Tag Archives: recycling clothes

Recycled t-shirt yarn trivet

From T-Shirt to Trivet

These colorful trivets were made from recycled t-shirts!
The method is simple.
But first, you need to know how to cut a t-shirt into fabric yarn. This is a good  tutorial.
One t-shirt is about enough for one trivet.

Recycled t-shirt yarn trivet

Recycled t-shirt yarn trivet

For the trim, use a different colored strand of anything (of course, left-over bits are great) – I used one strand of striped ready-made fabric yarn for the red-and-white trim, and ordinary yarn for embellishing the blue trivet with red.

Recycled t-shirt yarn trivet

Just one thing: You don’t want delicate fabrics or yarns for this. Remember, you’re going to set a hot pot base on it, so make sure it doesn’t melt away your trivet!
Fabric with a high content of cotton is good – and yarn with some cotton or natural wool content should work well. I admit I haven’t tested other types, but I’m not sure I’d want to try…

Now, here’s for my very secret, very complicated fancy pattern!

Using a no. 12 crochet hook, make a magic ring.
Row 1: Crochet 6 sc into ring.
Row 2: Working in a spiral, continue and crochet 2 sc into each st (12).
Do you know what working in a spiral means? It means you do not close off each round with a sl st, but instead, go right ahead and crochet the first 2 sc of the next round into the first st of the previous round. Do this at the end/beginning of each and every row. Place a stitch marker after the last st of every row to mark the beginning of a new row.
Row 3: *2 sc into 1st st, 1 sc into next st*, repeat 6 times. (18)
Row 4: *2 sc into 1st st, 1 sc into each of 2 following sts* repeat 6 times (24)
Row 5: *2 xc into 1st st, 1 sc into each of 3 following sts* repeat 6 times (30).
Finish off with an invisible join and weave in the ends.

Note: If you run out of t-shirt yarn in the middle of the last row, you can finish off right where you are.  Or, if you have enough for more than the number of rows in the pattern (or for that matter, less), you can just continue crocheting until the end of the strand.

If you want to insist on (almost) perfect roundness – go ahead and finish off at the end of a row. However, the spiral technique skews the circle a little anyway (if you take a close look you’ll see what I mean). So when you’ve finished, take a look and see if the shape you’ve obtained is the one you want, or continue a little if you wish until it looks just right to you, as long as the strand lasts.

Now for the trim:
Start with a sl st at the top of the second sc you made, in the space between the rows.  That will start you very near the center of the spiral. Continue with sl st in the space between the rows, one sl st for each sc in the row below it.  Draw out the sl st’s as much as you need so that your project lays flat, because the strand you use may not be identical to the one you used to crochet the base. You will be stitching in a continous spiral between the rows.

If you use a fabric yarn strand, the sl st spiral may almost cover the original crocheted spiral (as in the red-and-pink trivet)

Recycled t-shirt yarn trivet

If you use a thinner strand, such as yarn, it will accent it between the rows (as in the blue and red trivet).

Recycled t-shirt yarn trivet

When you reach the end of the spiral, draw out the strand, move it to the back, and weave in the end.

Done!

 

 

 

 

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denim fabric basket

The (Very) Last of the Tangerines

These were the last of them, at the top of the tree – well, at least at the top of the ladder. They were sweet, after hanging onto that tree, and sipping up every bit of sweetness and sunshine throughout the winter… They were also a deep orange, so much so that I found it hard to believe that they were ever green… We picked and ate quite a few in between, thinking each time that this was as big – and as orange – and as sweet – as they would get. Faith, patience, persistence… If we were lacking in them, the tangerines were not.

denim fabric basket
20160109_15102320160220_144156

Patience and persistence is what that old pair of jeans had, too. To wait around, faded and torn, for years – decades! Till that moment of grace  arrived and their fabric was turned into a useful and pretty denim basket.

denim fabric basket
I know it looks kind of shabby-chic (well, I’m hoping…), very raggedy and crochet-what-may-come – right?

denim fabric basket
Well, will you believe me if I tell you I crocheted, un-crocheted and re-crocheted parts of this basket as many as ten – fifteen – okay, twenty times? (Did someone mention patience and persistence?).

Crochet Denim Basket
See, it is exactly when something is “natural”, “coincidental”, that you can get to the point where – it’s not quite right, and the difference between messy – vs. cool – can be a stitch here and not there, that perfect shade of blue, and two, not three rows in height.  In the end,  I like the outcome – it just took me some time to realize This Was It.

denim fabric basket
A good thing all that time, the tangerines were busy ripening on the tree. Have some,  please – or you’ll have to wait till next year!

denim fabric basket

 

 

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

Autumn Bounty

Walking home from the bus stop I passed by the clothing recycling bin. Next to the bin was a plastic bag with some children’s clothes, and on the top was a boys’ dress shirt in turquoise with purple-pink stripes. How could anyone think of turning that into clothing pulp, or – as rumor has it – cloth wipes for the car wash industry? Mercy knows no boundaries, and so I picked up the shirt and took it upon myself to deliver it to the second hand shop, whose earnings all go to scholarships for disadvantaged girls. Which is how it landed upon my good deed roster to also launder it. It was only when I took the clean shirt down from the clothing line that I noticed it: An amoeba shaped fade-stain on the front right next to the second button from the bottom. By now, however, there was no turning back: Our destinies were intertwined, and knew I had to do what I had to do – tear the shirt up into strips and crochet it.

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim
Whether bounty or burden, I could not deny the delight of hooking this delicious color as a trim for a small basket.
I used an equally delicious pale magenta strand to make a soft but sturdy basket that I have not yet decided how to use. In the meantime, it is posing here with some hand-picked tangerines, a gift from our dinner guests, or rather, from their tree. Is there anything fresher or sweeter?

crochet fabric yarn basket

The architecture:

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

And a close-up view of the recycled trim. The frayed edges give it personality, but also actually keep it from unraveling better than cut edges:

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim