Monday, September 7, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not: A Rug for Millie


Millie needed a soft, comfy place to lounge this fall and winter. She just did. So I found a beautiful rug in the new Pottery Barn catalogue and drooled over it for about half an hour. That's all I did, though. Tiramisu taste on a 'Nilla wafer budget, you understand.

So I did what any resourceful (read: desperate) country girl would do: I rounded up an armload of old t-shirts and, with gleaming scissors held high above my head, sounded the charge! In no time I was surrounded by a mountain of t-shirts hacked into strips and confetti. I swept the confetti pieces under the couch and rolled each strip into softball-sized balls and found the largest crochet hook I could find. Then I turned on the TV and got down to business.

Don't judge me. I can't crochet. I mean, I don't know what in the world I'm doing. When I was ten, the girl at the blueberry farm - the one my Mom wanted me to be friends with - tried to teach me how to crochet potholders. I guess some of it stuck; I can read knitting patterns... and music... and part of the New Testament in Spanish... but I still can't read anything having to do with crochet. I just play with balls of t-shirt strips and a hook until, after three straight hours of the History Channel, I can lean over the arm of the couch and yell, Look! A rug for Millie!

The rug so far gobbled up seven t-shirts and measures roughly three feet across. So either I need more shirts or Millie will have to shrink. Before someone asks, I started at the bottom of each shirt, on the right side, and cut a continuous two-inch stripe, horizontally, up the body of the shirt. Like peeling an apple. Then I did something (?) with loops and that crochet hook until it looked like this. I really don't know what I did, (UPDATE: crocheters say I single crocheted through the back loops. Eureka! Thanks, crafty ladies!) so please don't ask for a pattern. If you do, I'll have to come to your house and steal all your t-shirts, especially if you have any plum, cranberry or golden raisin-colored ones. I want those colors next. *grin*

(For another Waste Not, Want Not idea, check out my Thrifty Nifty Napkins, where I cut up more old clothes to make household things.)

68 comments:

Ashley Schott said...

Hello Brin! I stumbled across your beautiful blog, and I'm so glad I did! It's so refreshing to see a gorgeous, young, godly, crafter like yourself. This rug is just lovely. I will have to try it (or mess around until it looks something like your's).

RoseMary said...

I love the rug and the idea of waste not, want not, a lesson from my mom also. I hope you remember the Pity Friends name and will keep her in your prayers, been there on the other side, it doesn't feel good when you find out that is what you were, instead of a Friend.

Southern Comfort said...

Using your old T-shirts is a great idea! I do know how to crochet a bit and I think I'll use some of our old clothes to make a rug for the living room. My dog would appreciate his own, he is only 10 lbs, so it would be a small one-I can do that at least.Your idea looks like a more simple version of the old braided rugs. I've got to try it.

{ L } said...

I am SO IMPRESSED! There is no way I could do something like that. The color selection is gorgeous too.

RusticOkie said...

It looks great, especially for someone who can not crochet. lol

It really makes me want to make a rug now too. I wonder if dh will miss some of his t-shirts if I sneak them out of the closet.

Oma Jane said...

Brin-Love your site, ideas, blog talk! The rug is so very comfy & pretty! Great Job!
Oma Jane

tuliptulla said...

Love this... you are always so creative! Millie is a lucky girl!
Hope things are going well for you and I am praying for your sweet Grandma.

Janera said...

Hi, Sweet Brin. I also love your blog and have followed you for quite awhile, enjoying and being inspired by your creativity, talents, godly heart, and tenacious spirit.

Great rug! I'm afraid I couldn't do it -- your crochet beats mine hands down, since I've never picked up a needle.

I do agree with RoseMary about the pity friend thing. Been on that side, too, and it feels awful. It can stay with you for the rest of your life to find out that's what you've been to someone you cared about.

Yep, I hope you will pray on that.

Keep smiling, keep going. You cannot know how many you are inspiring and encouraging. Many.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

What a cute rug, great job! I love to see scraps used up! Your so funny, you can't crochet but the rug sure looks like it was, even better! I've featured your blog on my church's blog, hope you don't mind. Is your email the same?

melissa said...

I'll take the 'nilla wafer rug over the tiramisu version anytime . . . it's beautiful !!! What an inspiration !

Janera said...

Sorry, Brin, for hogging the comments section, but my mind keeps going back to this, and a thought has come into my little pea brain. Maybe it's meaningful.

