Following on from our post about crocheting with carrier bags, other items we’ve used in the past have been cut-up sheets (cut them into strips, tie them together – they make really good rugs), cassette and video tape (haven’t made anything useful yet though!), t-shirt yarn (you know how I love it) and, my personal favourite, denim.
I’ve been making denin rugs for years. Here are some I’ve kept for my home.
The trick with denim is not to cut your strips too thick or they’ll be impossible to work with. Cut them no wider than an inch at most. If you can, use a metal hook larger than 5 mm. If you’re using a plastic hook, go bigger: I usually use plastic hooks of at least 8 mm. I snap them quite often all the same so metal is preferable – it’ll bend rather than break.
I started off by stealing everyone’s outgrown jeans that were a bit too battered to pass on. I cut horizontally beneath the crotch (sewists can turn that bit into a bag) and then chopped off the bottom inch of each leg. Then, I cut strips lengthwise from top to bottom. It’s much easier to work with long strips, plus you’ll end up with less knots. Tie the strips together end to end with a firm knot, and then roll up all your denim into a ball.
I still use this method but you can also buy large sheets of denim from sewing supplies shops pretty cheaply. It’s easier to cut into strips. Really, really long strips.
Denim doesn’t magically and infuriatingly knot itself like yarn. It’s also seriously sturdy so you can make not only rugs, but also bags and baskets.
All you need to do now is decide on a project and a pattern, and prepare your arms for a work out!
I have been thinking about making some denim crocheted rugs. Yours look great. I also have some recycled cotton yarn made from old jeans. I haven’t used it yet but it really excited me, so I bought it.
I have never heard if crocheting with denim, very interesting. Your rugs look beautiful!
I love this idea! Now I have to find out about this t-shirt yarn you speak of. I have tried using plastic bags before…Works ok but makes my hands feel funky (is plastic-y a word?) after a bit. Now I have something to do with all our outgrown jeans! Thanks!
T-shirt yarn is quite amazing. It’s so pretty but also so strong. It’s becoming more and more widely available to buy ready made. Until now, I’ve been stealing everyone’s t-shirts and chopping them up! My current t-shirt yarn project is a cat cave!
I just now “googled” it. Now I definitely am going to have a problem finishing all the other projects I have started! I want to shred some clothes! (Thankfully, my husband is extra large, so next time he gets sick of a t-shirt I will have plenty of material!) Thanks for the posts!
🙂 This is inspirational! I have never dabbled in other fabrics than my acrylic and a bit of cotton yarn. I’m so excited to try new things now.
Great idea being that denim makes great fashion statement. What a beautiful rug hope it is not as difficult to make. I’ll like to try making one someday. Blessings Always, Mtetar
It’s simple but will give your arms a work out!