Lotus Mandala Duster

After seeing some great circular vests and talking about them with a fellow crocheter last festival, I came home inspired to do something I’ve had in my notebook for a while – rework my Lotus Throw pattern into a mandala-based circular vest! Which I did, and actually I did twice, which is why this post is a two-parter – each with a different FREE pattern guide. The sister pattern to this Lotus Mandala Duster is called the Lotus Circular Vest and can be found here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 🙂 – This is the OLD version of this pattern. If you are considering starting this pattern, I recommend using the NEW version, which has been cleaned up and has stitch counts and more detailed tutorial sections as well as TWO sizes instead of one. 😀

ACT ONE

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The Lotus Mandala Duster was one of those gravitational crochet projects that start with a small directionless idea and sort of grows and develops a certain gravity that pulls in other ideas and materials until it is way bigger than I meant it to be! It also qualifies as what I call a “sweater hack” since a large part of the materials came from yarn that was rescued from a boring old sweater and restitched into a new form.

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This first piece was a doozy, because I wanted a really earthy western influenced duster style jacket and I also wanted to use up some #2 weight yarn doing it – I ended up using my fractal plied handspun for the center and outer accent, some recycled cotton blend sweater yarn** I’ve had forever, and a DK weight cotton blend to fill in the gaps. And I made the only partially conscious decision to add a little Lannister influence with a dramatic pointed bell sleeve. I guess I’ve been watching too much Game of Sleeves. I mean, Thrones.

**To get your own recycled sweater yarn, see my extensive tutorial Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn.

Both patterns a bit more like guides, since the basic circular pattern makes it easy to add or subtract rows, adjust sizing, and freestyle if desired (it’s encouraged.) This Duster  was made in size small, a few of the outer circle worked on only the top half (to balance the length since the armholes are placed high) and the sleeves are tutorial style instead of written in stitch counts.  Since the Duster style coat was made with a bunch of homeless recycled yarn, I have don’t have a precise yardage requirement, but it tends to be around 1500 yards according to Ravelry and my own personal experience. 🙂

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Lotus Mandala Duster

Notes: The Lotus Circular Vest has better close-up photographs of the central motif, so if you are having trouble figuring out a round you might find it helpful to look at the pictures on that post 🙂

5.5 mm hook, #1, #2, or #3 weight yarn – the recycled yarn I used was around 17 WPI, which could be fingering or sport depending on which chart you look at. Be sure to test your gauge, listed below.

Gauge: 3″ measured across the diameter after Rnd 3.

Final Dimensions:
22.5″ radius (measured from center of motif to bottom edge)
50″ diameter (measured from collar to bottom edge)

Some terms:

4-DC Cluster – Work 4 dc stitches, keeping the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 5  loops on the hook.

Shell – 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc

Make Magic Ring.

HI THERE!! It’s me again. In case you missed it in the paragraphs above, you should really consider working from the new, updated version of this pattern. I left the old version up just in case someone still needs it, but the newer pattern is really where it’s at – two different sizes, rewritten instructions, etc. Okay, just making sure you knew. 🙂

  1. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round.
  2. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sc, ch 1) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  3. Sc into the next ch-1 space, ch 1 – counts as first dc with last loop on the hook. Dc into ch-1 space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 3) 6 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1. Hdc in the top of the first cluster. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin your next round.
  4. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on hk, dc into ch-3 space 3 more times keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 2, work 1 4-dc cluster in same ch-3 space, ch 2. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same sp, ch 2) 7 times. 4-dc cluster in next space, ch 2. Join with a sl st in top of first cluster.
  5. Sl st in first ch-2 space. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on the hk. Dc into the same space 3 more times keeping last lps on hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk – first 4-dc cluster made, Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster into the next ch-2 space, ch 3) 14 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 sp, dc in the top of the first cluster.
  6. Ch 3 – counts as first dc, 2 more dc in same space, Ch 3. (3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  7. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Sk next dc, 2 Hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc in the next ch-3 sp – shell made. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc .) 16 times. Join with a sl st in first sl st.
  8. Ch 6 – counts as first dc + ch 3, sc in the top of next tr stitch in the middle of the shell, ch 3. (Dc in the next sl st between shells, ch 3, sc in next treble, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  9. Ch 3. Yarn over twice, insert hook into next sc and draw up a lp, (YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk) twice – one treble stitch leaving last lp on the hk made. Treble in next dc, leaving last lp on the hk – 3 lps remain on the hk. YO, draw through all 3 lps, ch 7. (In same dc as previous treble, treble crochet leaving last lp on hk, treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk, treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk – 4 lps on the hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk, ch 7) 15 times. Join with a sl st in top of first treble.
  10. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1*, dc in top of joined trebles, ch 1) 16 times, ending last repeat at *. Sl st into 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  11. (Ch 3. 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space*, ch 3, sl st in next dc) 16 times. On 16th rpt, end at *, dc in same st as beg ch-3.
  12. Ch 3 – counts as first tr with last loop on the hk. Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and draw through both lps on the hook – first tr2tog made. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4. (Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the top of the next cluster. Sk next 2 chain-3 spaces, work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and pull through all 3 lps. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the first tr2tog. – 16 clusters + 16 tr2tog + 32 chain space
  13. Sl st in next ch-4 space. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 4 dc in same space. (1 dc in top of cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in top of joined trebles, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 15 times. 1 dc in top of next cluster,  5 dc in next ch-5 space, 1 dc in top of joined trebles. Join with a slip stitch to top of first dc.
  14. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 95 times. Join with a sl stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  15. (Sk next ch-1 space, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc in next dc, skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 48 times.
  16. Ch 3 in the same st – counts as first dc. Sk next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st (1 hdc in the next st, sk next st, 1 dc in the next st, sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st) 47 times. Hdc in next stitch, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  17. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) 95 times. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5.
  18. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 3) 95 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.
  19. Sc in the same ch space, ch 3. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 3) 94 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.
  20. Rpt rnd 19.

