Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Alex Bath Mat

Road trip! I think most makers can relate to that moment when the highest priority in packing for a trip is choosing the projects.

For a recent road trip, I packed four projects and enough supplies to make some duplicates — such optimism! Over the course of 30 hours of traveling, plus some making time during odd moments throughout our visit, I finished about half of the first project.

Alex Bath Mat Crochet Rug from an Angle in White with flecks of Yellow, Green and Blue

Choosing a Road Trip Project

I like crochet projects for travel, particularly repetitive patterns in cotton. I find the single crochet hook less fussy than two or more knitting needles, and less scary for my fellow passengers when I fly. An H-hook (5.0 mm) doesn’t look that different from a pen, but a set of US-1 (2.25 mm) sock needles in the round looks like a lot of stabby points.

I like cotton because it’s inexpensive, washes easily, and it’s grippy enough that if the hook slips out, the stitch usually holds its shape without unraveling. And that’s another point in crochet’s favor: if the hook slips out I might have to remake a few stitches, whereas if a knitting needle slips out it could lead to major reconstruction.

And the repetition aspect should go without saying. If I can quickly memorize the pattern I can easily start and stop as needed, have conversations, and enjoy the scenery.

Dertail of Alex Bath Mat Crochet Rug in White with Flecks of Yellow, Green and Blue

The Project

Which leads me to this trip’s project: Alex Bath Mat by Busted Hook Patterns. The pattern calls for an H-hook, but I tend to crochet tight so I bumped it up to an I-hook (mine happens to be 5.25 mm instead of the standard 5.5 mm).

The pattern is designed for two colors. I chose a cone of Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids in White for the main color, and two balls of Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombre in the colorway Summer Prints for the accent color. Summer Prints is white interspersed with short lengths of yellow, green and blue, so the idea was for a subtle addition of color. And my plan was to keep going until I ran out of yarn.

I ended up with a rug that measures 24 by 36 inches (61 by 91 cm), with just a little bit of each yarn left over. The pattern was well-written and easy to memorize. Due to the colors I chose, the stitch variation doesn’t stand out as well as it might with a more distinct color difference. But I was aiming for subtlety and I love the way it turned out.

Even if I did make half of my one and only road trip project from the comfort of my own home.

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