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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tips for Eco-Conscious Crochet

As an obsessed collector of stuff and a crocheter, I’ve noticed the push these days to rediscover items and collectibles from the past! I don’t think this fascination with "timeless treasures" has never been lost on my fellow crocheters. Admit it…You’re a collector…You’ve got a yarn leftovers stash that you just can’t part with! Just like me. And like me, you probably need and intervention! Check out the following tips from Leisure Arts crochet fans from over the years on how crochet enthusiasts of all skill levels can save abandoned yarn from the trash can and while also managing their yarn stashes.

• Be green and economically minded! Scour garage sales, flea markets, and other secondhand haunts for yarn. You'll be surprised at the variety of hues and the quality of material you can find at reasonable prices. Look for yarn with labeling that includes the fabric content and/or care instructions.
• Save on filler for your next pillow by stuffing it with leftover yarn (in the same or similar colors as your project). Yarn is a good substitute for white fiberfill, which can show through crocheted work.
• Recycle yarn left over from baby projects by crocheting it into 4-inch squares using single crochets. Border each square (also using single crochets) in a coordinating color. When you have enough squares to form rectangle, use whipstitching to join blocks into a baby shawl or carriage blanket. Scrap yarn can also be used to create coasters, pot holders, and hot mats. These are great ways to clean out that overflowing craft closet!
• Contrary to popular belief, you can reuse yarn from a previous project. The only challenge is removing kinks. After unraveling an item, your grandmother probably would've formed a large hank by winding yarn around her shoulder and the bend of her elbow. Instead, use a straight-back chair as a simple substitute. When finished, tie two scraps of the yarn around your hank to bind it; then immerse it in cold water until the yarn is completely soaked. Remove excess water by rolling the hank in a cloth towel, but don't wring it! Return the hank to a stretched position across the chair back to finish drying (if necessary to protect chair from moisture, wrap chair back with plastic first). Be sure to keep any wool yarns away from direct sunlight.
• To use up scrap yarn, work a variety of leaf and flower patterns and store them in zip bags. Then, when you’re working on a bathroom set, a wreath, a pillow, an afghan, or any other project that could benefit from these embellishments, you’ve already have different styles that are ready to attach. You can even tack on a pin back for a simple piece of colorful jewelry!
• Here’s a great idea for using up partial skeins of yarn. Tape two metal clothes hangers together with masking tape, then holding two strands of yarn together, make single crochets around the hangers for a cute wardrobe accessory!
• Love to crochet all kinds of projects but hate having a lot of small balls of yarn laying around? Each is usually not enough to use in another project, but too much for us "pack-rats" to throw away. Solution: Keep a few patterns for scrap yarn afghans that feature small motifs handy, so when you finish a project, instead of throwing the small ball of yarn away, pull out a pattern and use the remaining yarn to make motifs. Once you have enough motifs, complete the afghan. Doing this not only uses up extra yarn, but it also makes scrap yarn afghans requiring hundreds of motifs less overwhelming.
• When those leftover little balls of yarn start adding up, get out your favorite square pattern and just keep adding on the extra yarn. The various colors mix together wonderfully, and the one square turns into an entire afghan—it's really fun to watch it all come together in the end.
• Combine cotton yarns left over from making dishcloths to make multicolored pot holders.

Looking for a few good crochet pattern books to inspire you to use up that leftover yarn? Check out some of my favorite titles and patterns:

It can be fun and easy being green!

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas. I always struggle with what to do with those bits of yarn. I like the idea of making squares and sving them til there are enough to put together.


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