Armhole round:

  1. Ch 3 – counts as first dc in V-stitch pattern. (1 dc in the next ch space,  ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, sk the next  6 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, sk the next 6 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 63 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

22: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 480 sts (It has come to my attention that this stitch count, and therefore some of the other counts following, might be off, so please bear with me until I can check it!)

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The placement of the armholes determines the size – measure straight across the shoulder blades to check your sizing.

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Dc in the same st, sk next 2 sts (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next st. Sk next 2 sts) 158 times. 1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next st. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  2. Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch-1. 1 dc in the same space. (1 dc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the same space) 159 times. Sl st in the 2nd ch of beg sc+ch-3.
  3. (Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 4) 159 times.  Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.
  4. Sc in the same space, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 4) 158 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.
  5. Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 158 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round.

28-30. Rpt rnd 27.

  1. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 158 times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round
  2. Sc in the same sp, 6 dc in next sc – one fan made. (1 sc in next ch-6 sp, 6 dc in next sc) 159 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round.
  3. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. Sc in 3rd dc of fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2 (dc in next sc, ch 2. Sc in the 3rd dc of next fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2) 158 times. Dc in the next sc, ch 2, sc in the 3rd dc of next fan ch 1, sc in the next dc, work 1 hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5.
  4. Ch 4 – counts as first hdc + ch 2. (Hdc in the next ch-2 space, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2) 159 times. Hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, hdc in the 2nd ch of beg ch-2.

At this point the bottom of my duster was the length that I wanted it, so I switched to working the following rounds on the top half only so that the bottom wouldn’t be too long.

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  1. Sc in the same space, ch 2 – counts as first dc. (Dc in the next ch-2 space, ch 1, dc in the same sp) 480 times. In first ch-2 sp of round, dc, ch 1, join with a sl st to 2nd ch of the beg ch-2.
  2. Sl st in the next dc and in the next ch space, ch 2 – counts as first dc with last loop left on hook, work 2 more dc in same space, leaving last lps on the hk. YO, pull through all lps on hk -3 dc cluster made, ch 2. (3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2) 480 times. Join with a sl st to the top of the first cluster.

Work next round over entire brim of sweater.

  1. Sl st into the next ch-2 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc. 2 dc in the same space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) around. Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Sleeves:

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After Step 1 of the sleeves

Step 1. Attach yarn on the inside of the armhole, ch 2 – counts as first dc.. 2 dc in ea ch space, 1 dc into the base of all 30 ch sts. 2Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. For larger sleeves, work 3 or 4 dc sts into each ch space. Work the same number of dc sts into the base of the chain.

Step 2. Sc in the same st, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round.

Step 3. Sc in the same sp, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sp, ch 1) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round.

After a couple rows of this, size down to a smaller hook if desired. I sized down to 4.5 to make the sleeve snug on my upper arm.

Rpt row 3 until your total reaches 17 rows, or until the length reaches your elbow.

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Locate the ch space that is centered at the back of the elbow and mark it. (14th space from the join for me) This will now be  the increase center.

Step 4. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. The middle chain space made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around. Repeat until short side of sleeve is about mid-forearm (9 rounds for me)

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3 spaces created in one chain space forms the increase.

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After several rounds of Step 4

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Side view – Step 4

Step 5. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the space before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the next space. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the space after the increase center. The middle chain space made in the middle increase is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around.

Step 6. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the middle of one increase before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the third increase. The middle chain space in the middle increases made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around. (Basically, put a 3-space increase in the center of each increase, dc + ch 1 in every other space.)

Step 7. Sc in the same sp, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the sp, ch 1) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round. – repeat until you reach 2 rows from where you want your sleeve to end (just past the wrist for me).

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Sleeve Detail. Witchy!

Step 8. On the 2nd to last row, 2 dc in ea ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea dc around.

Step 9. One the last row, 1 dc in ea st around.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat sleeve on the other side.

Weave in all ends.

And yes, I named it “Stevie” after the famous singer/songwriter and style icon, Sleevie Nicks. I mean, Stevie Nicks.

-MF

Update ! : Here are some photos of Steps 5 &6 of the ultra-ruffle sleeves, by request.

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After Step 5. As you can see, each of the spaces of the [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase have a [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase. For step 6, you will increase in the middle space of each of these three increases.

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Dc, ch 1 around the sleeve until you get the the middle (2nd) ch-1space of the first of the three [(Dc,ch1)4x] increases. (Dc,ch1) 4 times in that space.

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Dc, ch1 in ea ch-1 space until you reach the middle space of the next [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase – three times in this case. [(Dc,ch1) 4 times] in the middle space.

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Dc, ch 1 in ea ch-1 space until you reach the middle space of the third [(Dc, ch 1 ) 4x] increase. [(Dc, ch1) 4 times] in the middle space. Continue the sleeve by working one (Dc, ch1) in ea of the rest of the ch-1 spaces around.

It does hang kind of wacky at first, until you add more non-increased rows in Step 7 to balance things out.

T-Shirt Rug Tutorial

Here’s another project that fits firmly into the “tired of staring at it because it’s been sitting on my desk for over a year so I might as well finish it” category!

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There’s no real reason that it took me so long to finish, other than I got continuously distracted by other projects and lost my momentum on it. It was the fourth crocheted t-shirt rug from this series that I posted a while ago, in which I allude to the method but don’t provide much of an explanation. Today I am remedying that!

But FIRST! Here’s how to make T-shirt yarn via Endlessly Inspired.

I got the idea of using yarn to crochet around the t-shirt strips from Pinterest (of course) but felt that I could make things a little more interesting by experimenting with stitch designs..
MerryPrankster2…. which was fun, but sometimes one desires a more mindless exercise. So I experimented with ducking the t-shirt yarn strip in front of and behind the stitch, and came up with a design that makes the strip form  eye-pleasing rings of bobbles or nubs, or in the case of my most recent rug, stones on sand.

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Crocheting around the T-shirt yarn in this way is soooooo much easier, neater-looking, and more economical  than trying the crochet the t-shirt yarn itself. I always make my own t-shirt yarn, so it’s also better because it’s easy to switch from one ball to another with this method. So enough talk… how is it done?

Crocheted T-shirt Rug How-To

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You need:

A large amount of cotton or acrylic yarn (A skein of Caron One Pound usually gets the job done nicely, with some to spare)

T-shirt Yarn (I use home-made, but store bought works too!)

A 6.00 mm hook

Start by making a magic ring. 6 sc into the ring tightly. Sc into the first sc of the first round to begin a joinless, in-the-round crochet circle. *

*I will not be giving instructions for increases in the round because I’m making the assumption that the crocheter already knows how to handle this – just work them in the same proportion as you usually would or decide how many you need to keep it flat as you go. 

In the second round of stitching, hold the t-shirt yarn flat against the last row and start to stitch the single crochet over the tail of this yarn until you have worked 3-5 stitches or have anchored it securely. Once you have secured the t-shirt yarn, you will begin weaving it in and out of the sc stitches.

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This isn’t a picture of the second round, but you can see where I have begun the new strip by anchoring it within the sc stitching before I start weaving it in and out.

Continuing to work in the round (and adding increases where necessary), hold the t-shirt yarn to the back of your work and work a sc in the next stitch. Keep in mind that the t-shirt yarn should be completely to the back of the work so that the yarn is not held within the stitch at all.

*Tightening the sc after working it by holding the loop steady and pulling on your working yarn makes the rug nice and firm and helps the t-shirt yarn bobbles look neat.

Before you work the next stitch, bring the t-shirt yarn completely to the front of the work, so that you are working your next sc behind the t-shirt strand.

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Work the next sc, tighten it down if necessary, then return the t-shirt strand to the back of the work – this will wrap the t-shirt yarn around the stitch you just made, creating a little t-shirt bobble.

With the t-shirt yarn at the back, make another sc in the next stitch.

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Continue alternating holding the t-shirt yarn in front or back, until you get near the end of the strand or decide to change colors. Return the t-shirt yarn to the top of your work and work a series of several sc stitches OVER the yarn, so that it is trapped in the stitch again. Do this until the end is reached, then begin the next strand the same way.

I like to vary the proportion of bobbles in the front (i.e – bring the t-shirt yarn to the front every two stitches, every three stitches, etc) to provide visual interest, or alternate rounds of bobbles with rounds of t-shirt yarn carried along inside openwork stitches.

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T-shirt yarn carried inside openwork stitches (granny blocks in this case)

As I’ve mentioned before, carrying T-shirt yarn along while you crochet regular yarn is a lot easier on your hands than trying to crochet the t-shirt yarn itself!  And this way, there’s tons of variations you can try.

My rugs usually end up being somewhere between 32-45″, for use as small accent rugs or even table centerpieces (and if you use all cotton materials, really awesome hotpads are possible!)  Lately, I’ve been thinking more about making them specifically for use as djembe rugs for the drum-circle going type! This of course has nothing to do with the djembe I recently purchased after a drumming workshop.

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Ain’t she pretty?

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Typical. I finally finish a project that I’ve been dragging my feet on, and I immediately want to start another.

-MF

I Sing a Song of Plastic Bag Yarn

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Out of all the materials I have ever crocheted with, I would have to say one of the most fun and rewarding is Plarn. For those of you who don’t know, “plarn” is the common terminology for “yarn” or cordage made from repurposed plastic grocery bags (plastic + yarn = plarn).

Despite the name, plarn actually contains no yarn and is made up entirely of strips from these grocery bags. Many countries have put initiatives in place to stop the enormous amount of plastic grocery bags from entering landfills and polluting the environment – but in America, we are mostly still woefully wasteful when it comes to these things.

That’s why it’s so satisfying to turn them into art instead!  Also it’s like SOOOOOO FREEEEE.

Did I mention how durable this stuff is? You may not think that plarn would be strong, since grocery bags are relatively weak, but once you combine and stitch them, they are astonishingly durable. The first plastic bag yarn bag I ever made was in 2010, a nice simple drawstring mesh bag. For 6 years I have crammed my shower supplies and towels in that thing and dragged it from camping trips to festivals to cross-country journeys and it’s still holding up. Mind you, I have not treated the poor thing gently at all. That’s how strong this stuff can be!

I won’t show you a picture of that bag, since it is pretty dingy after all that back woods hippie behavior, but I do have a few others to show. Here’s one from 2012…

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I used tapestry crochet for the trunk on the flap of this messenger bag and then slip stitched the green plarn on the surface to make a swirling leaf design.

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If you’re friends are nice enough, they will save you special colored plastic bags and you can make something like this mandala messenger style bag out of colorful plarn!

