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.
I crocheted this one doubled up with purple sparkly yarn. It was quite small and I couldn’t find anywhere to put it so I’ve unravelled it! It’s now waiting for me to finish this post so I can turn it into a much, much bigger rug with a beautiful new pattern based on spokes.
This is the oldest blue denim rug I have – at least 2 years old. It’s hexagonal and in a high traffic area. The cats love it and it bears up to the constant pounding of feet better than any other rug I’ve ever had.
This is the first denim rug I made. White in the centre set off my black surrounding it. I adore both sides of this rug – flat on one and touselled on the other. It’s definitely Mine and is on the floor in front of My Chair. Feels really good beneath bare feet.
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!