Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crochet recycled materials...

crochet recycled

I'm amazed that around the world resourceful women (and men) have found various ways of using what others call trash, for crocheting items that will become useful and saleable.
Here are some examples:
1. Plastic bags - Some have made a profit or found it rewarding to crochet using yarn made from plastic bags. (Crocheters named this material as plarn.) Washing, drying and cutting the discarded plastic bags to be used as yarn is a tedious process, but the material is free and its everywhere. A local group here in the Philippines, with the help of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers were able to have a sustainable income crocheting bags and other accessories from discarded plastic bags.

2. Another group of women here in the Philippines with the help of Ann Wizer, crochet with recycled plastic bags.

3. A crochet designer in the Philippines, Moira, started designing and publishing patterns without investing in yarn. She used plarn for most of her initial works and her resourcefulness and creativity paid off with lots of viewership online, earning her income from publishing.

4. Crocheting with Pop-tabs from aluminum cans? I've seen some samples of this, on T.V... I have seen finished items in the mall, and its a bit expensive.

5. There's this Italian artist who knits and crochets yarn made from newspaper! Though it is hard to imagine wearing the items made from newspaper, it can be preserved as a work of art. Maybe we should experiment on this sometime, as we can easily get some old newspapers. I think making them into balls of "yarn" in itself can become a hobby ;)
Here are some of Ivano Vitali's recycled yarn:

6. T-shirt or fabric yarn is a more popular recycled material for knitting and crocheting, since it is easier on the hands and the resulting items are very practical to use. There are some tutorials in making t-shirt, sweater or fabric into yarns and various projects to make or to get inspiration from.
I've started experimenting on this, with an old shirt, an old dress, and a fabric scarf that I don't use. Cutting the material into yarn is harder than crocheting it...
This is a 26-inch square scarf, I don't know what the fabric is made of. It frays a lot and will be a bit similar to fur yarn.

recycled scarf

This other recycled yarn I'm getting from an old skirt is more crochet-friendly. Its easy to crochet and best of all it doesn't fray :)
recycled fabric

More about recycled projects soon...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More crochet projects for February

Here is another projects update!
From hats to cellphone cases, now here are some scrunchies ;)

crochet scrunchies

Two scrunchies I finished in two days. I love this pattern by Moira, the resulting crochet fabric is exactly what I want for a scrunchie - not too lacey or frilly and not too thick. And as a bonus, Moira invented a way to unlock the finishing seam so you can replace the garter when it is worn out. As we know crochet is very durable, but the elastic inside can wear out and will need to be replaced. This is the ultimate scrunchie pattern, try  it and see for yourself!
crochet purple scrunchie

Now back to cellphone cases, I just finished another one!
I love the animal theme and I love the natural colors...I'll try to make more variations.
Here's my bear cellphone case:

crochet bear cellphone case

Can't help but say, its soooo cute!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another puppy cellphone case

Finished another puppy cellphone case and made it pose on the scanner...hehe. 
While I intended to make items to sell, I'm not making much progress since I've been making stuff that I could use myself. Both of these puppy cellphone cases are protecting my two cheap cellphones ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Puppy with heart cellphone case

While browsing online, I saw some cute cellphone cases. I got inspired and went on to crochet with one of the animal design inspiration in mind. Here is what I made:

Construction starts at the bottom, and continues in a spiral to the top, then ears and handle is crocheted continuously. The paws, muzzle,and eyelids are crocheted separately and sewed in place. Then a tiny heart is sewed on its hand.
It could even stand on its own, though I really didn't plan on making it that way ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine Crochet

There are now dozens of free crochet patterns at CrochetPatternCentral with a Valentine's day theme.
Here's one that I chose to make. I finished it in two hours while watching t.v. :)
Its a smaller version than the original, since I used thread (two strands) and 2.5mm hook. It resulted in a finished project that's about the size of my hand.

Most of the time I use someone else's pattern, I get inspired to make my own.
Since I love miniaturizing crochet stuff, I thought I should make the smallest heart I could crochet.

I wrote up the pattern for the tiny heart here.

See, there are so many lovely things you can crochet when you don't have a love life :p 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Crochet round-up for the week...

After finishing a sort of challenging project in January, I decided this month of February I'd be working on small items. I was hoping to stock up on items to sell, but as of today I've only finished two caps, a coin purse (which I want to keep!), and a doily that was a match for my vase. Hmm...I'd have to really focus on making more items.

The oval mat now with a simple, neat edging:

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Crochet Caps!

Recently I've decided to spend some time making items to sell. I've missed several chances to sell finished items, when all I had to offer were patterns. I couldn't decide what to make until I talked with two ladies at the mall, who wanted to learn how to crochet. I showed them samples of my work, mostly hats from my free patterns. Their excitement over the hats inspired me to start making more. I think hats are saleable - even though its warm here :p For the younger people, the Warm Cap with Brim appeals the most. One of the ladies didn't want to take it off her head, and wanted to borrow my sample. Since I made a rule for myself not to lend my one and only sample, I set out to make another one. I bought brown acrylic yarns (not exactly the shade I wanted, though).
I couldn't wait to finish it and share it with my new recruits ;)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Crochet cellphone cases

I spent some time yesterday looking for ideas for cellphone cases to crochet. I plan to make several of them in my spare time, so I could have some items ready to sell...
One of the designs I want to make is this Cell Phone Amigurumi by Karla Fitch. I plan to make it a cell phone case instead.
I found other design inspirations, and will try to make my own version. But first, here's a variation of my Chic Cellphone Purse

I was going to make a cellphone purse, but I made it into a coin purse instead (more details here on Ravelry). I'll have to write down the modified pattern, and include it in my original pattern ;)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Oval Mat

I found this oval mat free pattern at Gosyo and thought this would do for now.
Made with smaller hook and size 5 yarn, 4 rounds of the pattern is enough for my vase. I could add a decorative edging later on...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Crochet a day - Oval doily

January is over, what have we made for the love of crochet?

I've just finished a project that I couldn't share yet...other than that, I didn't crochet much in January.
(I wasn't able to submit to a couple of crochet publications calling for submissions. I wanted to, but things got in the way again, and the deadline passed.)
I know I don't crochet as much as I should, having made this hobby into a business. Oh well, this time I'll try to stay focused on this business.
For this month of February, I challenge myself to take up crochet everyday - whether its a new design, a crochet project, a free pattern, anything crochet-related. I will be posting about it as often as I can, maybe even daily - for this month.

Today's crochet started out in search of an oval doily.
I have this small vase, which my Mother gave me about 25 yrs ago. Its made in Japan, and is oval-shaped. I tried using a dainty round doily, but it didn't look so right.

I began searching for patterns on Ravelry, looking for oval shaped doilies. I also looked at my books - most of the oval ones are huge and intricate. I don't plan to spend much time to make this doily, but I want it to be nice and to complement the vase. I then searched for anything oval, and I saw this flower. I made the flower, but I've yet to make an oval doily :p