There’s lots of different ways to make plastic bag yarn, so I’ve collected a few links to tutorials I find most helpful to narrow down the search:

This HubPage article by Moira Durano-Abesmo demonstrates both the double-strand and the single-strand method for creating plarn (I use the double strand method)…

…while this Hubpage article by the same author talks about ways to make plarn softer by spinning it or working it.

Look At What I Made has a great post about making plastic bag “thread” for use in smaller plastic bag projects. Also, she mentions that plastic bags in the UK are mostly biodegradable now and therefore not good for use in projects you want to last! Again, here in wasteful America this isn’t a consideration, but something to keep in mind for readers from other countries.

Another great video on making plarn and then spinning it can be found on Youtube in a video from Wind Rose Fiber Studio.

Of course, there’s a million billion awesome creative uses for this plastic bag yarn once you’ve made it. I tend to make bags (I call them Bag Bags), but one simple Pinterest search will overwhelm you with other ideas – like this awesome Hammock project from Too Many Hobbies, Too Little Time.

One thing I searched for but couldn’t find was a tutorial for the “whole bag method” that was taught to me by someone who used it to make recycled plastic rope. It’s stunningly simple AND you don’t have to worry about throwing away those pesky handles!

The theory is similar to the double strand method, only you use entire bags to make the loops instead of strips of a single bag. To start, you need some plastic bags (duh) and scissors.

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Take the scissors and cut down the side of the bag, from the bottom of the handle opening down to the seam at the bottom. Repeat for the other side.

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Grasp the bottom seam in one hand and the top handles in the other, and smoosh the entire bag into one big loop.

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Grab another bag and repeat, making other big loop.

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Overlay the loops and pull one back through itself, creating a knot.

Continue making whole bag loops and looping them together. The cordage that this makes is really thick and stronger than normal plarn, especially if you twist or braid whole strands of this stuff together into rope!

It’s so thick that I haven’t tried to crochet plarn (plope?) made from this method, although I am sure there are intrepid bulky crocheters or knitters out there that have done so or will do. What about you? Have you worked with plarn, and if so, what do you like to make with it?

-MF

 

The Sweet and the Sass

 

Recycled Sweater Yarn shawl 2

Yep, used to be a boring, unwanted, lonely, sad white sweater. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that sweaters aren’t good enough. Some of my best friends are sweaters. But I could see this sweater was suffering, yearning for a transformation, wanting desperately to better itself.

So I pulled out the lovely yarn (a cotton / wool / synthetic blend) and dyed it in a self-striping colorway, which I have named “Silk and Cherrywood” because the soft, delicate tones remind me of a fancy, old-timey boudoir.

Thinking about how long I spent on this gives me the vapors.

Givin’ me the vapors!

I lightly freestyled Make My Day Creative’s “Atlantic Lace Shawl” pattern, a wonderful free pattern that I featured in my Spring Scarves Pattern Gallery.

The color change lengths came out almost perfectly for this particular pattern, not too patchy as I feared (I don’t usually like that “camo” look in variegated yarns). I also happened to already have beads that matched! Joy!

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-MF

Simple Stylish Market Bag

For the grocery store, farmer’s market, or even beach – these cotton mesh bags are incredibly useful, expandable, and durable. Plus they take up virtually no space when empty.

AND they’re super easy to crochet.

Crochet Market Bag

I posted this bag not long ago, and due to it’s popularity decided to publish the pattern. In the original post I mentioned that it’s made with cotton yarn upcycled from an old sweater – and so is this one!

Market Bag Teal

For more information on getting your hands on recycled sweater yarn, see my definitive tutorial Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn. You don’t need recycled yarn to make this bag, though – any cotton yarn will do.

Like Vickie Howell Cotton-ish for Bernat. Color shown is

Like Vickie Howell Cotton-ish for Bernat. Color shown is “Cotton Gin.”

Simple Stylish Market Bag pattern

Notes: The chain lengths at the beginning of rounds 1-7 DO NOT count as the first dc.

Gauge is not critical

3.75 crochet hook.

150 yards #3 weight cotton yarn – recycled yarn or store bought, like Bernat “Cotton-ish” pictured above.

Rnd 1: Ch 4. Dc 12 into the 4th ch from the hook, join with a sl st in the first dc. – 12 sts made

Rnd 2: Ch 3. 2 dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl stitch to first dc. – 24 sts made

Rnd 3: Ch  3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl st to first dc. – 36 sts made.

Rnd 4: Ch 3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 1 dc in the next stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 48 sts made

Rnd 5: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 60 sts made

Rnd 6: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 72 sts made.

Rnd 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 84 sts made.

Rnd 8: Sc in the same st as sl stitch join.  (Ch 4, skip 2 sts. Sc in the next st) rpt 27 times around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-4 sized space.

Rnd 9: Sc in the same space. (Ch 4, sc in the next ch-4 space) rpt 27 times around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round.

Rnds 10-23: Rpt Rnd 9.

Rnd 24: 2 Sc in the same ch-4 sized space. 3 sc in ea of the next 27 ch-4 spaces. 1 sc in the next ch-4 space, join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

Rnds 25 & 26: Sc in the same st as sl st join. 1 sc in each sc around, join with a slip stitch in the 1st sc of the round – 84 stitches.

Rnd 27: Ch 2 to begin a double chain (tutorial here), double chain 50 (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip  22 sts of Round 26, sc in the next stitch (this creates a 22-stitch long gap between Rnd 26 and the double chain of Rnd 27, which will become your handle). 1 sc in each of the next 19 sts. Ch 2 to begin a double chain, make 50 double chain stitches (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip 22 stitches of Rnd 26, sc in the next stitch. 1 sc in each of the next 18 sts. Sl st into the base of the handle chain (your first double chain). You should have 2 evenly placed 50-stitch long chain arcs.

