Getting into crochet has been a great spark for me. I love learning and trying new things and experimenting. I love to push my own boundaries, too – so when I kept seeing amazing images of arm-knitting and arm-crocheting, I needed to try it!
Basically, arm-knitting and crocheting is when the material you’re working with is so large that your arms become the needles or hook (or, if you’re really crafty, you make the tools yourself!). This larger-than-life technique isn’t new – it’s been a perennial favorite of installation artists who work with everything from fiberglass to 1,000 strands of yarn at once. But it is new to me.
I had a wad of plain Wool of the Andes roving sitting around, and on a whim I grabbed it, split it into two halves lengthwise, and tested what could be done with it as yarn. The sample didn’t look like much, but it was promising. So, in my typical go-big-or-go-home fashion, I ordered 20 hanks of Full Circle roving in quarry and set out to make…something!
When you take something small and make it big, simple is the way to go. So, I figured that a really basic crocheted circle would be a good place to start. Density is important here too, because the roving will tend to want to fall apart a little. ‘Armed’ with my ideas and tools, I started to play.
I’ve done three rounds on this experiment so far: the first was double crochet, the second half-double, and the third single crochet. If you thought crochet eats regular yarn, I’ll have you know that in a 100-gram ball of roving, you can make exactly 8 double crochet stitches. I’ve already gone through five hanks in three rounds!
Going through the roving that quickly means attaching a new length every few stitches. Because Full Circle roving is so soft, it turns out the best way to attach new lengths is actually with a little knot. It basically blends in with the fabric, and makes a join that is less likely to fall apart.
Of course, I’m not the only one who is really enjoying this process. In fact, someone took this project over for me, leaving me to move on to something else.
And I did! I’ve been looking up ways to make rag rugs out of my fabric scraps, and I wondered if it could work for a cushy wool rug as well. I grabbed a ball of Chroma Worsted in Supernova, and started working out what to do. I started with a Magic Circle, but if I was to do this again, I think I’d pick something else. That technique relies on your ability to pull the yarn tail and cinch up the hole, but that’s a no-go with roving!
It took a while to get used to the feeling of working with roving and hook – being sure not to snag the roving and trying to keep the stitches even. Several rounds in, I think I’m getting the hang of it.
Though it’s definitely more time consuming, I’m really loving how the ‘rag rug’ feels. I bet it would be wonderful on a chilly morning!
Overall, I’m really pleased with how this ‘experiment’ has turned out. And the best part is, I’m nowhere near done yet with either one, so there’s much more fun to be had here!