Saturday, March 6, 2010

Recycled T-Shirts

"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something".  Frank Capra

Do you have a number of craft projects in various stages of being complete?  Well I have.  It seems that when I start working on one project, many times my mind will work overtime with creating more ideas.  Sometime they come fast and furious and I need to take the time to write them down so I won't forget.  I have lost great project ideas several times by not writing them down and thinking that I can remember all of them along with all the other everyday things one must remember.

I enjoy trying to salvage items that many would normally throw away.  One of the projects that is almost completed is something that began with two worn and faded cotton tee shirts.  Instead of tossing them into the garbage or the rag drawer, I decided to recycle them.  I dyed each of the shirts with a fabric dye I mixed using Earth Safe Finishes.  I took two different colorants, mixed them with the fabric additive and dyed the two shirts, following the companies directions.  Once dyed and dried, I cut the shirts into approximately 3/4" strips.  There is a way to cut the shirts in a continuous strip if desired, but it's OK if it's not.  With one shirt I had several pieces, but I just knotted them together, leaving a 1  1/2" tail.

Using #15 size knitting needles, I cast on five stitches and starting knitting with one of the balls of colored strips and then tied on the second color, continuing to knit each row till all of the cotton strips were used.

The knitting is complete, so now I think it needs a bit more color.  The next step will be to mix two darker coordinating colors and make my own shimmer sprays.  I'll be spraying on more color randomly and will let it dry and then heat set in a hot dryer.  I'll post a photo when that step is complete.

So before tossing something, give some thought of a way to recycle and reuse ... you may surprise yourself of the ideas you can come up with.   Old cotton shirts could be used to make rag rugs too.

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