Posts tagged "wool"

This week’s interesting reducing, reusing & recycling links

How can I reuse or recycle yarn cones?

yarn coneThis is a bit of an anticipatory post since said cone is still currently covered in a few of hundred grammes of yarn but anyway…

Yarn/wool cones. I bought a giant cone of yarn on eBay the other day from someone clearing out their yarn stash. I thought I’d use it for for my next big crafting project, a crocheted blanket but as the yarn is, well, sunshine (read: oh-my-God-so-bright) yellow, I’ll have to get another one in a less retina-straining tone to calm it down a bit – and that means I’ll then have two of these hollow cones.

The one I’ve got at the moment is about 20cm (8″) tall and tapered to around 7cm (3″) in diameter at the base from around 2.5cm (1″) at the top. It’s made of heavy duty cardboard – so recyclable – but you know me*, I prefer to reuse instead of recycle. I’ve also seen a lot of similarly sized plastic cones about which aren’t so easily recyclable.

Since it’s a craft-related item, I’m sure there are loads of crafty reuses – but what about practical things too?

* if you don’t know me, hi, I’m Louisa. I like to reuse and repurpose random things. It’s nice to meet you.

How can I reuse or recycle onion skins?

onion skinsWe’ve had an email from Jess:

Is there anything I can do with onion skins instead of just throwing them in the compost? I remember reading about using them to dye eggs at one point but I don’t want to dye eggs! Any other ideas?

Ours always go straight in the compost – usually because I’m getting into a panic about making the rest of the onion-based meal (burning! where’s the stock!? argh, we’re out of cheese! etc etc) – but I like the idea of doing something more with them too.

Apparently you can use them for dyeing other wool or cotton based things and not just eggs, but cotton stuff doesn’t tend to be very colour-fast so maybe use it for artwork or hardly-washed soft furnishings instead of your new favourite tshirt.

Is there anything else that can be done with them? Other practical or crafty suggestions? Or culinary ones (I have half a memory of them being good for reducing the taste of burnt stews…?)?

(Photo by grafbea)

How can I reuse or recycle an old pair of trousers?

trousersWe’ve covered old jeans before – and again when speaking specifically about making bags out of them – but these are a bit different.

I was sorting through my “in storage” clothing last week – stuff that’s in limbo, I don’t really think I’ll be wearing it again but can’t bring myself to take it to the charity shop/fabric recycling bin just yet – and I found my favourite work trousers from back in the day when I actually wore trousers for work. These were THE BEST WORK PANTS IN THE WORLD. They fitted me perfectly – hanging low, with long wide legs just as I like, had deep pockets at just the right place/angle and given the heavy, woolliness of them, they looked suitably work-y even when teamed with a never-ironed black shirt. I remember being really quite distraught when the fabric wore through at the bum. *nostalgic sob*.

So, anyway, I found these trousers last week and it was fun remembering all the good times we had together – all the time we ran up the stairs together, or sat at my desk together, or even those times when we soaked up puddles together – so it felt heartless to just send them off to be recycled.

Even with the worn/holey bum being out of action, there is quite a lot of good fabric because of the wide legs. I thought they might make a fun clutch purse or something – but wanted to run it by you crafty people first, in case you had any more awesome ideas. I am thinking crafty stuff primarily but any reuse suggestions would be great.

So ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle … old jumpers?

Wool clothI’ve a few old jumpers (aka sweaters, pullovers, woolly warm things) that aren’t really suitable for wearing any more by me or anyone else. I’ve either shrunk them a bit in the wash, or they’re stretched and baggy, or are stained in parts or are, frankly, a bit stinky in (under arm) parts.

I know that you can unpick old jumpers for their wool – but only if they’ve been knitted as a jumper, not if the different parts have been just cut from one big piece of cloth and (I forget the right term for it) kinda stuck together at the sides – if you unpick tops like that, you just get thousands of little pieces of wool, just one row in length rather than one piece of very long wool. Unfortunately all the woolies in question are of the latter, unpickable variety.

So given they’re not really any good for going charity-shop-ward and I can’t unpick them to feed my newfound knitting addiction, any other suggestions of things I can do with the cloth? Some of them have sleeves that are ok but the bodies are too far gone; on others the bodies are fine but the armpits and cuffs matted – so any suggestions for using up the different bits of them?

(Photo by fugue)