Planting time has finally arrived for us poor apartment-dwelling folk, so last weekend my roommate and I got to work potting lettuce and herb starts. With limited sun access and temperatures stubbornly remaining at lows of 35-40 for the past few weeks, we have to wait to plant things like tomatoes and cukes.
But we don’t have to wait to plant spider plants. Do you know what a spider plant is? It’s a virtually useless decorative plant that sends out about a zillion long, spindly appendages that end in little white flowers that turn into more spider plants. And it’s really hard to kill them. So what you end up with is way more spider plants than anyone wants. So you frantically try to give them to other people so that THEY can have more spider plants than THEY want, essentially furthering the cause of this insidious, but sort of pretty, species.
Anyway, the front porch railing currently has five spider plants sitting on it. Clearly something has to be done.
Plant hangers, of course!
“Partial Shades” T-Shirt Yarn Plant Hangers
A great mother’s day gift, especially if made from the grandkids’ old outgrown t-shirts! The color block or ombre look gives interest while the simple stitch pattern makes this a sturdy, uncomplicated project that you can finish in one relaxing weekend morning.
Some brief notes about T-shirt yarn + rambling:
See here for a guide to making t-shirt yarn.
I used T-shirt yarn cut to 1” strips and stretched tightly – your yarn may differ slightly in gauge if you cut it thicker or do not stretch it as tight. Just size it to your pot as best you can, and if you need a reference for building flat circles for the bottom, see here.
If you haven’t already, try modifying your hold on the hook when working with T-shirt yarn – hold it like a dagger and not like a pencil. (Some of you may do this already. I personally am a pencil holder*, but switch to dagger when I have to deal forcefully with something.)
* I mean that I hold the hook like a pencil, not that I myself am a device for holding pencils.
Size “K” hook
Different shades of T-shirt yarn – I used 2-3 balls of T-shirt yarn (2-3 Adult large t-shirts) per plant hanger. Results may vary.
A smallish planter – I used a 17” circumference pot, and wrote the pattern for that size, but it’s easy to customize the size by adding or subtracting rounds to the bottom circle.
Large-eyed yarn or tapestry needle.
Make Magic Ring.
Rnd 1: 6 Sc into the ring. Join with a slip stitch in the first sc of the round.
Rnd 2: Ch 1 (does not count as first sc in this round or in any subsequent rounds) 2 sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in the first sc of the round. – 12 sc
Rnd 3. Ch 1, sc in the same stitch, 2 sc in the next stitch. (1 sc in the next stitch, 2 sc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl stitch to the first sc of the round.- 18 sc.
Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in the same stitch, sc in the next stitch, 2 sc in the next stitch. (1 sc in each of the next 2 stitch, 2 sc in the next stitch) 5 times. Join with a sl st in the first sc of the round. – 24 sts
Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in the same stitch, sc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st. (1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st in the first sc of the round – 30 sts.
Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc in the same stitch, sc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st. (1 sc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st in the Back Loop Only of the first sc of the round – 36 sts.
Continue working 6 increase stitches per round until your bottom circle can cover the bottom of your pot. The next round will be worked in the BACK LOOPS ONLY. This gives a nice, clean edge to the shape of your holder. If you like a rounder look, you can work both loops.
Rnd 7: In BLO. Ch 1, sc in the same stitch. 1 sc in each stitch around. join with a sl st to both loops of the first sc of the round.
Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in the same stitch. Sc in each st of the round. Join with a sl stitch.
Rnds 9-17: Rpt Rnd 8. You can change colors at any point during these repeats, depending on how many color changes you desire or how much of each color of t-shirt yarn you have.
Rnd 18: Sl st in ea st around. This cleans up the rim and makes a neat looking edge. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in the yarn ends.
Cut 4 lengths of t-shirt yarn a little more than TWICE as long as you want your hanging length (I measured one armspan per, making half that length equal to the distance between my fingertips to my chest).
Double each length up, looping them under stitches of round 17 (NOT row 18, the slip stitch row) at four equal intervals.
Hook the loose ends and bring them through the loop, tightening them into a knot. Grab two adjacent yarn lengths, as show here…
and knot them less than halfway up. Do this for each point so that each yarn length is knotted to at length from an adjacent knot. Gather all the lengths together at the top and make one large knot, pulling tightly to secure (you can even slip a dab of glue in there if you plant on hanging a heavy pot).
Enjoy your airborn greenery!