Here it is:

Maybe you weren't really there for the pity friend. Maybe she was there for you. Could that be?

Tara said...

Oh how cute! Now my miniature Schnauzer, Mr. Fritz would fit on that just perfect. So if you want you could send it my way! LOL! Cuz I can tell you right now, I wouldn't EVEN know where to start making that. Cuz I don't know how to crochet.
Have a blessed one and keep the great inspiring projects a comin!
Hugs from TeXaS!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

I AM a crocheter and I think you did an excellent job with the hook. I think Millie's going to love lying on it when it's finished. Good job, dear girl. xxoo

Deb D. said...

Wow! I LOVE learning from those who are creative in ways I am not (which are many ways). You are truly inspiring. I love your down-to-earth and almost nostalgic approach to so many things. I really enjoy "visiting" with you. Thank you for sharing.

Christy said...

You did an amazing job on that rug! Love all the colors.

Shelley in SC said...

Love this!! That lucky, lucky Millie!!

Susan said...

pity friend ?? ... uh, er ...yikes !

I'm with Janera in thinking that maybe the "pity friend" was there to teach you ...

Ps your latest aprons are gorgeous !!

Kelly said...

What a gorgeous creation. You should add them to your Etsy shop. I'd sure buy one. So colorful and sweet!

twentysomethinggirl said...

SO CUTE, I love it!!! Glad to see you're back to your creative, resourceful, joyful self. It seems like things are turning around for you. :-)

AngelMc said...

love the rug...and what about the old sweetheart you mentioned in the previous blog? is he still around and single? sounds like the making of a movie to me....

Tee of Dragonfly Cottage said...

you really make me smile!

Karen Deborah said...

very cute!

the southern hostess said...

So cute!

Sharon said...

Wow What a great idea.. You are so resourceful.. It reminds me of the old rag rugs that we got into in the 70s. For memory they were just hooked through fabric. I love the look of yours better.. Gee I nearly threw out my old t-shirts today for St Vinnies. Now I will have to keep them for another three years and then throw them out because I will probably never get around to doing this as my list is getting ever longer. Oh for that simple life of getting back to basics...Another winner Brin
Well I must say your blog always cheers me up and gives me a hope and a future for a brighter tomorrow. It's all in our choices to be content and find the possibilities that surround us..I'm sure this rug means more then if you had bought the one at Pottery Barn...Made with love from your own hands and I'm sure Millie will know it.. <><

Jillie said...

Oh, I love the colors! Maybe you can gift it to Millie on September 22nd - to celebrate the first day of Autumn!

scj said...

What a fabulous idea and such a terrific result! You are such an inspiration and I am so glad you are still blogging. Have great fun in the new house.

Sheila

Sara said...

Your rug is adorable, and yes, she was weird, but you know her parents did it to her... Poor thing... It makes me sad when I think about her fate... and I wonder if her life is still the same or if she was ever able to find a way out...

Sara said...

Janera, Susan, etc...
I feel I need to defend my friend... If you knew what that girl's parents did to her, you would probably pity her too. Seriously, it's stuff you would read in a novel about "mountain people!" I won't say anything more, Brin was being quite tactful, and protective in her description. And THAT was VERY loving, if you ask me.

Janera said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend, but rather to point out a different angle.

I'll bow out now, esp. since I also don't understand the reference to mountain people as folks who need pity.

Obviously, I need more education on this topic.

ArtSparker said...

I have experimented with cutting old silk shirts from the good will into strips and knitting with them - makes a kind of soft chain mail.

Scheila Veiga said...

Amei seu blog, quanta criatividade , viva a sustentabilidade!! parabéns

Jessica-Jean said...

I both knit and crochet (blame my grandmother and my mother's competitiveness!) and I can tell you what you did. You did single crochet through the back loops. I've done several single crochet rugs - by enlarging a coaster pattern, but it never occurred to me to work through the back loops. Thank you so much for the inspiration!
And the t-shirts ... here I've been cutting worn out ones into rags. From now on, they'll be cut into strips for knitting or crocheting. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to snare my husband into the cutting part. He's always on my case about how many t-shirts I have; maybe he'll be happy to see some go! The cats can always use new sleeping mats.

Yolanda said...

I love it. I want to do this. The only thing is were to start. I have a mountain of shirt that were going to go to the Good Will, but I can make a rug for my camper. I'm going to reread what you wrote on how you did it and start. I hope mine comes out as pretty as your.
Thanks for sharing

Lori Peterson Photography said...

