Friday, June 24, 2011


Upcycling: taking something that would be thrown out and making something out of it just as good or even better. 

I've been always fascinated with upcycling. I think it comes from three things: 
  1. my parent's no throwing out policy [ ". . . it still good, you can use it." as they weed through my trash] 
  2. love of old stuff 
  3. fear of being a hoarder. 
So I'm giving upcycling a try as I attempt reduce my many piles of stuff.  Using up my yarn is first on my list and I've been making stuff with what I have and not to buy any new yarn (I've already failed in that task). 

Project 1: Not a upcycle project but my attempt to make piles of yarn smaller, I started with WG's yellow socks, I'm on sock 2 and it's looking good. I guess toe-up sock has just enough challenge to keep me interested and but not make too much mistakes. Self-striping yarn rules!

Project 2: My bag (pocketbook, handbag whatever you call it) is always a mess, especially with the cords and the chargers all tangled up in a ball. So I decided to make a cord bag for myself. I frogged (took apart for you non-knitter) a red wool shrug I made years ago that I never wore (too hot for me these days). Decided to use a seed stitch pattern knitted with 2 strands, I love the beautiful simple texture the seed stitch pattern creates in bulky yarn. I knitted in the round for less seaming (yeah! for me, two less seam to finish) I also gave it a flat bottom in stockinette stitch and tucked in corners. On the inside, I lined it with a rice bag, gave it a lime green zipper with red trim. This turns out to be a double upcycle project (shrug and rice bags). I'm thinking I may be making up more to sell on Esty, stay tune.

Front view

Inside view

Offshoot from my cord bag project: Another thing I collect is vintage trim and I got an idea while I as constructing my cord bag, zipped pouches bags using my vintage trim, rice bags, and contrasting zippers.

Flat view

close up of zipper and trim

I want to try out a tote idea I have with the rice bags and some upholstery webbing (I told you have have a lot of stuff). More to come.

Project 3: have not started yet but will be constructing my secret collaborative blanket for a special Star Wars character. Got the pieces, got the idea how to combine applique, patchwork, crochet and knitting together. The upcycle part: still need couple more square and I may just repurpose some old shirt to make a couple of crazy patchwork squares. Stay tune for sneak peeks of it coming together. 

Other ideas in the the upcycle que: turn old mens dress shirt to sleeping shorts, old hole-y sweaters patchwork blanket,  vinyl banner (our grand opening banner) tote. I hope I can get to at least one of these ideas by the end of the year.

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