Book Review: The Knitted Rug-21 Fantastic Designs by Donna Druchunas

Few items warm up and set the tone of a room better then some well-placed rugs, yet few people attempt making their own, thinking it is just too difficult and that is where this helpful book comes in. Packed with projects and easy to understand “how to” instructions that walk the beginner, step-by-step from first cast on to final finishing touches, Druchunas will change your mind about creating your own wonderful rugs. Although geared primarily for the novice knitter, the designs are striking enough to provide inspiration for the more experienced knitter as well. Special techniques like loopy pile, mosaic stitch and assorted edges are clearly illustrated.

Beginning with a fascinating look at the rich history of knitted rugs, Druchunas has assembled some stunning pieces that highlight color, texture and design usage before getting into the knitting basics. Needles, gauges, yarns and stitches are explained at length with an interesting sidebar showing how to make use of fabrics to create rag rugs. What better way to work through that inevitable fabric and yarn stash we all tend to tuck away? Each pattern is labeled with skill level, required materials and pattern stitch before going into detailed instructions complete with finishing details and an assortment of variations.

The Knit-and-Purl Hearth Rug demonstrates how effective color usage can turn a simple knit design into a lovely braided rug look. The Coiled Cord Oval is easy enough for a child to tackle while the more challenging Fair Isle In-the-Round shows how to work steeks that result in pre-attached fringe. The Rope Cable Runner pattern could be easily adapted to fit any entryway and although simple to make, shows once again the elegance of hand knit rugs. Knitters of all abilities would do well to add this to their collection as a source of inspiration if nothing else.

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