LOVE this idea. I'm a photographer and I can just imagine laying sweet lil' newborns on it! Thank you for the inspiration!

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

Oh man - I want to know how you did this so badly! Being that I don't crochet, this is a stumbler for me...any info would be helpful. This is absolutely gorgeous!

Meme said...

i found you on pinterest today and was soooo excited. This isexactly what I need for my boys room...but abit more on the boy side :-). Super excited to try it out!

Nina said...

Wow. Awesome. Love your blog and Millie's rug x

erindekker said...

LOVE this idea! Going to good will on the way home to get some teeshirts. I just know my mother-in-law would love this for their home. So neat. Then maybe... one for my own mom. :)

steph said...

this is an amazing idea and for those who dont know how to crochet at all... not even a little... like me... i braided my t shirt pieces together then sewed them together on the underside in a few places so it wouldnt be seen... i took up more t shirt but it was worth it

Krista said...

Love it...I'm going to make one...thanks for sharing!

Krista
www.kristasewinspired.blogspot.com

newest follower!

DaisyFlower said...

wow... what an awesome idea... i love it!!! Daisy

DaisyFlower said...

wow.... you're so resourceful... i'm always trying to think of new ideas... this is awesome!!

mrsmike98 said...

for those loving this idea here's another ... those fluffy robes that lose their ~fluff~ and get replaced ... get a large mat with just a few robes and it's very thick and soft...

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I just might try this! If I can make a suggestion: dabs of fabric paint on the back will prevent it from slipping across a tile or hardwood floor (like toddler socks with the little rubber grips on the soles).

Jemara3 said...

hope one of these days to show you mine, made with double knit material and sewed.

Barbe said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog. I saw a video on this on YouTube. Yours is so beautiful. Just shows your talent if you're not a regular crocheter. Hope you'll stop by @ Beez Rental Designs for a visit. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work. : )

Madara said...

Hey!
I used to make rugs like that, when I was 'little'. It´s wondeful that I got all inspired again, looking at your work!

flutterbygirl said...

Lovely colours! Hope this inspires more people to use recycled materials in their crafts :)

Anonymous said...

I did something like this years ago with scrap fabric. I love it. Great job.

Mary said...

LOVE IT! But I DO want the pattern/directions! Please, please... write down and post for us other "desperate" girls.

Momazilla said...

Good for you, the rug is beautiful. Like me, you have a rare talent to be able to create something like this from just a picture. It used to drive my Mother-in-law crazy. She was a great crafter but had to have written instructions. I'm going to have try this one. Thanks.

SaeMarie826 said...

I love this rug! You did a great job! Now I have to try to make one!

Jodie said...

Thanks so much for commenting and adding the link to this gorgeous rug !! Mine will never look this good.

Loni's Little Treasures said...

Looks to me like you've got single crochet down, but you only did the stitches in the back loop. Some patterns use that for a ridge effect, but I've never seen it in a circle. Not straight up plain crochet, but looks neat :)

Q said...

One quick question - do the tshirts you are have seems in the sides and if they do, does it make a difference when you are looping/hooking/etc (I know how to crochet, so that part I'm not too worried about)?

Q

Lizme said...

That is super cute! I am going to try to make one. I crochet, and I have an idea of what you did, so I will test it out and see if mine comes out as cute as yours!

Seaweed and Raine said...

What glorious colours! I started teaching myself to crochet 2 years ago, and the journey has been wonderful (I still haven't attempted a rug though - and I really want to!)
Do you mind if I ask what sized hook you used?
I'm also looking forward to seeing you little cabin come to life. I just found your blog today and have had a wee look around. :)

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kerricat said...

Question: how wide are the fabric strips?

kerricat said...

Question: how wide are the fabric strips?

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allaboutthatart said...

I love it . I am so inspired that I am going to attempt to make my own! Immediately! I am usually very clever and most crafts come naturally to me however, I do not crochet (the instruction you were told to by the crocheters might as well have been in Russian.) and I can not figure how you made the rug to overlap as you went around? I wish I could see the backside. Other such diy rugs I have seen are flat. Yours looks like flower petals slightly laying on top of one another. Anyway love it and I will let you see mine when I finish!!!! p.s. it will longer than 3 hours I'm sure. That's amazing!