Want to knit a round rug? Simply knit a flat circle. These directions work in every situation.
Round rugs are not as common as rectangular or oval rugs and that's a pity because round rugs have the ability to pull together either small sitting areas or entire rooms, welcoming everyone who gathers. Round rugs are not difficult to knit. There are a few simple rules that guarantee that your round rug will lay flat and look beautiful on your floor.
To make a round rug without a pattern, you will need to do increases on every other row to keep the rug expanding correctly. To increase, you can make a yarn over between stitches, which works well with a rag rug but will make a "holey" center with some thinner yarns. If you knit in front and back of a stitch, you will avoid the holes but the fabric will look as if it had knots. The third way to knit an increase is to pick up and knit the loop between stitches in the round below the round you're knitting. This gives a smooth increase because the new stitch "just appears" without any lumps or holes.
Here is the way to knit a circular rug that will stay flat without ruffles, humps or curling edges:
What you will need:
At least two sets of double pointed needles or one long circular needle, length depending on the size of rug you want to knit.
Yarn, raffia, rope, cloth strips or whatever you want to make the rug from.
You won't need a pattern, because you simply knit the rug until it's as large as you want it to be.
First, choose the size of needle that feels comfortable and works well with the yarn you want to use. If the needle is too small, the stitches will be hard to make and the rug will be dense and stiff. If the needle is too large, the rug will be limp and look lacey. If you're using yarn, look on the label for the right size of needle, or experiment until you get the look and feel you want.
Simple stitches like stockinette or garter stitch work well for circular pieces, at least until you are very familiar with the concept.
The basic method to knitting a circle which will stay flat is to increase eight stitches every other round.
Cast on eight stitches and divide on three or four double point needles. Knit the first round, then on the second round, increase one stitch in every stitch. You should have 16 stitches.
Knit the next round, then on the next round, increase one stitch in every other stitch. You will have 24 stitches at the end of this round. Count them to be sure. If you're off, you will have to undo your stitches until you find the mistake.
Knit another round, then in the next round, increase one stitch in every third stitch. You should have 32 stitches by now. Again, count them to be sure.
Continue increasing eight stitches every other round, following the method: Next increase round, increase every fourth stitch, next increase round, and increase every fifth stitch and so on.
When the rug gets as big as you want it, bind it off.
Tips that might help:
If you're using different colors, don't start with a dark color for the center. This will give your rug a "bulls-eye" look.
Start with a smaller circular needle or four double point needles and change or add as your rug grows.
To keep track of your work, always stop with a plain row, ready for an increase row. That way, you'll know that every time you pick up your work, you have to do an increase row.
If you lose track of which stitch you're supposed to increase, count stitches and divide by eight. Your answer will be the last increases. For instance if you have 80 stitches and divide by eight, the answer will be 10. That means the last increase round you worked, you increased on every 10th stitch, so the next time will be every 11th stitch.
If there's a hole in the center of the rug where you cast on, use the tail and sew it closed.