Rnds 28 & 29: 1 sc in each st around, stitching into the double chains as a normal part of your round to form an unbroken, continuous stitch sequence between the bag and handle.

Cut yarn and weave in the ends using a tapestry needle.

Crochet Market Bags

Got questions or comments? Leave ’em!

-MF

Update 12/28/15 – I finally converted this baby to PDF! Download this (still free) pattern via Ravelry.

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn – Unraveling & Finishing

Recycling Sweater Yarn cover

Unraveling / Pulling

Congratulations! It’s time to start building a big fat yarn ball, for a teeny tiny fraction of what it would cost at a yarn boutique.

And this is just the sleeve!

And this is just the sleeve!

You may be tempted to just pull and pull, amassing a huge pile of unraveled yarn beside you. Unless you want a huge headache later, DON’T DO THAT. Your yarn will tangle in a big way when you try to wind it back up. Instead, wind your yarn up into a ball as you go, continuing to wind with every few rows that you pull.

There’s just not a whole lot to say about this part of the process. You pull. You wind. Pull. Wind. It would be pretty Zen except for burrs. Remember those?

Top: Behold the burr - it's wrapped around the yarn I'm pulling and the next loop on the seam-stitch chain.  Bottom: The same burr, highlighted in red.

Top: Behold the burr – it’s wrapped between the yarn I’m pulling and the next loop on the seam-stitch chain.
Bottom: The same burr, highlighted in red.

They’re little loose strands of fiber that wrap themselves up around two strands of yarn in the sweater, making them appear connected.  They happen most frequently at the edges of a knit piece. The one pictured above is a really mild one. Sweaters with higher content of fuzzy fiber (mohair, angora, alpaca, etc), even sweaters with a high content of regular wool, are prone to bad ones.

At 54% alpaca, this sweater is composed of 100% burr.

At 54% alpaca, this sweater is composed of 100% burr.

If you get a burr so bad you can’t tell what is yarn strand and what is loose fiber, get in there with your trusty seam ripper and poke around.  A gentle tug can help reveal things too, but whatever you do, don’t just pull and pull at the tangle, that will only make it worse.

The only other advice I can offer for defeating these things is just keep at it – practice makes it a lot easier to recognize and deal with them. Once you figure out where the problem is, get the crook of the seam ripper in there and sever the fibers forming the burr.

Another good reason I don’t use scissors is that it leaves the tiny bits of seam yarn hooked around the ends of the rows, making pulling later on somewhat more complicated. The yarn gets stuck on the seam bits, and if you are already pulling a yarn that is prone to burrs this just intensifies the frustrations.

Hint! Recognizing a double knit – It’s not easy to tell a double knit sweater when selecting a victim. Unless you’re really good, you probably won’t know until you break in – when you discover you have two strands to pull instead of one. No worries though, because it’s really not so much harder than having one single strand – but you can’t pull several rows of one and not the other. My method is to pull them together and wind them separately if I want thin yarn, or just wind them together if I want a thicker strand.

Finishing

You’re almost there! By now you should have several balls of yarn harvested from the pieces of sweater you separated earlier. You will also have noticed that it’s wrinkly and kinky, still retaining some of the shape it took when it was a knit sweater. If’n you prefer, you can leave it just like that and be done with this project. If you do that and then make another garment from this yarn, you may suffer a minor change of shape and size when you wash and block the finished piece. If that doesn’t bother you, then stick a fork in yourself because you’re done.

If you intend to get the kinks out of your yarn, you are going to need something to wind your yarn ball onto to form a loop. The back of a chair works just fine, but I infinitely prefer a niddy noddy, a little handheld device that not only winds your yarn into a convenient loop, but also measures yardage. I made one cheaply out of PVC pipe – the instructions are here at the Anticraft.

Wind your yarn up onto your device until you run out of yarn ball. Use small lengths of yarn or string to tie the bundle in 4-6 different places, loosely, then slip the yarn off of your winding device. Do this with every ball.

Recycle Sweater Niddy Noddy

Recycle Yarn Niddy Noddy

Next, get a bucket, tub, bowl, or clean sink and fill it with enough luke-cold water to cover your yarn. Dunk all of your yarn bundles, making sure to leave them submerged long enough to get it soaked through. Don’t agitate it. Gently press it under if you must (I usually must).

It's not lunch, it's recycled yarn!

It’s not lunch, it’s recycled yarn!

After it’s soaked, remove your yarn and lay it on a towel or hold it over the sink to GENTLY squeeze excess water out. It should still be wet feeling when you’re done, but not dripping water. Grab your hangers – I use two for every individual bundle,  but you can double up – it just takes slightly longer to fully dry if you do.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Drying

Loop the bundle around one hanger and hook the second to the bottom of the loop.

When I first started recycling sweater yarn I used a can to weigh down my yarn after dousing it, until I received some wonderful advice – just use another hanger. Cans are too heavy and will overstretch your wet yarn, not to mention they are difficult to balance on the yarn! Hook the top of a solid plastic hanger at the bottom, give it a little tug, and let it hang.

I have used a steam iron to straighten out the kinks in my yarn before, but it was not worth the trouble at all, and if you’re dealing with a sweater that’s part synthetic materials, you risk accidentally altering the feel of your fibers. These days I leave my yarns to hang in the laundry room and forget about them for a few days until they are dry.

Recycle Yarns

(Left to right) Two recycled cotton sweater yarns and a fun primitive-look handspun.

