Sunday, July 3, 2011

Off the Needles: Another pantyhose rug

The theme for the June meeting of the Twisted Threads book group was green knitting -- using recycled materials instead of adding to the landfill. I made this throw rug to show how used stockings can be recycled into rugs. I've been making these rugs for several years. They make great bathmats because the nylons give them body and the cotton yarn is soft and absorbent. I also think the addition of the nylon helps them dry quicker in the clothes dryer. The one shown was made using black knee-high stockings cut in circles and chained together to form yarn. I use 2 strands of cotton yarn and one strand of the nylon. The pattern is just garter stitch large needles (size 10 1/2 or 11). I cast on using 2 strands of cotton and knit a couple of rows. The 3rd row always has 3 strands: 2 cotton and 1 nylon. By limiting the use of the nylon you reduce the bulkiness and give your hands a break for 2 rows out of three. This is not a project you want to work on for long stretches since the weight of the yarn can cause fatigue. I just repeat the 3-row pattern until I get the length I want and then I end with a couple of rows of just cotton strands and then bind off. The result is a hard-wearing rug that will hold up to years of laundering and feels good under your feet.

You can recycle other materials in this project. I've used cut up strips of old underwear in another throw rug, and you could also use old t-shirts or other similar materials. I'll probably recycle my old pj's this way when they wear out.

No comments: