Considering that I love to crochet, I figured it couldn’t be that hard or that expensive to make my own. Turns out rope is REALLY expensive. Like $50-$100 a box expensive (for a project that requires 3-4 boxes). No wonder those rope rugs cost so much! I considered making the same rug out of t-shirt yarn, but I was already making one (I promise, tutorial coming soon, but it’s not finished yet!).
I then turned to the blogosphere for ideas. Turns out you can crochet holding multiple strands at once, thus making the yarn thicker. Who knew?!? Find out more about the technique here (it’s written for a knitter, but you get the gist). It’s also a lot easier than it sounds. I found the biggest, softest yarn I could find (I went with thick wool), and doubled up the strands to make the yarn appear as big as a length of rope. Super easy and way less expensive!
Tip: Use the two strands from the same skein of yarn. Most yarn balls you buy from the store come with one outward strand and one inner strand (you usually find the inner strand as you’re getting to the end of the ball and it starts to tangle with the rest of your yarn). If you pull the inner strand out and line it up with the outer strand, it will guarantee that both strands end at the same point (in a loop). Since not all yarn skeins are the same, you may end up running out of one skein with a little of another skein left over if you use two different skeins of yarn at once. If you use a cone-style yarn ball or rolled your own, you’re out of luck. But it will still work, you’ll probably just waste a little bit of yarn at the ends.
In total, I spent around $35 in yarn (it was on sale and I had a coupon!), which isn’t bad for a rug this size (about 3 1/2 ft in diameter). I used 6 skeins of yarn for this project. You go through it a LOT faster when you double up the strands; by the end, a single skein would barely make it around the circle one time. So if you want a really big rug, plan on buying a whole bunch more yarn than I did.
This is the pattern that I followed. However, I didn’t make it through all of the rows because I ran out of yarn (I stopped after row 9 in their directions). Thankfully, I ran out of yarn at a good stopping place! I also added a crochet border by simply crocheting 1sc, ch 3, skip 1 stitch, and 1sc in the next stitch, all the way around the rug. And, in case you were wondering, I used a size “S” hook (about the size of your standard carrot stick).
I love my rug! It cost a tenth the price of the ones on Etsy, and I didn’t have to pay for shipping! Deep sigh of relief for this poor grad student! This project was so easy and worked up so fast, I probably only put 5 hours total into it (off and on). And since it is made of soft wool, it is so much nicer for a rug than thick, scratchy rope. Love it!