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Fritz Haeg:
(0:00) OK, so you have scoured your house and you've found old sheets and shirts and pants and towels that you're not using anymore.
(0:13) You can use just about anything for the rug and, the more diversity the better, I think, in terms of color and types of material and texture, so it can be anything from polyester to uh, wool and everything in between.
(0:28) For a t-shirt a typical, a typically sized t-shirt, um; I'm gonna show you how to rip it down into one consistent strip and you want to do, it's like peeling an orange where you want to see if you can get it all in one consistent peel.
(0:44) You're gonna take it like this, and I'm very fast and I like to work very fast, certain things it's important to be precise but other things you can be very fast and loose. So I actually do my first cut like this. I gather up the center of the front and I cut all the way through. So I've cut the front in half. And now I'm gonna do the exact same thing to the back. And I'm gonna gather it up. But I'm not gonna cut all the way through, I'll show you why in a minute.
(1:20) So I've left the bottom -- I've left a strip at the bottom if you can see that. So now it's in half. And then, I'm gonna go up the inseam of the underside of the sleeve and if you can see that, the natural crease that forms under the sleeve I've taken, and then cutting a line right through there. And then, on the other side. All of a sudden I have a t-shirt in one long strip.
(1:54) So basically, the challenge is to make not a consistent width necessarily, but a consistent thickness so you can run this through your hand. And in some cases with some garments, you're working with maybe pants or something like that or something really complicated, you can only get so far with it making it consistently thick, but then you realize it bunches up in places. So you run it through your hand to wherever it's bunching up; you can kind of remove a little bit of fabric. So if you can see the back, this shape, it's like this switchback cuts, it's bunching up in these corners, so I tend to cut off these corners, and it's like you're just sculpting a little bit wherever it bunches up because I don't like to have flaps hanging out of the rug.
(2:45) Some people will be more fussy and exacting and other people will be more casual about this, but I'm...I think one thing making the rug has made me realize about myself and I think it's a very particular approach I have that likes a certain amount of precision in very particular places, and then everything else can be casual and fast. But if there isn't that particular certain kind of precision at certain moments, it's a mess. But if it's precise all the time it's like dead and uninteresting. And it's like machine-made.
(3:22) And I'll show you how to start. And the thing with crochet is that you have to add stitches, you have to keep adding stitches and you have to add a lot of stitches at the beginning and then you add fewer stitches as you go on. You just start with a simple slip knot to make a loop, and you pull it tight. So that's the beginning of the rug right there.
(3:47) So, here's the beginning of the stitch. You take -- it's finger crochet so you don't use any tools -- I have fingers sticking through and I pull a loop. And now I'm just casting on, and I've made one stitch, and I'm pulling through another. So I cast on four or five stitches. Enough to make the first loop, and then -- maybe I'll do one more. All right, so after you've cast on your stitches, you find out -- you go back to the beginning where you started and you pick up a loop.
(4:33) So this is going to be hard to see because it's all jammed in here, it's going to look like a mess. But then I'm crocheting back into where I started. I cast on four or five stitches and then I'm picking up the first stitch. All right, it doesn't look like much yet, but here's my loop hanging down, my strip hanging down, here's the loop between my fingers and I'm gonna add on a stitch without attaching it, like I was casting on, and then I'm gonna pick up a loop and stitch. And I'm gonna alternate like that, just at the beginning to keep adding stitches and expand it.
(5:18) So I'm just throwing on a stitch and then I'm stitching onto the circle. So, again, you can look up crochet instructions online to make a flat circle if you need better instruction, but the beginning is the hardest to get it started. Once the rug is this big, it's really easy to work on and you can have a lot of people who know nothing about crochet help you on it. So a few of the things to think about when you're stitching. One is it can't be too tight, otherwise you can't crochet back into it. And it can't  be too loose, otherwise the rug kind of loses the integrity and it gets holes and things like that.
(5:59) So it takes a while to get a hang, a handle of that, of what's appropriate, but um, now you're beginning to see how thick this rug is. And I'm making a stitch, free, not attached to the ring, and then I'm finding the next loop and stitching onto that. And after a while, I won't have to add as many stitches, but I'm gonna add a lot of stitches now, so I'm just making a stitch that's not attached and then I'm pulling out the next loop and stitching on. So every other stitch, I'm adding one. 
(6:39) But here's the basic stitch. My fingers -- usually I use three fingers to pull it. I'm controlling the tension here with this hand. I'm using this finger to find the next loop and pull it out, which maybe at the beginning isn't so obvious, but it's the outermost loop. I pull it out with my finger and I use these three fingers to find it and pull it through. So, again, pulling out with my finger, these three fingers coming through, and that's one stitch.
(7:18) So this is the beginning of a rug.