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« Mini Quilt of the Month, October: Amish Diamond | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Long Pom Pom Cowl »

Big Stitch Crocheted Alpaca Rugs!

Just about this time each year, our old drafty home begs for super cozy area rugs.  Each time I step out of bed I think of how happy my feet would be if they landed on a soft, lofty rug, and each time my daughter and I read books in front of the fireplace I think of how nice it would be to have the warmth and comfort of something hand made beneath us.  I've been determined to make these rugs myself for years, but only if I could find the super bulky and natural yarn I was seeing in my mind.  Imagine my excitement when we found the perfect yarn for my fantasy rugs!  Our Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn creates the softest, loftiest rug your lucky toes will ever step on.

The Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn is grown and handcrafted in the USA. The Alpaca that makes up 70% of this amazing yarn is gathered from several farms and then spun together with 15% wool and 15% nylon by a tiny mill in Ohio.  Each skein is called a "bump" and is approximately 140 yards long. 

Two bumps will make the small gray rug pictured above (approximately 42-inches across) and four make the large rug (approximately 70-inches across).  

Enjoy!  -- Page


The Materials

  • Small Rug: 2 skeins of Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn in color of your choice (we used Grey); Large Rug: 4 skeins of Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn in color of your choice (we used Cream).
  • A size S crochet hook (We used the beautiful handmade wooden size S hook pictured below which you can find here; We also stock a plastic hook size S hook that you can find here)
  • A removable stich marker.


2.25 stitches = 4 inches

Finished Sizes

Small Rug is approximately 42-inches in diameter
Large Rug is approximately 70-inches in diameter

The Pattern

If this pattern seems familiar to you then perhaps you've made our fruity trivets and pot holders? We think it's pretty wonderful that the same pattern can create two such different projects!  If you need a bit more help getting started on your rug than we've included below, please check out the fruity trivets post for how-to photos and more detail.

Pattern Note: Pull yarn from the center of the skein for ease of use.

  • Chain 6 and slip stitch into the first chain to form a ring.
  • Round 1: Make 12 single crochets (sc) into the ring.  Note: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable marker. Reposition the marker at the beginning of each round to mark the new first stitch.
  • Round 2: *1 sc into next stitch, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (18 stitches)
  • Round 3: *1 sc into next 2 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)
  • Round 4: *1 sc into next 3 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (30 stitches)
  • Continue to work in this pattern, each round adding one stitch between the increases until you have used all of the yarn.  

Sew in ends and enjoy! 

(Find the beautiful handmade oversized finishing needle pictured below right here).

Reader Comments (48)

Fabulous!! Will most definitely be taking on this project. The yarn looks great.. but would you have a suggestion for a similar yarn with more colors in the range?
September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTan
Your projects are just getting better and better. If I'm lucky enough to ever visit the Big Apple I will need an empty suitcase and an extra day! xxx
September 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramanda makes
I have a pattern for chair pads knitting an I-cord and I think it would translate to this pattern nicely. What would be an equivalent knitting needle size to an S crochet hook? the yarn looks so yummy!
September 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Busseau
I don't know how to crochet, but could I knit a rectangular rug with this yarn....and what size knitting needles should be used?

September 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJune
Stunning; the kind of thing I will have in my house when in that little window between when all my children have exited the nest and before they start bring grand babies in.
September 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
HI June and Carol-

You can use a size 36 knitting needle, or if you're a tight knitter, maybe a size 50.

Here is a link to our size 36s:

And we are getting size 50s in soon. If you'd like to be emailed when they come in please drop us a line to

Thanks for the questions!

- Molly
September 30, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These are do I care for them?
I have dogs :)
October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
Hi Carol-

These are not machine washable but they can be spot cleaned.

Thank you for your question- Molly
October 3, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I really love this project! Do you know if there are stockists of this wool in the UK? Thanks in advance
October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCeline
HI Celine-

We can ship the wool to you in the UK, We do international shipping all the time! You can see all of our international shipping info here:

Thanks for your question!- Molly
October 5, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I was wondering if the rug once made is washable? I have a toddler who has allergies and needs things washed frequently to alleviate symptoms.
October 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah P.
Hi Sarah-

It is not machine washable but it can be spot cleaned.

Thank you for your question- Molly
October 27, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Good work. This looks amazing. I would love to make this in near future., :)
November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDivya
Any success with the knit version of this rug. Could you tell me if it will be round or rectangle ? Thank you..
November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Any word of the knit version of this project? Greatly looking forward to it! Thanks
February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany
Hi Tiffany-

It's still coming, just taking a bit longer than anticipated. Sorry for the holdup!

February 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
OMG! OMG! Perfect for my little "Faux" log cabin (well it will be one day lol) and vintage furniture...I did notice that the skeins are a bit expensive though...are there options that may be slightly cheaper? Thanks and keep up the great crochet patterns!
February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMamma J
Hi Mamma J-

Unfortunately we don't carry anything less expensive that is nearly this thick or durable. But thank you so much for your nice question and comment.
- Molly
February 9, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would like to make the rectangular rug I saw last time on your website. I think it requiresfour bumps--not sure.

I'd prefer to make it in the cream color; when will you have the cream? Thank you.
April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Hernandez
Hi Linda-

The rectangular rug (which is knit, not crocheted) can be found here:

If you'd like to be notified when the cream color comes back in stock please email us at customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com and we'll be sure to let you know.

Thank you so much for writing in!

