Thursday, October 28, 2010

Totally Fantastic Recycled Yarn

Recycled yarn has limitless possibilities.  It can be made out of just about anything, I have used old bed sheets, old sweaters, leggings, wool items (blankets, jackets), newspaper and even plastic bags (i haven't tried this yet but soon).  Just about anything you can cut into strips can be made into yarn.  Here are some examples: 

Newspaper basket w/ a t-shirt yarn mat (BF's old tshirt)
newspaper basket again w/ spring butterflies
The newspaper basket was made by cutting sheets of the newspaper into long strips (I used the funny pages b/c they have good color) and then spinning it on a drop spindle to create thin "yarn-like" peices.  Then I crocheted it into a basket and sealed/stiffened it with a glue/water mixture.  It is now on my desk at work filled with post-its, and what not.  It makes a great conversation piece at not cost!  

Here is a really great tutorial to make tshirt yarn .  Even the oldest t-shirt (like the orange one above looked rather worn out before) still makes nice recycled yarn.  Just a word of warning though before you start raiding your BF or husbands t-shirt drawer asked for permission b/c for some reason they are crazy attached to their t-shirts.  I was able to get my BF to part with 5!  Thrift shops are also a great place to find lots of old t-shirts! If you do not like the color, it is really easy to dye them with RIT dye, just cut it into strips and follow the directions on the back.  For darker colors you may want to use the RIT color remover first, which works great and then dye.  Below is an example of a rug I am working on using thrift store t-shirts I dyed.

This started out as 4 shirts (lime green, gray, red, bright blue)
One "failure" that I don't really mind with this, is when I was dying it, I left it in "hanks" which I don't mind the  variegated colors, but if you want solid colors dye your yarn loose, I have done this too, you just have to untangle it when it gets out of the dryer.  This rug is about half done and i have used 2 1/2 shirts.  To crochet it you would have to use a large crochet hook, the one pictured above is the largest I could find at 16 mm.  It is a double crochet oval.  So raid your old t-shirt draw and start creating!

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