Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Leftovers



Last year, you may remember me making some rugs, two for Bella and Angus's bedrooms and then one for our bedroom too. Well, all that rug making left me with a pile of three-quarter used balls of t-shirt yarn, and I was keen to use them up. I dislike almost finished balls of yarn, of any brand. They sit there annoying me until I can turn them into something. I like things to be tidy and orderly.

I was really keen to have a go at making a small bowl or basket, just to try my hand at it. I think these things always look really tricky but honestly, they are one of the quickest, easiest things I have ever crocheted.


I began with the Small Rag Yarn Basket from the book Modern Crochet, using the green and pink leftover from Bella's Watermelon Rug, above. 



It made a small pot measuring 12 cm high and 12 cm wide, just perfect for Bella to store bits and bobs on her desk. This girl loves to endlessly arrange and rearrange her desk and the shelves above it. (I have no idea where she gets that from, none.)

 

Emboldened, I thought I'd try the Medium Rag Yarn Basket from the same book, using the same colour yarn that I used in the rug in our bedroom.



This bowl is 17 cm high and 22 cm wide, so more shallow.



I just adore this - the shape, the curves, the smooth repetition of the stitches, the handles.


My plan for this was clear from the outset: it was to be a Man Bowl for John to put on his dresser. Every day a small pile of stuff builds up here, containing all manner of things; ties, his work ID, cuff links (he's very dapper), that half opened box of ibuprofen that never made it back to the bathroom cabinet, bits of paper with things scribbled on them and receipts which he pulls out of his pockets and just leaves there... I mean, I love all this really, you know I do, I love sharing my life and home with that gorgeous man, but I also love things to be TIDY.


And now it is all tidy. It's still the same clutter, but I've contained it! This whole bowl took about two hours to make from start to finish. I still can't get over how fast that is. 


(It's also quite a lovely receptacle for balls of yarn. I foresee more of these bowls/baskets in my future...)


But, even after all this, there was still leftover yarn. Not a lot now, and looking very scrappy, but it could still be used. I decided to turn these last remnants into a bath mat. I just crocheted them together totally randomly in rows of double crochet, back and forth, just one colour running into the next midway through a row, knotting them together as I went. 



Super quick and easy, and such a liberating way to make something, without worrying about colour changes or whether or not I have enough to complete a row. It took one evening to make. 

It's a great little mat, and it washes and dries really well. Plus it feels so squishy and bouncy underfoot when you get out of the shower. 



It thrills me, it really does, that a 10 mm crochet hook, my hands, a book and my brain can turn a load of rag yarn into all these different things.





31 comments:

CJ said...

I LOVE crochet bowls, and I'm blown away that it only took a couple of hours to make. I'm laughing about it being a man bowl. It's a brilliant idea, we could do with a few of them around here, there are always bits and pieces appearing all over the place. CJ xx

Claire C said...

They look so brilliant that I'm almost tempted to buy some t-shirt yarn specially just to make some! I love the bath mat as well, strikes me as the kind of thing to make and then shove in the suitcase for holidays etc when there's never a proper one in your apartment! Gorgeous!

Mac n' Janet said...

Nice use of leftovers.

Jan Doling said...

Great makes and well done on creating something useful from your left over yarn. xx

VeggieMummy said...

Your bowls are fantastic! I'm tempted to rush out and buy some T shirt yarn and have a go. I love the idea of a Man Bowl too - I think we could do with several around here! xx

Librarian said...

You know, looking at these pretty, useful, quick and easy to make things nearly makes me want to start doing something like that, too - and I am very much NOT the "hand-made" type :-)
Like you, I love (and need!) things neat and tidy, and so I understand the "man bowl" very well. He puts his ties in there? Won't they crumple like that?
I am sure there will be more such bowls in your and your friends' and family's lives from now on :-)

Jo said...

They are brilliant and totally falls into my philosophy of using up every scrap - I am proud of you there Gillian. My house 'might' not be as tidy as that though! I have one ball of Boodles upstairs and wooden hook that someone gifted me because they gave up learning to crochet - too hard apparently - BAH! it's mine now, might make a basket or too. Jo x

Emm.A said...

I LOVE the color combination of that big basket! And I also love stashbusting projects! That way I can buy new yarn with a clean conscious because I really used everything I had! ;-)
What a great project!

