This might be the thickest, most huggable rug you’ll ever set foot on—and you can make it yourself in just a couple of hours. It’s fashioned from four or five thrift-store wool sweaters, which are washed and dried until the wool shrinks into a dense, fuzzy fiber, then cut into strips and knitted on big, fat needles.
1. For an 18-by-24-inch rug, find four or five 100 percent wool sweaters at thrift stores or in your own closet. Machine wash the sweaters in hot water, then dry in a hot dryer. This should “felt” the wool, shrinking it into a dense, tight, thick fiber that doesn’t ravel or fray.
2. With a pair of sharp scissors, start at the bottom of the sweater and begin to cut a fabric strip about 1¼ inches wide. Spiral up the sweater to make one continuous strip of “yarn.” Keep going until you hit the underarms, then spiral up each sleeve. Repeat with all the sweaters.
3. Roll into a ball to make your new yarn easier to work with and to make it simple to alternate rows of color.
4. Using extra-long, size-19 knitting needles cast on 20 to 24 stitches. Work a simple stockinette stitch, alternating colors to make a pleasing pattern, until the rug is the size you desire. Cast off and weave in yarn ends.
5. To create a fringe, cut wool strips into 8- to 10-inch lengths and push downward through the stitches at the edge of the rug. Then push the ends of the wool strips through the loop that’s formed and pull tight. Work across the entire edge. Even out the fringe by cutting straight across or at a rakish angle, as shown.
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