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« Molly's Sketchbook: Flannel Lap Duvets | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Windowpane Wholecloth Baby Quilt »

Big Stitch Knit Rug

Our Big Stitch Knit Rug is scrumptious like a heavenly soft cloud and beautiful like a white-pebbled Sardinian beach. Sinking your feet into its cozy stitches is such a wonderful feeling you'll want it first thing in the morning and last thing at night!

With its farm-fresh natural fibers and jumbo sized stitches, the Big Stitch Knit Rug embraces homey rusticity with modern panache. A super easy slip stitch pattern gives it its lofty squishiness and fantastic nubbly texture.

Like its circular cousin, the Big Stitch Crocheted Rug, this knit version is made out of Bag Smith's Big Stitch Alpaca. It seems to say, "Make me into a gorgeous rug!". Seventy percent alpaca reinforced by a touch of wool and nylon, this yarn is ready to withstand rigorous duty with dignity and beauty! 

The Materials

  • 2 skeins of Bag Smith's Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn (70% alpaca, 15% wool, 15% nylon; 140 yards). This color is Cream.

The Pattern


1 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern

Finished Dimensions

34 inches wide x 41 inches long 

Pattern Note

Slip 1: Slip 1 purlwise, with yarn in back.


Cast on 41 stitches.

Wrong Side (WR): Knit

Right Side (RS): *K1, slip 1, repeat from * to last stitch, K1

Repeat previous 2 rows until piece measures about 41 inches or until desired length, ending with a WS row.

Bind off loosely and weave in your ends.

Reader Comments (55)

Is this yarn washable, either machine or by hand? Thanks.
Denny Shaw
February 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenny
Absolutely gorgeous. I'd love to make one but definitely can't spend $124/skein of yarn. Any recommendations for a substitute?
February 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteremilee
Oh it's beautiful but that yarn is (eek!) costly. Any replacement ideas for the budget-conscious?
February 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
Is this a good rug for the bathroom, that is, will the knitted yarn take a damp foot or two on it without matting down? Washable?
February 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKmbold
Love this!
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHydi Hoost
I was wondering what other kinds of
yarn could be used. A least expensive
one. Thank you, Rhonda
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda
Hi Kmbold and Denny-

This yarn is not machine washable. It is handwashable, but it would take a while to dry.

Unfortunately Kmbold it wouldn't be a great bathroom rug for this reason.

Thank you both for your questions!

February 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
To everyone asking for a less expensive option:

You can use Magnum doubled to get the same gauge. You will need double the yardage so for this project you would need 5 skeins of Magnum total. Here is a link:

Thank you all for writing in!

February 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Is this for sale?? I must know the cost and how I can purchase!
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim
thank YOU molly!
February 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commentererin
really lovely. Thank you for this!
February 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermondayjane
Hi Kim-

This isn't for sale, we just sell the materials to make it. If you'd like to find someone to knit it for you please feel free to call our NYC store at 212-420-8796 and they might be able to refer you to a custom knitter.

Thank you for your question!

February 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This looks so scrumptious!!!
I'm wondering where I could find the knitting needles required to make it! I've been looking around and nobody has such big circular needles in stock...
February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaymonde
Hi Raymonde-

We sell the needles and yarn used in this and every project featured on The Purl Bee. They are linked under the "Materials" section.

You can find the needles here:

Thank you for your question.

February 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
So are the needles required for this project the size 50 or the size 30?
March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStrickschneckli
Hi Strickschneckli-

They are a US size 36 in a 32-inch length. They are listed in the materials section of this pattern and can be found here:

Thank you for your question!

March 1, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this so much. I am a bigger knitter. Would this be a good project for a beginner?
Thank you for posting this. It is beautiful!!
March 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjennyg
Sorry just figured out the answer to my question. Thanks anyway and great blog. I love it ;)
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelene
Will you be getting more of this gorgeous yarn? Such an amazing project!
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Hi Nancy-

We will be getting more yarn in stock. Please drop us an email at customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com if you'd like to us to let you know when it arrives.

Thank you!

March 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is perfect. I'm coming close to my end of limit when it comes to stepping out of bed and onto our cold, hard-wood floors. That wool is pricy BUT I do alwasy try to treat myself with one "on I'd never" item with my tax return....
March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjulia @ the BackLoop
Could you recommend a chunky cotton yarn to make this. I would love to make a bathmat.
April 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramy
Hi Amy-

We don't carry any cotton this heavy but you might want to experiment with doubling or tripling out favorite cotton yarn. Blue Sky Cotton, and using a smaller needle. Here's a link to the yarn:

Thank you for your question!

