Saturday, May 10, 2014

Projects - Using Up Leftover Yarns

     I'm trying to greatly reduce my yarn collection - it takes up one complete wall in my junk room.  I filled one huge garbage back with stuff that I knew I'd never use and gave it to Tucscon Yarn Shop during their  Dollar a Pound in March.  But I still had lots and lots of great  yarn left; single balls, big and little, of all sorts of yarn - specialty yarn, fuzzy yarn, thin yarn, fat yarn.  What should I do with it all?
     I came up with a brainstorm that has really worked for me, and for my fourth graders who love love love to work with their hands. So many kids try to learn to crochet, but their fine motor skills and low frustration levels keep them from persevering until they've learned it.  However, I've discovered through the years that the kids can learn to chain.  And chain.  And chain some more.  But I've never come up with a decent way of USING those miles of chains.  Until this year.
     Rugs.  We make rugs.  We've completed four rugs - bathroom rugs - for Ronald McDonald House.  First I tie pieces of yarn together - pieces that range in length from 12 inches to 12 yards.  I tie them with a triple knot, leaving about a 1-inch end.  We don't do anything with those ends, they stick out and look just fine (thank goodness).  If the yarn is thinner than worsted, I add something to it.....another skinny yarn, crochet cotton, even thick threads.  It doesn't really matter, that's the great thing about these rugs.
     Then the kids take the balls of yarn I've wound and chain using an H hook.  Some of them chain really (REALLY) tightly.  Some chain very loosely.  Some learn to chain to gauge!  It doesn't matter, it all works!
     And what's the final step?  It's fast and easy, and the perfect thing for me to do during recess duty or staff meetings.  I knit the rugs using the crocheted chain and a size 19 circular knitting needle.  The knit up fast.  They are ultra-soft and pretty darn cool to look at.  We've even had requests to sell them!
     Some are totally multi-colored, some are cut bits and pieces from just three or four skeins. Some are all done in a coordinating colorway.  I'm currently knitting my 10th rug and am getting low on yarn (I never thought that would happen!)  But parents are so happy to see their kids crocheting, that they've been happily donating more yarn.
     I'll take some photos on Monday of some of the kids crocheting and add them to this blog.  Yee ha, what fun!

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