Once in a long while you stumble onto to a DIY project that really stops you in your tracks because it is so striking and so unusual that you just have to learn how it was made. A perfect example of this is the “lighted rug.”
Yes, you read that right: you can crochet a circular rug (the size is up to you and depends on your yarn, your crochet hook and your stamina!) using LED lights and a textile yarn to create a lighted welcome mat or area rug. What a happy accessory this is – warmly lighting a small, intimate area with a glowing circle that can be a single color or combination of colors. Your imagination can go wild choosing your yarn and lights and deciding which spot is perfect for your new showpiece.
When you are buying your yarn, make sure to get sturdy textile yarn, something rugged enough to be on the floor yet stylish and, perhaps, thematic (a Christmas red-and-green lighted rug in December, anyone?). And buy enough – you will need to check the label on the yarn and calculate how many inches you will need to make the size circle you want. For example, it will take 5-6 skeins of bulky yarn (with a size 16 crochet hook) to produce a rug that is approximately 22” in diameter.
Make sure you also buy enough strands of LED lights to work into the pattern: LED lights are perfect for this project since they are energy-saving and because they not get hot. And remember to get the lights that are battery-operated so you won’t have to worry about finding an outlet or tripping over the wire that connects the rug and the outlet.
The LED light strands do bend, but not tightly enough for the small center of the circular rug, so start crocheting very loosely with yarn only until you have the center of the circle complete. Then begin to crochet around the LED cord, still keeping your stitches very loose so the light can shine through. There are different combinations of crochet stitches that can be used, but one of the easiest ways, especially for the beginner, is to crochet each round with 1SC, 2SC.
To increase the size of the next round, you can either add six DC’s evenly spaced to the row or (easier) use one chain stitch every six stitches. At the end of the LED cord, continue to crochet with the yarn alone until you have a neat edge, then weave the ends into the rug with a large needle or a crochet hook.
Whichever spot in your home you have chosen for the rug, its presence will make it special. In the nursery, a rug that is made of soothing, light colors or bright primaries will double as a rug and a nightlight! In the entrance hallway, a larger, bulkier rug with lights is as unexpected and cheery a greeting as any guest could want. Feeling romantic? With firelight, candlelight and a lighted rug, who needs regular lighting?
This is a project that is fun, easy and open to all sorts of variations. Any colors, any sturdy yarns, rag yarn made from old t-shirts or a jumble of leftover yarns can all be used to create a bright, unexpected focal point in your home.