My first knitted F.O.

It’s my first Man-Made Rug. It’s made of all-jute gardening twine from India. Each ball of 208 ft. cost me $1.49 at my local hardware store so it was a very inexpensive project. (I spent more on the needles than I did on the fiber.) My guess is that I used 6 balls of gold and 9 green. I used three balls of each color at a time. I knitted it (purled it, really) using one US size 10 Addi Turbo 60” circular and one US size 10, 10-inch wooden dpn from Brittany. I used the dpn to do the actual knitting and the Addi Turbo to hold the work. (At first I used 30” dowels to hold the work but they began to snap as the rug got heavier so the circ became my preferred tool to hold the work.) I knitted it off the left hand needle of the Addi onto the dpn and then slipped it off the back end of the dpn onto the right hand needle of the Addi. I needed to use the 10” dpn to get enough leverage to pull that twine through each stitch. The pattern is adapted from Donna Druchunas’ “Mediterranean Mosaic” found in her book, "The Knitted Rug". She presented it as a slip-stitch pattern using stockinette. I changed it to a stranded piece using garter stitch. I used the yarn-around-the-neck method which made the color work ridiculously easy. At some point during the process I said to myself that this was going to be the absolutely last time I ever worked with twine. But I’m not so sure about that now. I like the way it knits up. It makes a good rug. If the right pattern came along I could see myself doing it again. It is work, though.

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That is so very nifty and thrifty!! It looks very sturdy too!


Bill's picture

I watched this being's beautiful!
...and about 3/4 inch thick or more.!
a real struggle to knit...but it's STUNNING!!!

rdought's picture

The rug looks great! I really like your using 2 colors and knitting a mosaic pattern. Will you use it as an indoor rug or an outdoor rug?

Tom Hart's picture

It's actually a doormat for some friends. It'll be right outside their front door but they live in an apartment building so it'll be outside the apartment but in the building. :)

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
It is very nice piece of art work, we get to see him do his colorwork at the Monday Night Knits.

albert's picture

I'm impressed at how beautifully it came out- jute! whodathunkit?!

dannvictoria's picture

What a great idea for garden twine, beats gardening

I was just out in the bunny palace doing my chores and finished off another bale of hay. As I was winding the baling twine to hang up I immediately thought of your rug. The baling twine comes in many different colours, depending on the farmer I get the bale from. Now I know why I've been saving this string. Thanks for the idea!


TomH's picture

I've tried knitting with baling twine and gave up - it was a nightmare. All the loose fibers kept getting tangled and the twine was too dense to pull the stitches taut and even. Let me know how it works for you because I have miles and miles and miles of baling twine waiting to be knitted!

Iacobvs's picture

I love this work. This is the type of stuff I would love to do, finding basic, everyday material and knitting it into something worthwhile. Good for you! I hope you keep inspiring us!

ronhuber's picture

Very impressive. A beautiful piece of work - such a lovely pattern and knitted so nicely.

Buzzboy's picture

What a great looking rug. You should be proud.


TheKnittingMill's picture

Color me impressed Tom! I couldn't even imagine knitting that. Wow!


Chris Vandenburg's picture

Tom... there are no other words for it.... it's GREAT. What size did it end up being?

"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

Tom Hart's picture

Chris, it came out to 32" X 22".

jessemkahn's picture

AMAZING. what a wonderful project. and i love that you used such an everyday material. but did it hurt to knit with the jute? that's my one concern for picking some up myself.

Tom Hart's picture

No, it didn't hurt at all. And it didn't do anything bad to my hands. It's just got the same issue that other plant fibers have: no give. I could have made that doormat with yarn but I liked the particular look of jute for it. I'm thinking of knitting some placemats with it. Just a single strand, though. But that's very much on the back burner. I want to work with yarn for a while before I pick up any twine again.

Tom Hart's picture

Thanks for all the kind comments, guys. Friends and family may ooh and aah but it’s the comments from you brothers in the craft (and honorary brothers too, of course!) that mean the most to me. Thanks a lot.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very good work, Tom. I used jute for a bunch of knotwork back in my youth. I'm glad to hear it wasn't too horrible to knit with. I think the garter stitch mosaic is much more effective than what I remember of the original pattern. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

scottly's picture

That is so cool!!!!

Joe Moore's picture

Truly amazing! Love the pattern and the colors. It'll be the best doormat in the apartment building!