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.

Crazy Afghans

ScannedImageMy 9 year old daughter has taken up sewing, and recently I showed her how to make a crazy quilt by simply putting scrap fabrics together and sewing them upon each other and stitching them together. This gave me an idea, could you create a crazy afghan?

So I have begun grabbing swatches from my stack. I have quite a pile of swatches, as essentially my work as a designer requires me to understand what the yarn will do, and create new ideas with it, so I make a lot of different sized crochet fabric pieces. They are not all square, but most at least have a couple of straight edges. I just started to single crochet the pieces together, and have found that it is quite therapeutic, and relaxing. I am not worried about creating something perfectly square, I can always add stitches to uneven areas to make it more usable, and adding an edging on anything makes it looks like you intended to it.

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Random swatches coming together

I don’t know where this afghan will end up. Maybe I will add it to my automobile “emergency kit”, this is a “kit” that I have modified over the years and it is not for your typical emergencies, it is for those last minute opportunities. Having a throw in the car makes it easy to stay warm when someone else in the vehicle likes the air conditioning colder then I prefer. It is a pillow for long road trips, as well as being perfect for a spur of the moment picnic. It also has practical use, living in a region that can get a sudden mountain snow storm, you may be stuck in your car at some point was you await safer driving conditions.

I have been finding this project more enjoyable then I thought I would and may have to create a crazy handbag in the same fashion…oh, the ideas….

Crochet & Bead, Light Enhancement

ScannedImageA few years back my husband put together some bent iron and a couple of chains creating a “chandelier” of sorts. I was grateful for his effort, but needed to add some extra embellishments. I thought as the season changes to one in which we begin enjoying the great outdoors later in the hours of the day, that I would share how I took a couple of ideas and now enjoy the outdoors after the sunset.

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A crochet chain of bead adorns my extra porch light.

Crochet helped me once again in repurposing my new make shift light source. After painting the metal white, I felt that it needed something more. I had been playing with beads and jewelry wire, creating choker necklaces, and as it happened it became an inspiration. I strung several colors of beads on a long spool of wire and then simply began to create a crochet chain. I stretched the stitch after it was made, causing the wire to collapse more around the bead, this chain now adorns the metal by draping between the cross sections, and I created an additional chain of beads to weave through the chain that it is suspended from. It added just enough color and whimsy. So complete the project I added a few votive candles and holders, and now I have a beautiful art piece that graces the seating area of my back porch. It is nice to spend a quite spring evening outside by this soft light that has just a little something extra, brought together with crochet.

I have often considered creating more of these beaded chains, for adornment in other places, maybe I will have to create one to drape from my daughter bedroom window. Various beads can offer different effects and looks, but I think I like the color of these glass beads that allow the light through they almost have a glow about them.

Denim and Crochet

ScannedImageSometimes I just like to crochet with what is available to me at home, and fill some simple need I might have, whether it be artistic or particle. I have no pattern, just an idea and maybe some inspiration, Re-Invented Wednesdays seems like a good time to share these ideas.

My household is one where denim pants, or blue jeans, are in everyone’s wardrobe, almost to the exclusion of any other fabric. The jeans are even recognized as the “good” jeans, and the “work” jeans, so the ones to be worn out for dinner and the ones that you wear to mow the grass. They become such a part of our fashion that even when they begin falling apart, you do not put them in the trash, you find a way to repurpose them. This was even part of my household growing up. You would find a stack of denim with holes and broken seams in a stack in a pile of fabric, just waiting for a new creation.

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My latest denim rug is worked in the round, I’ll add a motif to the center when I finish. The circle so far, is created with one leg.

One easy way to let these jeans have a new life is creating rugs. I cut off the seams, pockets, zipper and waist band, and then cut the remaining fabric in long strips about an inch wide. These strips become the “yarn” that I then crochet to create my rug. Using a large crochet hook, and crocheting loosely, I chain to create the size I want and then simply single crochet until I have a finished size of desire.

Be warned that this can really give your hands and arms a work out, so don’t plan on completing this kind of project in an afternoon, it is best to take it in small bites.

I did create a pattern using this technique for the October 2012 issue of Crochet World, as the Welcome Home Denim Mat, if you want to check out some structured instructions. Hope it give you a new idea.