On my mental list of possible projects for this challenge has been the revamping of a couple of Hazel’s spaces in our house, and one of them was to make a dedicated cozy reading spot for this new little reader. She has always been a bookworm, and is now actually able to sound out a lot of what is in front of her. I didn’t really have a plan and had this project further down the list until the weekend, when a freecycle score got the inspiration snowball rolling.
I am hardly ever on top of freecycle offers, but was checking my email at work last week at the exact moment that an offer of a ficus tree came through. I responded within two minutes, and later that afternoon a five foot tall ficus was buckled into the front seat of my car, on its way home with us. Since we are in the dead of winter and Hazel’s bedroom has the best sunlight, I knew it would have to live in there with almost all of the other plants for a few months. I figured I might as well dress it up a little bit for her, as if she was not already finding it magical enough to have a TREE in her bedroom.
I twisted a string of white lights through the sturdier parts of the plant, and still need to drill holes in and hang these little lightweight ornaments (just glittered chipboard – truffula tufts for this Lorax-loving kid.) I had a couple of vintage handmade pillowcases stashed in her closet awaiting the arrival of a pillow-pile-reading-spot, so those got added to some pillows she already had.
I thrifted and spraypainted two of these 99-cent wire baskets when it was really warm a few weeks ago, one of which now holds a pile of reading spot necessities. I also found the little lamp at goodwill by chance when I went to buy a few tshirts to make the rug.
The rug! I’m so in love with this rug. I wanted a small rainbow rug to tie it all together and to make it a little more comfy, but I have this aversion to just going to the store and buying things. I had pinned this tshirt yarn tutorial and this crocheted tshirt rug tutorial months ago, so pulled them from my brain and got together a rainbow of tshirts – I think I used 14, one youth large and the rest adult sizes. I was working on this during Monday’s holiday from work, excited that I had the whole week to finish, but ended up churning out the whole thing that night.
I made my tshirt strips about an inch and a half wide and used a single crochet stitch with the biggest hook I have, whose size I don’t even know – bigger than a sharpie but skinnier than a gluestick. I plan to make more of these and will make an actual, proper pattern, but for now this is what I did:
- ch 3 and join to form a loop
- working into that loop, sc however many will fit with what you are working with – I think I fit 5
- next round, sc 2 into each stitch
- next round, sc 1, sc 2, sc 1, sc 2, all the way around
- next round, sc 1, sc, 1, sc 2, repeat the whole way around
- beyond this I just kind of eyeballed it… if it was starting to curl up I threw in an increase every few stitches, and if it was starting to get wavy I did one sc stitches for awhile. Towards the end – at 12:30 am! – I was in the groove and went a little too far with just sc stitches, so the edge curls up a little. Hazel doesn’t care – neither do the dogs, who try to sneak naps there. Fasten off at the end when you run out of shirts or it’s big enough :)
You basically just make a hat, but don’t hat-ify it – keep making it flat and round, like a giant coaster. I actually now have the bug to make big tshirt “hats”, which would be perfect soft storage containers for toys and such. Making the tshirt yarn was super fun and fast and satisfying, so I am mentally collecting other projects that would use it. I used a rotary cutter on a big sheet of plexiglass and it was all very zippy.
Learning how to crochet in the round was so maddening and impossible to me for a long time, but it has opened up a whole new world of crochet possibilities. Amigurumi, anyone?? Hazel handed me a ball of yarn last night and asked if I could make her a cat out of it. Why yes, child, I probably can! After she went to bed I found a cute, free cat pattern on Ravelry and went to work on a cat. I had the head-ball done by the time I went to bed. I have known how to both knit and crochet for years, but neither very well. I had never been able to do either in the round, and it’s satisfying to finally be getting good enough at one of them to just go find a pattern I like and make it. I have learned more new crochet stuff since Christmas than I did in the entirety of my crochet career combined!24 January, 2013
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