the remaining steps. I don't know why it's easier, maybe warping issues, maybe boredom issues, but I recommend it.
Step two: Cut through to the end at first slit, only on the top layer. Step three: Continuing to work only on the top layer, skip one slit, cut through the next, and so on. These are like U-turns in the fabric; they allow a rectangle to become one strip more or less.
Step four: Move the top U-turns out of the way and begin making U-turns on the bottom layer. BUT, don't start by cutting through the first slit as before; start with the second and then cut through every other as before.

Step five: Roll it up! And continue until you have as much fabric strips as you want. I did 2 yards of each color.

NOTE: You are likely to cut wrong the first time and end up with closed loops of fabric (if you don't know what I mean, you'll see). But as in knitting and crocheting, even those experienced in this method will make mistakes. Don't worry. Because of all these chunky U-turns, knots where you have tied shorter strips together will not really show up, especially if you end up single crocheting with it.

Happy Kn....Crocheting!

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