Hint! If you want to speed drying, wait about half a day and then rotate the bundle on the hangers. The top will have dried more, as gravity pulled the water to the bottom of the bundle. Putting the wetter part at the top will spread the water out again as it flows downward, speeding evaporation.

Once your yarn is dry, it’s done. Wind it back up into the ball or skein style of your choice. This is a good time to have a yarn swift and winder, but as for me I haven’t budgeted for those yet.
You may want to measure your yardage. You can do this using the niddy noddy and counting wraps, or you can do it the lazy way by counting out a few yards and weighing it via your trusty digital scale. Grab a calculator – the formula for grams per yard is total weight / yardage. So say I weighed 10 yards and it registered at 2 g… that would mean the yarn weighs .2 g per yard.

You may ALSO want to measure WPI (wraps per inch) of your yarn – this is also a factor in determining yarn weights and categories, and it’s an easy one. Grab a good ol’ plastic ruler and start wrapping around, not overlapping your yarn but laying each wrap closely beside the other. However many wraps it takes to cover an inch is your WPI.

BUT WAIT! You can re-spin or dye your recycled yarn! Instructions for those things aren’t included here, but maybe someday I will get around to it. You’re probably tired of reading now anyway.

Or maybe you were two posts ago.

Recycled

Recycled Nylon/Angora/Wool blend, re-spun to add more FLOOF

If you have feedback on this tutorial, I beg of you to leave it here good sir or madame.

Getting Started & Breaking In V.1

Breaking In V.2

-MF

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn – Breaking In V.2

Recycling Sweater Yarn cover

Breaking In Version 2

Start at the same place you would for Version 1 – the end of the sleeve, where your hand would come out.  Remember those two fat lines we talked about?

Top: Correct seam Bottom: Correct seam, highlighted

Top: Correct seam
Bottom: Correct seam, highlighted

Take those two fat lines and pull them apart, separating them down the middle.  In between those two knit edge pieces are the horizontal bars of the seam.

Top: Pulling apart the knit edges Bottom: The seam strands between the edges, highlighted. This is what you want to cut.

Top: Pulling apart the knit edges
Bottom: The seam strands between the edges, highlighted. This is what you want to cut.

Version 2 uses a pair of scissors to cut up the seam, severing those bars.

And here’s the part about why I don’t use scissors – imagine sitting there, pulling and pulling away at the sweater pieces trying to reveal that seam – eventually the strands joined WITH that seam start to stretch, too. It becomes really easy at this point to mistake one strand of knitting for the actual seam. And it only takes one snip into the wrong place to interrupt that nice fat yarn ball we will be building later. NOW, if you don’t mind having a greater amount of smaller lengths, you can certainly choose the scissors option and speed things up; personally I’m in it for as much unsullied, uninterrupted yardage as I can get.

Anyway, get your scissors in there and cut!

Recycle Sweater Yarn Scissors method

You can deal with the rest of the seams the same way – separate the knit edges and cut the seam in between them.

Now that you’ve got your seams taken care of, you want to get to the pulling. I understand. You Version 2 users are wild and free spirits. You like to feel the wind in your yarn & caution be damned.

Which is why some of you might want to take the ultimate cheater route – skipping over the often frustrating collar seams entirely. Lay out your sweater like this:

DSCN0727

You CAN’T cut INTO the KNIT PIECE on the vertical lines – if you are a knitter, you understand why (this severs the yarn in a million different places…. Just like those incorrect seams we talked about).  You have to cut the SEAMS on the vertical lines no matter what. But you CAN cut INTO the knit on the horizontal lines, just below the collar and sleeve yokes, separating the chest pieces without any more fuss.

Seam Cut Yes No

The green shows the cut line. Do not cut on the red line unless you are cutting the seams.

Same goes for the sleeves – you have to deal with the seam that runs down the sleeve, but you can cut off the top if you choose.

Seam Cut Yes No 2

The upshot is that you will have to deal with all those little cut pieces of yarn in the knit before you find your continuous strand. Start plucking those babies off until you find your way in.

Upcycle Sweater Yarn bitsEven if you don’t take the ultimate cheater route, Version 2 users will probably want to deal with finding the yarn to pull by cutting off at least the VERY TOP of the knit sweater piece once separated. The “top” of the piece is going to be the part that was closest to the collar of the sweater.

Top of the sleeve piece

Top of the sleeve piece

The top will be bound off, not loose. Use the scissors to snip the very edge of the piece off.

Sweater Recycle Yarn top chopPluck off the little guys to find your way in.

Hint! I have found that when you have to clear off bits of cut yarn, stretching the piece width-wise helps loosen things up so you can pull out the severed bits.

Once you find your continual yarn strand, it’s finally time to pull.

Suddenly I am hungry for ramen.

Suddenly I am hungry for ramen.

Getting Started & Breaking In V.1

Unraveling & Finishing

-MF

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn – Getting Started & Breaking In V.1

Recycling Sweater Yarn cover

Sweaters fear me. I’ve fully unraveled at least 25 sweaters so far and chopped or altered dozens more. Regardless of whether you make a habit of it, every fiber enthusiast should do it at least once! You can get awesome, unique yarns on the cheap that you can reuse or re-spin. It’s also a helpful skill if you’re in the garment reconstruction game. And so, drawing on my experiences, I have put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to getting in on the recycled yarn action.

Getting Started

Everything

Equipment for purists:

1. Seam ripper

2. Scissors

3. Appropriate sweater

4. Niddy noddy (find DIY instructions here)

5. Plastic bags (for storing your yarn and labels)

6. Plastic hangers (I prefer the notched ones)

7. Drop spindles or spinning wheel (ONLY if you want to re-spin your yarn – this is totally optional)

8. Digital scale

9. Plastic ruler (not pictured)

10.. Tons of patience (not pictured)

Equipment list for the quick & dirty: Appropriate sweater, seam ripper, scissors. Patience optional.

