How to Make a Recycled Twine Welcome Matcomments (10) March 31st, 2009
"Use what you have" is a mantra that's stuck with me ever since I first read it on a crafty blog a few years back. I, like many makers, have a tendency to gather and hoard materials, to the point where I doubt I could possibly use them all up in my ilfetime. Buying new supplies (without a current project in mind) is a habit I'm trying to break, but many of the items I collect with intent to use are things other people would throw away: jars, boxes, cans, popsicle sticks, and scraps of fabric and yarn left over from other projects. Lately I've been living on a farm where there is a constantly replenishing supply of baling twine from the bales of hay we feed the animals. Twine has many uses around the farm, but it piles up faster than we can use it. So I got to thinking, what could I make out of it? It's pretty rough stuff, but I can find beauty in most things, so I came up with this welcome mat that's definitely not too precious to wipe your muddy boots on. See if a farmer near you will give you an armload of twine. Or just take a look around your house or garage and you'll probably find a ball of string, some old clothesline, defunct extension cords, or another twine substitute that you could use to make your own, and give a cast-off object a second life!
You'll need twine or something stringlike (see above suggestions and keep an open mind as you trawl your home for strands unused) and a jumbo crochet hook. That's about it.
Note: I used the twine two-ply, to make the mat nice and beefy. Try a swatch with your material and hook to see how many plies make a good fabric.
To begin, if using more than one ply, stagger the lengths so your joins won't happen at the same place (this will only apply if you have many short pieces; if what you are working with is long, disregard). Make a slip knot, and crochet a chain that is slightly longer than the shorter dimension you want your mat to be. I made mine about 16 inches because I wanted the mat to be 14 inches, and the foundation chain will shrink once you've worked back into it.
Turn, then working in the back loops only, single crochet back down the length of the chain.
If you are using recycled baling twine or something else that's cut in short lengths, you probably need to join on a new piece by now. Here's my easy method of joining: Just overlap the two ends for about 4 inches and keep on hooking. You'll have ends sticking out here and there, but that's part of the charm!
For the second and all remaining rows, chain one, turn, and working in back loops only, single crochet across. This makes for a nice textured riblike stitch, with good traction for dirty feet.
When you think it's wide enough, or you run out of material, call it a day and you're done.
Crafty by Nature
Inspiration for crafting with natural resources.