News, Patterns, Tips

Knit and crochet to reduce waste

We recently showed you some of the fantastic recycled yarns on the market, but you can also use your crafting skills to reduce the amount of single-use items you consume.

One of the most famous eco-knitting projects is to create “plarn” (plastic yarn) by cutting up plastic bags and then knitting or crocheting up into a longer-lasting tote bags. But you could grab a couple of balls of yarn from your stash and create a colourful tote bag or a net bag that will roll up in a pocket for emergency shopping.

There are plenty of small projects that you can use up leftover yarn in – reducing waste – that also replace items that are often used and chucked away.

A couple of these have really appealed to the UK Hand Knitting team.

Drink sleeves. Rather than picking up a cardboard sleeve for your coffee, why not make a reusable mug cosy to protect your hands. These are great fun because they offer a small canvas to experiment on. You can have a go at working in the round before you tackle a sock, try out Fair Isle, cables or mosaic crochet – or even have mug sleeves to match your outfits if you want.

Scrubbies. These little knitted or crocheted pads are intended to replace cotton wool balls or pads used with face washes, cleansers, etc. Rather than chuck away cotton wool or wipes each time, use a washable scrubby, that you can just add to your laundry.

We use leftover cotton or cotton/bamboo blend yarn for ours which only take about 7m of DK yarn.

Using a 3.5mm hook make a magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Join with a ss.

Round 1: Chain 3 (counts as 1tr), work 1tr in same place, (2tr in next st) five times, join with ss. 12 sts.

Round 2: Chain 3 (counts as 1tr), work 1tr in same place, 1tr, (2tr in next st, 1tr) five times, join with ss. 18 sts.

Round 3: Chain 3 (counts as 1 tr), work 1 tr in same place, 2tr, (2tr in next st, 2tr) five times, join with ss. 24 sts.

Round 4: Chain1, (3dc, 2dc in next st) six times, join with ss. Fasten off.

Crochet a few when you are between projects or need a simple make for a bit, and before long you’ll have a little stack to keep you going.

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