First of all, this can be a time-consuming endeavor. I’ve spent upwards of 10 hours unraveling a single sweater before (it was a lovely double-knit lace weight cream colored 100% English wool – *dreamy sigh*)  and though you can pare down the process by choosing the quicker methods, what you save in money spent at the yarn boutique, you pay for with your time.

Selecting a sweater

Thrift stores, garage sales, your friend’s wardrobe rejects – all good places to find victims. I even once unraveled a sweater I found on the street in San Francisco. GROUND SCORE!

But here’s the catch – you MUST find a sweater with the right seam. It should look like this on the inside seam:

Top: Correct seam Bottom: Correct seam, highlighted

Top: Correct seam
Bottom: Correct seam, highlighted

A correct seam will have the two edges of knitting pursed together in a pair of fat lines.

And incorrect seam, on the other hand, will just have one line, with the knit held together by serger stitches with sewing machine thread. Watch out for one-line seams!

Top: Incorrect Seam Bottom: Incorrect Seam, highlighted

Top: Incorrect Seam
Bottom: Incorrect Seam, highlighted

If the seam is serged together, this means that the knit piece was actually cut to fit, severing the yarn on every single row – and you will get nothing but a zillion short strands of yarn for your trouble.

Hint! – Check all the seams. I have seen sweaters with both types of seams, always with the incorrect seam at the shoulder yoke. You can still get yarn from these types, you just won’t get intact yarn from the entire thing.

Once you find the right seam, CHECK YOUR LABELS! Fiber content is listed on the tag either at the back collar of the sweater or on a tag at the side seam. We’re aiming for wool or cotton. If you ask me, acrylics ain’t really worth it.

Beware of sweaters that have felted. If you look at the stitches of the fabric and they seem blurry, stiff, or blended, then that sweater has been felted (which is probably why it ended up at that thrift store). It’s pretty common if you’re searching for secondhand sweaters. You can’t unravel it, so move on.

Stay away from anything fuzzy for right now. What you want is a sweater composed of good thick solid wool – no alpaca, angora or mohair – or a cotton sweater where the strands aren’t too thin. Anything with any kind of fuzz halo will cause small fibers that have detached from the sweater to wrap themselves around the strands you’re trying to pull from, causing two unconnected strands to appear connected – and, if tugged at, creating a tiny tangled bundle.  I call these “burrs” and they’re not difficult to deal with, but they ARE annoying. Cottons are less prone to this, but even the smoothest wool blend sweater yarn gets burrs. You should aim to reduce them your first few times unraveling by choosing fiber content carefully. Later when you’ve got more experience you can dig into those luscious angora blends.

EDIT (11/11/19): In the time since writing this tutorial, I’ve gravitated to unraveling 100% cotton sweaters almost exclusively. Wool blends are still great, but I find I have more use for the cotton thread and they generally unravel much  much quicker and easier, because burrs aren’t such a big problem. Just FYI!

Breaking In, Version 1

Now that we’ve got our sweater, how the hell do we get to the part with all the satisfying pulling? This is what I call “breaking in” to the sweater, or in other words getting a knit piece free and ready to start unraveling. I am going to give you the long and neat Version 1 first, then some quick & messy methods in Version 2. Messy people, feel free to skip ahead!

Turn your sweater inside-out. The seam-stitch used to join the knit pieces is basically a crochet chain worked through both pieces, with the crochet loops on one side of the pair of knit edges. Look carefully at both sides of that pair of knit edges. One side will look like this:

Left: I marked the loops of the seam-stitch chain with a Sharpie. Right: The entire seam-stitch along one side of the knit edges is highlighted in blue.

Left: I marked some of the loops of the seam-stitch chain with a Sharpie.
Right: The entire seam-stitch along one side of the knit edges is highlighted in blue.

This seam-stitch ends with a free-standing crochet chain of an inch or so that then gets woven back into the seam.

Turn your attention toward the end of the sleeve (where your hand would come out). There will be a little fat part of the seam at the end: this is where you look closely to pull out the hidden end of the seam stitch. Use your sense of touch – it’s lumpier than the rest of the seam.

Recycle Sweater Seam End 1

Recycle Sweater Seam End 2

I’ve marked that seam-stitch end in Sharpie.

Get your seam ripper.  A few experimental tugs with the pokey end will reveal where the hidden seam-stitch end is. (Remember – the more you unravel sweaters, the quicker you will come to recognize where you need to start. The first time I tried to find this thing probably took me about an hour. Now it takes me all of twenty seconds – so don’t despair!)

Recycle Sweater Seam End Collage

Once you spot that sucker, pull it out.  Looks just like a crochet chain – because it is. And just like a crochet chain, a tug at the loose end will start unraveling it. Congratulations! Now pull the hell out of it, undoing the seam for the sleeve.

Recycle Sweater Unravel Collage

Hint! – you can find your starting point on any seam by looking at the direction of the chain loops on the seam-stitch.

The chain loop bottoms form a sort of arrow where they cross, like this:

Recycle Sweater Seam Direction 1

They’re pointing down in this picture. To find your starting point, go in the OPPOSITE direction….

Recycle Sweater Seam Direction 2

… until you reach the end of the seam. Start there.

Now that you’re pulling, you will start to encounter burrs (stray fibers that wrap themselves around the yarn you are trying to unravel).  If a gentle tug does not break it loose, insert the crook of your ripper underneath the bothersome little thing and sever it.