April 24, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just want to lay on it!
I'm not a "crochet-er" by any means but this rug is absolutely gerogeous. I was wondering if you think this would be too much of a daunting task for someone learning to crochet?
July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterclare
Hello Clare. I think you could totally handle it! Maybe check out this book ( ) for some helpful instructions and diagrams. Let us know how it goes! -Laura
July 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
You do not advise machine washing, only spot cleaning. Looking at the fiber blend, I would assume a cold water / delicate cycle in a triple loading machine would work. It would then need to be "blocked" to dry - in the same manner as one carefully blocks a sweater. I have washed many Amish rag rugs as well as my own woolen hand crocheted this way. I too like a thoroughly clean rug! If your advice comes from the manufacturer's label "Dry Clean Only", may I ignore that? The way I ignore the same label in a silk blouse? Could we "wash at our own risk" in your educated, and much valued opinion? Caveat emptor: the rug may shrink a bit if washed, so factor that into your gauge, anticipated rug size and skein count.
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Hi Diane, Please wash at your own risk! And then tell us all about it. We are curious to see how this yarn would respond to machine washing. -Laura
July 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I was wondering if this yarn would fall into a bulky or super bulky category? I am trying to find a substitute yarn, because I can't afford the one used here. Any hints, tips, or suggestions are greatly appreciated. This rug is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to make one!
August 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Hi Jenny. This is more of a super bulky yarn than a bulky. You can see our other bulky yarns here:[]=8

Hope you find something you like! -Laura
August 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Ok full disclosure I am not using your yarn, just the pattern. I'm actually using fabric strips. The stitch increases are creating a sort of seam so the rug doesn't look entirely round, it looks like there are sides. Almost like I'm creating these upside down triangles, and each increase stitch is making the triangle get bigger and bigger. I'm up to 18 single stitches. Do you think its just because of the material I'm using?
October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Hi Monica-

It sounds like you're doing it correctly. The increases do create a wedge shape as you describe but it ends up looking round because the material is so soft.

I'm sure yours will look beautiful, if a bit more angular!

Thank you for your question!

October 2, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I enjoyed your instructions for the round and the rectange rug. Do you have instructions for an oval rug, that would be great!

October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
Hi Alice-

No plans for an oval rug yet but thanks for the suggestion and for writing in!


October 12, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Does anyone know anything about extreme crocheting. It's done with 5 skeins of yarn at a time using a P crochet hook. Looking for books or web sites for more information. Any information on this will be appreciated.
November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
I crocheted a rectangular version with this yarn and really didn't love the appearance so I took it apart and the big bump became a ball that decorated and was a conversation piece in my studio for more than a year. I just remade it this past week as a circular rug and it looks amazing. It is so soft under my feet. It only took me a couple of hours to crochet and one bump produced a circle about 30" round. I plan to block it so am hoping it will stretch. It really is a great yarn for rugs.
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLjknits
i saw someone wrote they need to find cheaper yarn, well you can use old cut up tshirts, dye them the color you like and use them to make this rug.on the internet are many ways to show you how to cut the tshirts and make a ball of yarn with it.
happy crafting:)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterandrea
Unfortunately my rug keeps trying to be a cone instead. How can I fix this?
March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I have used this yarn for some time ..yes it can be washed we use all alpaca so only soak it in the washer and then spin it or wash it in the tub realy helps the sheding
April 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbeverly meade
Can't wait to try this! I'll be using acrylic to make it more washing machine-friendly. :-)
June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I just completed the larger size rug tonight. It's lovely. Feels wonderful and very dense. I must crotchet with an extremely tight stitch because four bumps only gave me a rug about 55 inches in diameter. Nowhere NEAR the 70 inches I expected. Beautiful project. Thank you so much for producing these fantastic contemporary crafts that are so much fun to work on, and so appealing to have in the home.
August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan
This pattern looks very easy and could be converted into many different projects. Have you attempted a machine washable version for a toilet rug? I am guessing you would follow the pattern until you get the rug to half the size you want and start with a double crochet foundation chain or something like that. Any ideas on how I could put this together? I would like to make a few of these for Christmas gifts for the family (or Secet Santa hehe).
August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Hi Danielle-

You can certainly make it in any size you like. Just crochet around until you reach the desired size. However, this yarn is not machine washable so it might not work for your idea.

Thanks so much for your questions!

August 27, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Lovely rug. Thanks for sharing the pattern!
Just for the record... Alpacas need to be shorn. They do not shed naturally.
October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Such fun! Any tips for getting the rug to lay flat? The edge of mine curls. Thanks
December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Hi Kate-

It sounds like you have a problem with your increases at the edge but without seeing it we can't tell if there are too many or too few increases!

Would you mind sending me a picture and I can ask our crocheters? My email is Molly AT purlsoho DOT com.

Thanks for getting in touch!

December 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
hm, this is something i would love to do..
so great.
thanks for the inspiring work.
June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercoco
Hi, as a novice, I am a little inclear of the directions. Am I repeating round 2 thru 4 through out the rest of the rug or just round 4?
June 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
Hi Deborah-

Here's the pattern a little more spelled out:

You increase the stitches between the increases as established, so you don’t actually repeat either row, as it says here:
Continue to work in this pattern, each round adding one stitch between the increases until you have used all of the yarn.

Next rows would be as follows and then keep increasing
Round 5: *1 sc into next 4 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (30 stitches)
Round 6: *1 sc into next 5 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (30 stitches)
Round 7: *1 sc into next 6 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (30 stitches)

Hope this helps! Thanks for your question!

June 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Oh my, this is not really a post...I just want to thank you for turning on my light bulb! I got it! Thanks again. And thanks for responding in such a timely manner.
June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
Just started this (my first crochet project ever) and at the suggestion of my local knitting shop friends I'm using blue sky super bulky (50% wool, 50% alpaca) doubled throughout and it's coming out beautiful. Thanks for such a great pattern!!!
July 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce
o my word! I can only dream of an alpaca rug!
beautiful and thank you for sharing your pattern.
I crochet rugs with t-shirt yarn
July 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnneke

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