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I love John's man tidy so much. It's exactly what I need for Marc. When he arrives home o a Friday night, stuff I just scattered liberally all over the house. And then come Sunday evening, when he is packing for his working week away, it's all 'where is so and so, I put it just here' etcetc. Of course, I've tidied it away, but if he had a receptacle that all of these things could be popped into, we wouldn't have to have the weekly hunt the tie/receipt/scrap of paper that ensues. Dapper...I like that he is dapper. Marc is kind of scruffy. But he is an engineer. It's a requirement apparently.
Leanne xx

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

I love all of these makes. I need a man bowl for Mike - I expect after your post there will be lots of bowls made for fathers day! x

Christina said...

I love crochet bowls but have never made one. I need many of them because there is so much clutter in the house, mostly small lego pieces, keys, ear rings, hair brushes..... I might just add the crochet book you used to my amazon wish list and see what happens. Have a lovely day. x

Sol said...

my favourite is the bathroom rug. Love that you used all the odd ends, and that is what makes it look so good.

Anonymous said...

Flipping inspired! You wouldn't have time to make one for my husband, would you?! His dressing table is always covered (and I mean covered) with stuff. It hurts my eyes. That rug is gorgeous – you're very talented, Gillian. Sam x

The Creative Academic said...

They're fantastic Gillian. Where does the clutter come from? I seem to constantly clearing our various bags of receipts, tissues, cards from snacks, small toys, stones etc The ABO is very tidy (and less forgiving of toy clutter) than me but he has his little 'man piles' that he leaves when he comes in. We did have a bowl that he could put his stuff in but that's currently full! Great solution to leftovers and clutter. Have a great week xx

Lucys Cottage said...

Love your makes Gillian :) x

Anonymous said...

Gillian...what a beautiful idea! I have lots of t-shirts that could be cut off and made into beauties like what you have shared today :0) mari

Jennifer said...

I think you'd run screaming into the hills if you could see the top of my husband's chest of drawers. :) I can't believe John keeps his so neat, what a wonderful look with the plant on top. I think you made great use of that yarn, good for you. It feels good to use up all the last bits, doesn't it.

PussInBoots said...

This is just such a lovely post. Any way I can bribe you to work your decorating / home styling magic on my home? Pretty please? I'm drowning in lego and nerf guns and match attax cards and other boy stuff. It needs to be contained. It needs to be brought back to neutral rather than all boy BLUE (blue is my favourite colour but it would be nice to have a bit of girliness in the house!).
Sigh.
Thanks as always. Your home is evolving into a work of art - and even more fabulous is that its a 'proper' home that works and functions and STILL looks lovely. :o)

Sharon - creativity and family said...

They are gorgeous Gillian! The colours are so pretty too.

Sharon - creativity and family said...

They are gorgeous Gillian! The colours are so pretty too.

Susan Smith said...

Great stuff Gillian. Not sure if I can buy that t-shirt yarn over here, but love your baksets and bathmat. Take care.

Lulu walkingonsunshine said...

Beautifull pics .
I love he crochet bowls
lots of love
Lulu

Curvywitch said...

Thanks for this; I'm now inspired to turn all those old t-shirts into yarn for some practical rug crocheting. :-)

Amy at love made my home said...

What a wonderful way to use your leftovers! I especially like the idea of the bath mat! xx

Annie Cholewa said...

I've never used t-shirt yarn but you've inspired me to pull out my fattest knitting needles and give it a go ... those baskets look so useful.

Mereknits said...

You are a genius, everything you made looks wonderful. I have yet to try t-shirt yarn, but now I want to run right out and buy some.
Hugs,
Meredith

Kate-Em said...

I really like the man bowl, what a great idea! What is it with piles of reciepts? File them or chuck them surely, not leave them lying about, stuffed in random drawers etc. You might notice I have this issue too!

Marion Ogden said...

The baskets are lovely and useful but my favourite of all is the bath rug. It's a really creative and resourceful way to use up yarn scraps and it looks great too. Well done! X

Lisa said...

Excellent use indeed of the leftovers and so useful too. Those end of day odds and ends do have a habit of making a whole room look untidy when they are discarded, wonderful idea to contain them in one place and make them easier to find the next day too!
Lisa x

Penny said...

Love your bold use of left over yarn. The baskets are lovely, the bath mat is particularly appealing, with those irregular stripes. We have lots of half used packs of brufen lying around too. Perhaps a man thing? X

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Some cracking ideas here Gillian! I love the idea of a man bowl, you are so right - a completely necessary item to have in the home. I also really, really love the bathroom mat, that it such a very good idea. I've never really been drawn to that t-shirt yarn before but you've really made me see what a good idea it can be.

S x