Top: Behold the burr - it's wrapped around the yarn I'm pulling and the next loop on the seam-stitch chain.  Bottom: The same burr, highlighted in red.

Top: Behold the burr – it’s wrapped around the yarn I’m pulling and the next loop on the seam-stitch chain.
Bottom: The same burr, highlighted in red.

Keep pulling out that seam. If you’re lucky, that seam will continue on uninterrupted to unravel the side of the sweater, too. If not, you may have to apply the same seam-unraveling method to the yoke of the sleeve first. No matter where the seam is, just follow the direction of the chain to find where you should start to undo it.

Destruction feels so good

Destruction feels so good

So you pull happily along, parting the pieces of the sweater until – yikes! A tag. Take your trusty seam ripper and carefully remove the threads of the tag. Continue unraveling, using your seam ripper to take care of any hidden tag thread as you work past this point.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Tag

Hint! Save the tags with the fiber content and store them alongside your recycled yarn in the zipper bag – just in case you need to know later!

Once you’ve freed a piece of a sweater completely, lay it out and check out the top (whichever end was closest to the collar).

Version 1 Last Step

There will be a familiar looking series of loops on the top edge – this is where it was bound off. Again, following the loops as described before, you can locate the free end of the yarn.

Congratulations, Version 1 user. You are a detail-oriented type, driven to craft your artistic goals to perfection. Your patience is about to pay off when you unravel yard after yard of amazing yarn, uncut yarn.

Suddenly I am hungry for ramen.

Suddenly I am hungry for ramen.

You may be a methodical type who wants to undo all the seams and get every piece of the sweater separated first. You may want to get to the really rewarding part where you unravel a freed piece as soon as you can.  Everybody is special in their own way. Moving on…

Breaking In Version 2
Unraveling & Finishing

-MF

Upcycled Market Bag

DIY Lazy Kate and Niddy Noddy

Remember these guys from my Lazy Luna project? The bright red yarn wrapped around my spindle and niddy noddy is a 100% cotton fiber that I had unraveled from one of my copious amounts of thrift store sweaters and then re-spun to tighten the plies. But once that was finished, I had a sturdy, screamingly-red cordage to play with. Time to crochet up a market bag!

Crochet Market Bag

Everything on this beauty is recycled – both the red and the teal yarn come from 100% cotton sweaters, and the plastic beads above the tassels were rescued from an old unwanted bracelet. The netted pattern was a meditative dream to stitch up. I can’t wait to make more of these – maybe with some barefoot sandals to match.

Crochet Market Bag 2

-MF

 

Pattern Gallery: The Pouf Collection

Crochet Pouf Gallery

Poufs, ottomans, small stools, floor cushions (n.) – furniture that allows me to lay around on the ground like a lazy slob while giving off the appearance of being classy. With five patterns and five iconic pieces, this collection is a both practical and inspirational gallery to get you started on the perfect warm-weather furniture essential.

Pattern Gallery – Poufs & Ottomans

Crochet Argyle Pouf

One: Argyle Bean Bag Ottoman

Free pattern from Red Heart. Because nothing says “hip to be dorky” louder than argyle.

Crochet Pinwheel Pouf

Two: Pinwheel Pouf

Pinwheel Pouf by Tara Schreyer – 4.99 USD on Ravelry. Simple and elegant to match muted or natural tone décors.

Crochet Pea Ottoman

Three: Pea Ottoman

Pea Ottoman from Dailyfix – Adorable free pattern inspired by a children’s story

Crochet Stylish Pouf

Four: Stylish Pouf

Stylish Pouf – Another free pattern from Red Heart that uses a small bean bag for the stuffing.

Crochet Granny Mandala

Five: Granny Mandala

Granny Mandala by Crochet with Raymond – if you’ve already got a structured, circular ottoman that just needs some zazz, this is a great free starter pattern for a colorful cover. Just follow in pattern until the main circle is almost as big as the top of your ottoman, then stop increasing.

Inspiration Gallery – Recycled

Because poufs sort of rock the fun & funky retrokitch macroniche anyway, they’re a great project to make with recycled materials.  The sometimes-wacky colors and textures of upcycled material don’t have to be overwhelming because these occupy the “accent piece” category.

Crochet Fabric Scrap Pouf

Six: Fabric Crochet Pouf

From “Fabric Crochet Madness… a pouf” by Silly Old Suitcase.

Crochet Plastic Bag Pouf

Seven: Recycled Bag Cushion

Recycled Bag Cushion via BobVila.com , originally from hipcycle.com. I love working with plastic bag yarn. I find it interesting and rewarding – and, at least in America, really really plentiful.

Inspiration Gallery – Nature

Cute style ideas that mimic nature, awesome for your favorite woodland cottage (or mid-city apartment that you imagine is a woodland cottage).

Crochet Mushroom Ottoman

Eight: Mushroom Pouf

Recreating this beauty would take some power tool geekery I’m sure, but damn the results would be impressive. Even if you aren’t into band saws, it’s good inspiration for other fungus-style furniture.

Crochet Pear Pouf

Nine: Giant Pear Cushion

A big ol’ pear, apparently from this blog, which I can’t read at all, but one look at this picture and I was in love. Giant crochet fruit furniture is directly up my alley in a big way… expect pictures of my own version of this (eventually) here on MF Blog and my Pinterest.

Plush Tree Trunk Stool

Ten: Plush Tree Trunk Stool

Plush Tree Trunk stool. This one’s firmly on my to-do list as well.

Enjoy the low-level lounging!

-MF