Stitchin’ USA

I’m back!

It has been three months since my last post!  Madness.  It has been quite the fun time of moving to the US, getting legally wed, fixing up our new place and getting a (deranged) puppy.  Now I’m finally settled in and once again connected to the webby world.  Although there has been no blogging for the last couple of months, I have certainly been crafting, mostly on stuff for our house.  It was pretty bare and man-cave-ish when I arrived here, so I’ve been spending lots of time prettying it up.  Among my achievements have been assembling Ikea furniture alone, and even putting up a shelf.  AND, there have been no disasters with things falling apart.  So far.

Since we spent all of our money actually getting me into the country, we haven’t had anything left over for homemaking, so I’ve had to get creative with the things we have, This means I’ve been upcycling like a demon.  Right before I moved out here, I spotted this tutorial on making a rug out of old clothes, and I thought it would be fun (since if there’s one thing Husband has an abundance of, it’s old clothes).  Then, when I arrived, there were many complaints and grumblings about us needing a bathmat.  So, I put my thinking cap on and decided to have a crack at using old towels to make a bathmat.  Genius!  Here it is…

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It’s a bit raggedy around the edges, but I don’t really care.  It’s really absorbent.  And the puppy loves it.

Inspired by the bathmat success, I decided to make a rug for the living room.  Our whole apartment had original wood floors, which is nice, but does it does make everything look a little brown and dark, so I thought I’d try and brighten it up a bit.   Besides towels, another thing we have a LOT of is old t-shirts.  I have been unsuccessfully attempting to pry some of them out of the husband’s hands for a long time, and after much nagging persuading, I finally managed to bag a few!  Hooray!  Before he had time to change his mind, I quickly cut them up and turned them into a rug.

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It was really easy, and I think it looks pretty cool.  This was simply knit in garter stitch (knit every row) on 10mm needles, with random colour changes whenever I felt like it.  It was so much fun that might do a bigger one for our bedroom, but maybe attempt a hexagon shape or something.

Making these rugs was pretty entertaining, but the best part is, they cost me NOTHING!  Nothing!  Not a cent!  Amazing.

Most of the work in these came from making the yarn.  This is a bit time consuming, but very simple, so if you’re interested in knitting or crocheting with t-shirt / towel strips yourself, here’s how to do it in a nutshell…

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Just do this.

Basically, cut your fabric into a big long strip, as wide as you want/need.  I didn’t bother too much about being consistent with the width, since I thought it would be cool if the rugs were a big bumpy, but I found that you don’t want to let it get less than 1″ wide, or it will rip too easily.  Also, jersey fabrics work better than woven fabrics, since they won’t fray as much.  Towels are really hard to cut, but can be ripped without much effort.

When you’re done, you’ll have a lovely chunky ball of yarn, like this…

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This one is just a face cloth. A towel makes a hilariously large ball.

This is not the only t-shirt banditry I’ve been perpetrating recently – tune in next time for more upcycling madness.

Happy crunching!

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