April 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Oh! I love the idea of using the pattern with a tripled cotton so it could be a bath mat (I'd probably still wash it on a delicate cycle or by hand though.) Great pattern and could be really versatile! Someday when my ship comes in, I'm splurging on that alpaca!
July 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbachumom
I would love to make this and use it in my bedroom. What can I attach to the back of it to keep the rug from slip-sliding around?
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne
I am interested in knitting this rug out of the magnun yarn, Is it posible to get samples of the yarns? I' trying to cordinate with a trim color.
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlbiddie
I'm thinking about using Lion Brand Wool -ease Thick and Quick doubled for this beautiful rug. Another idea I found on Ravelry- crochet 3 strands of worsted weight yarn into a long chain, then use the chain to knit the rug! A much less expensive option.
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSheila
This is absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to try this pattern.
I'd love to be added to your list of custom knitters. Please let me know how to go about this. Many thanks!
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSherly
Hi Jeanne. Great question! You don't want to go sliding across the room. I would place a standard Rug Gripper or Non-slip Rug Pad under it. -Laura
July 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Olbiddle, Unfortunately we do not send out samples of our yarn. If you buy a certain color and it is not right, you can exchange it or return it for store credit. Let us know how it turns out! -Laura
July 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Sherly, Was that comment for our Molly, Molly at Purl? What list would you like to be added to? Let me know and I can see if I can help. (Molly is on maternity leave at the moment.) Thanks. -Laura
July 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Tha pattern calls for a size 36 needle 36" long, but the links given in the responses to other questions go to size 50 needles 36" long. I have heard of size 35 needles, that are approximately 3/4 inch in diameter, but never size 36 needles. What is correct?
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKnitting Nana
I want to knit a big one of these and just lie on it all day long. Yummy!
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrishKnits
Will this gorgeous rug shed and / or pill ?

Thanks, Aviva
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAviva
Hi Aviva. Great question! This yarn does shed / pill a bit. After some use it settles down though. Thanks for asking! -Laura
July 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Knitting Nana. Thank you so much for your comment. All of the different sizes of the Big Stitch Circular Needles should be listed there, it looks like at the moment we only have US #50 in stock. I will find out when the US # 36 are due in and comment again as soon as I know. Thank you again for this comment. Hope this helps clarify. -Laura
July 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Will you be getting in new stock of the alpaca yarn? Thanks.
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKitty Martin
Hi Kitty,
If you'd like to be added to the list to be notified about the yarn when it comes in please send an email to our customer service department at the link below, and include in it the name of the yarn and the color. They can also let you know how soon we will expect the yarn to arrive.
July 30, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What is the finished size of the rug? thank you (Tack!!)
July 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteredith
Hi Edith. The finished dimensions are 34 inches by 41 inches. -Laura
July 31, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I knit this using Magnum doubled and love it. I hand washed it and blocked it to straighten the edges but they do tend to wobble a bit. I'm telling myself that it adds to the homemade, organic look! :-) Oh- and my dog thinks it was made just for her. I swear I heard her sigh as she sunk down into it this morning.

I would love to know if anybody tried the washable yarns mentioned in earlier comments: doubled/tripled Blue Sky Cotton or Lion Brand Wool -ease Thick and Quick doubled. Were you happy with the results? I posted a picture of my rug on my facebook page an hour ago and three friends have already asked my to make them one for Christmas. I don't mind hand washing but I don't want to force my friends to do this.
August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunny
Could this also be knit with Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky held double? My LYS doesnt seem to carry Magnum :( Thanks in advance!
September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia
Could this also be knit with Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky held double? My LYS doesnt seem to carry Magnum :( Thanks in advance!
September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia
Hi Olivia-

You could use the Blue Sky for this but please keep in mind that you will need 560 yards total and the Blue Sky is very short so you would need to buy 13 skeins.

If you'd like to purchase the Magnum from us you can do so here:

Thank you for your question and please let us know if we can help with anything else.


October 1, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
this is beautiful. could this rug be doubled in size easily?
November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucyna
HI Lucyna-

Sure, you would just need to cast on double the stitches. Please keep in mind that if you cast on double the stitches and knit it double as long you will need to quadruple the amount of yarn so you'd need 8 skiens. But you can really make it any size you like- it's totally up to you!

Thank you!

November 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Molly, I'm confused about the yardage. The pattern states two skeins of 140 yds for the 34x41 dimensions. Yet in the comments there are two statements referring to 560 yards (for an optional yard) and 8 skeins (to double the size). I'm probably losing my mind....but, could you clarify? Thanks in advance!
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee
Hi Renee-

I can see how it would be confusing!

You would need 560 yards of an alternate yarn like Magnum or Blue Sky Bulky Alpaca because you would need to double the yarn, thus you'd need double the yardage.

To double the size of the rug, for a finished size of 68 X 82-inches, you would actually need 4X the yarn- thus 8 skeins (or "bumps") of the original yarn. This is always a tricky concept for me but I find it helpful to draw it out: You can fit four 34 X 41-inch rugs into an area that is 68 X 82-inches.

Please let us know if you have any more questions!


December 31, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
could a madeline tosh chunky doubled be used? that fiber is machine washable on the fiber that you made it in but i do need it to be washable with puppy dog feet potentially walking on it! other yarns i'm thinking of that may help add some more texture personality...cascade yarns superwash 128, malabrigo chunky merino, sweetgeorgia superwash chunky...any tips would be great!
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterali
Hi Ali-

Doubled Madeline Tosh Chunky would still be too thin. Unfortunately we don't know of a washable wool that would work for this but you could certainly try tripling or quadrupling any of the ones you mention in order to get the correct gauge.

With that said, most knit and woven wool rugs are not machine washable but rather get cared for by vacuuming, beating, and spot cleaning.

Thank you for your question!

February 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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