Posts tagged "knitting"

How can I reuse or recycle a lot of white yarn?

We’ve had another email from friend of Recycle This Petra:

From my sister in law I inherited a lot of yarn, mostly small balls of the same. I know you covered the item about the short ends of yarn and what to do with it. My question is a bit related.

A lot of the yarn is white or off-white. Not a colour I would choose for knitting a sweater for myself. And also for my kids, white is not a very
handy choice. Moreover, most of the yarn is synthetic, which I don’t really like to wear and makes it difficult to paint in a different colour.
So, my question is: What can I do with that white yarn? It is a box full of yarn (20 by 30 by 20 cm).

It’s not the right season to be thinking about it but my first thought was snowflake Christmas decorations (Mary Horesh recommended this crochet pattern on Twitter when she made them in December) – but if you used all of the yarn to make snowflakes, it would be more like a 10ft deep blizzard rather than a pretty delicate sprinkling of decorative snow ;)

Looking forward rather than back, I don’t wear white or choose to wear synthetics either but a lot of people do – and spring & summer are the months when a little white shrug or cardigan might be useful – perhaps keep some and pass the rest on to someone else via Freecycle/Freegle or Ravelry’s destash area.

Any other suggestions of patterns of things to make with it (ideally not clothes)? Or places to pass it on?

(Photo by missa88)

How can I make knitting stitch markers using recycled old stuff?

stitch_markersMost of our “how can I make…” posts recently have been big things, or house things, or both so here is something different for a change.

How can I make stitch markers for knitting/crochet reusing or recycling old junk and whatnot? I end up using whatever is to hand and vaguely stitch marker shaped – bent out of shape paperclips or bits of paper with holes torn in them usually. The paperclips often snag on the wool and the torn paper is … less than satisfactory and usually results in me abandoning markers altogether.

Now I know you can buy super cheap plastic ones for just a couple of quid but I’m trying to avoid being a super cheap plastic kind of girl these days so I’d rather make my own – if I make my own recycling old stuff, not only am I reducing waste, I’m also more likely to take care of them/not lose them because I’ve put time and effort into them, rather than just paying a few pence for them.

I’ve seen other handmade ones using light metal rings with decorative beads attached, which are a good starting point – aside from the made-for-purpose jump rings etc, old washers from a random old fixings box or drink can ring pulls might work for the hoop — although both would probably need a bit of work (painting?) to make sure there isn’t any sharp bits or rusty spots which might ruin the yarn. Any other suggestions?

However, I prefer split stitch markers – the clip-type ones used for crochet – which I suspect will be a bit harder to make. I could just bend a piece of reclaimed wire into shape but where’s the fun in that? ;) Any better suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle odd or bent knitting needles?

knitting_needles.jpgA few weeks ago, someone emailed me to ask for creative ways to re-use old shopping bags. I directed her to the shopping bags post we did last year and told her about my experience of knitting some flimsy bags into a heavy-duty shopping bag: I used large gauge needles and it was surprisingly easy and fun – until I accidentally leaned on one of the (plastic) needles and snapped it clean in half.

Recalling the story and my clumsiness made me realise I still have the odd knitting needles kicking about in my craft box and I wondered, as I frequently do, “how can I reuse or recycle that?”

I could keep it in my stash to use as a spare in the future but I hope I won’t repeat my snap-happy snapping again so won’t need a spare. My needle stash is already quite sizeable (thanks to eBay and raiding my mum’s old needle collection) for the amount of knitting that I do and keeping spares might make it quickly spin out of control.

But what else can I do with the odd ones? Or what about the couple of bent ones I’ve got a little over-eager about a scarf? Some of them are grey plastic while the bent ones are usually grey-painted metal.

(Photo by n0nnahs)

How can I reuse or recycle … old wool?

WoolHad an email from Cadan ap Tomos:

My mother is a knitting fanatic. She knits all the time. Yesterday she had a bag full of wool she didn’t want anymore. She was about to throw them away, until I came and said: “We can recycle that!” and grabbed it out of her hands. Well, actually, she gave it
to me to put in the bin, but i snuck it up to my bedroom instead! So I went to your wonderful website, to find that the item was not there! So, here is the suggestion: How can I reuse or recycle: old wool?

So any suggestions for Cadan? I’m guessing they’re not full balls of wool so ideas for scraps as well as long lengths would be helpful.

(Photo by Noche)