Repurposed Bath Towel Blanket

When I was in high school, with my first car, okay a small truck, I had an “always prepared” bag behind the seat. The bag contained a coat, snow gloves, a blanket, a bathing suit, sun block, and a towel. Not exactly the same “always prepared” that I would think of today, but at the time you never knew what plans might arise for after school (especially if I had a day off work). It might be a trip to the mountains to play in the snow, or it could be a day at the river…really depends on the season and the weather, but I was prepared.

Well, several years have gone by since then, but I still attempt to keep “prepared” kit in my vehicle…no longer my cute little truck that I would take 4 wheeling, but my much more practical Subaru Outback…I still refuse to admit it might be a station wagon. My kit now has some granola bars, napkins and wet wipes, a flashlight, and I still have a blanket. I find that this blanket has many good uses, and can even still fit in some spontaneity, like a quick picnic in the park, or what is more likely a fast food dinner during archery practice. The blanket also helps when the kids are tired, or someone is cold. It covers the seats when the dog goes to the vet, or is rolled into a ball to give the driver some more support for resting their arm on the console.

Repurposed bath towel blanket. Www.lindadeancrochet.com

Repurposed Bath Towel blanket

This blanket has been replaced over the years, and one way I like to feel that I have a blanket that is really a second life is to make one. When bath towels wear out, become a bit thread barren, or simply have too many holes, I cut them into squares. As long as the squares are the same size, that is all that matters. I then crochet an edge around the squares. I then join all the squares together, I could sew or seem them, but I prefer to crochet them together. I find that the terry cloth a nice fabric for a blanket of the necessity, but just be mindful of ensuring that you slightly roll the edge of the fabric when crocheting the edge around it, this helps to reduce the initial fraying.

Give it a try next time you have a towel that has seen better days, and create your own blanket to be prepared with.

Crochet Emergency- Shoelaces

It never seems to fail, my kids shoelaces fail at the most inopportune times; when we are just headed out the door to school, when we are off to a new event or sport obligation. As a result I have had to find some quick fixes and amazingly my kids have come to actually request them now as a fashion statement…I crochet shoelaces.

Granted when really looking at the shoes, they have seen better days, but the kids love them and have some that they will wear until they fall apart. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, I have a few myself. However dressing them up with a bit of yarn was never my initial intent, it was simply necessity. Yet as my kids get older they have found these bits of yarn helping them to find their own identity.

Crochet shoelaces www.lindadeancrochet.com

Crochet shoelaces

So why crochet a chain, why not just use a strand of yarn? Well the short story is that the chain actually holds better when tying a bow, and is stronger. When using just a stand of yarn, it is held together by the ply. The ply is part of the yarn construction, most yarns are made up of strands that are spun in one direction, then these strands are spun together in the opposite direction, this is the ply. Granted the tension of the ply does create a strong yarn, just not one that is quite strong enough to live up to a shoelace on my kids shoes.

Creating the yarn into a chain, creates three strands instead of just one. It also makes a little more heft in the diameter, so it is easier to tie and untie.

What I find the most interesting is how my kids have fun picking out new colors for the laces. My son even enjoys adding a bright pink to his laces, at least it helps them have some individual style.

Doily Snowflakes

ScannedImageOne of the saddest things is walking into a thrift store and finding a crochet item. Some feel it is a great find, but I have to say, it leaves me a little disheartened to see all this hard, handmade work, mixed in with second clothes, puzzles that may be missing pieces, and worn toys. So how about a second life for some items.

Doilies are items that I do not usually make for myself. I long discovered that the length of time it takes to make a doily is about the same it takes for me to make an afghan, and I feel like I can see greater process in working an afghan. So when I see doilies I make sure and give them a new purpose.

Snowflake Doilies www.lindadeancrochet.com

Just above my office bulletin board, right beside my banner of encouragement, are 2 “snowflake dollies”.

Now I do not actually have them placed on tables or adorning my dining area, but I get a little creative. One of my favorites is Snowflakes.

I have found that doilies make a great decoration for winter, I actually keep a few up in my office area year round. It is a simple enough process.

A mixture of white glue and water usually does the job of stiffening a doily. Typically you create a mixture of equal parts white glue and water, however if you want only a little stiffness (basically just making things a bit firmer) add more water, and if you want things even more firm decrease the water. Now dip the doily in the solution ensuring that it is completely covered in the mixture. Remove any solution excess so that there is no liquid puddling. Place the doily on either a piece of wax paper, aluminum foil, or other non-stick surface, and block the doily. Make sure that it is placed in the manner you wish for its final appearance and let dry.

Now simply tack you snowflake up in the window or wall, a mirror or frame. I find this as a great way to highlight the beautiful art and craftsmanship that has gone into its creation without relegating these pieces of art to a drawer.

Coiled Crochet! Keeping it Neat

ScannedImageI am beginning to see crochet possibilities everywhere in my home. It seems to be a “go to” solution for even the simplest of inconveniences.

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Coiled my charger with crochet, saving space and now I have a pad for my phone to rest on.

The other day I was cleaning and getting discouraged by all the cords for various electronics that look like tangles nests for spiders around my house. They do tend to group together, I mean if it is with entertainment area, there are several cords almost all grouped in the same area, creating what looks to me like an unruly pile. I know that there are contraptions I can purchase that are supposed to keep these neat and orderly, but I feel like crochet and fulfill my need and give me an added bonus.

I began with my cell phone charger. The cord is longer then I need it to be, in the area that I charge at, so I began to coil.

I started by crocheting over the cord, then creating a loop and still crocheting over the cord I began working in the beginning stitches, essentially I am crocheting in the round, in a spiral method, while working over the cord. I left the charging end free, and continued until the cord was a more desirable length. The added bonus to this is that now I have a little resting pad for my phone as it charges!

I can easily see this working within many areas of my home. That table lamp, the computer, the printer, the possibilities are endless, and then each get can rest on a pad and give a little extra safe guard to my furniture getting scuffed.

It is easy enough to get more length from the cord when needed, I simply unravel the crochet and the cord is in perfect shape. So now I hope I am on to a more neat and orderly dwelling.

Crochet Knees

ScannedImageIf you have read my blog for a while you may have realized that I am a little, let’s see, what’s the word…ah yes, thrifty. So in the spirit of thirstiness, I have been attempting to get some more life out of blue jeans my children run wild in.

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One knee mended, one more to go. Crochet patches tend to have more stretch

I am not sure if something has changed in the manufacturing over time, but the knees on their pants tend to split open in a relatively short period of time. Maybe it is the tree climbing, the running, or the playing in dirt that my kids still do within our rural lifestyle, but it seems that they are hard on their clothes. So of course that means that we have “good” clothes and “play” clothes. However when the knees get bad enough that they can stick a leg threw, I find a way to mend them to get a little more time out of them.

Sure I could cut them and make them shorts, but trust me they have an abundance of those. I have used fabric patches, but they do not tend to last as long as I would like, tearing out and just becoming flaps over the open knees. So I have taken to making my own, with crochet.

I crochet a few motifs, different shapes like flowers, and different colors. My kids enjoy coming up with ideas for me to crochet into patches, and the stitches seem to allow the fabric to stretch more and thus do not wear out as quickly as the fabric patches. I then pin them in place and reluctantly sew. I say reluctantly as sewing is not my number one favorite skill, but at least this way I get to enjoy some crochet in the chore.

I keep telling them that it is a new fashion statement, who knows maybe it will be. I just really hope that they are not tearing out the knees so that they can keep up with this “new” fashion.