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Sisal and recycled denim basket

sisal rope is crocheted around recycled Denim fabric to make this small oval storage basket

sisal and denim "string crochet" basket

   I crocheted this basket with a technique called "string crochet"  .  This method is used for both rag rugs and baskets.  It could also be used to make placemats, rug mugs, table runners or coasters.  It is a great technique for using up random string or yarn scraps.  Basically there is a thicker fabric rope that is crocheted around by a finer string or yarn.  It is just the same as regular crochet.  The only difference is that you are also holding a fabric rope around which each stitch is worked.  I found this technique to be fairly forgiving.  My denim fabric strips were not evenly sized and the basket hides this detail fairly well.
   This method does not have to be used with denim or sisal only.  Any fabric or rope 
or cord or tubing can be utilized to make the core and any thread or string or yarn or twine may be used to crochet the stitches around the core.  It seems the only rule may be that the core needs to be thicker than the material used for the outside stitches.  It is possible that may not even be true.  I did not try to crochet with a thicker fabric yarn around a thinner core, so it is possible that may work after all.   Please, if anyone has tried to do things this way before, let me know how it went.  Im curious now, I may even try and see myself tonight. 

   One other great secret I discovered while making this recycled basket has to do with fastening pieces of the "core fabric rope" to the next as you run out of length.   THE FABRIC DOES NOT NEED TO BE FASTENED AT ALL!   The crochet stitches hold the rope together so when you come to the end of your piece, overlap the new piece an inch or two, roll or fold it over, so it is easier for you to hold and just keep crocheting as if your fabric had never ended.    Skipping the step of joining the fabric yarn as I went along made this project feel very quick to me.  It was nice to have a break from the hassle of breaking out my needle and thread every few minutes.

Another project That is made with only recycled materials

check out what I made with recycled sari silk ribbon if you are in the mood for a more colorful project

Sisal vs jute, What is the difference?

I have a confession to make, until about two days ago, I used the terms sisal and jute interchangeably because I thought they were the same thing.  I was wrong.  Although there are similarities, they are two different materials with different characteristics from opposite ends of the world.   Make sure you choose the material that will suit your needs best when you purchase your twine.  I purchased sisal, not knowing any better.   In the future  would be more likely to use sisal in a rug and jute in something like a basket that does not need to be so durable.

jute and sisal, what is similar?

Both materials are sustainable and biodegradable
Both materials are relatively affordable compared to other natural materials
Both absorb moisture and stains need to be  treated immediately and carefully
Both absorb dye very well and can come in a variety of colors
Available in readymade carpets or as twine or rope from a hardware store


crochet hook:  to match the size of your twine.  I used an H 5.0mm hook
denim fabric strips.  cut the denim into strips about 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/4 inch thick.  cut around all of the hardware and seams because you only want to use the unstitched fabric.
sisal twine:  mine is about 3 or 4 mm thick and is available inexpensively at hardware stores

Check outthis list of all the types of fabrics that I recommend to make rag rugs with as well as fabrics that should be avoided

How to make recycled denim with sisal twine basket

I have included a ton of pictures because I think its a little clearer to see this technique.  

The sisal twine is attached to the denim .  The sisal twine is crocheted around the denim in a big spiral.  

As you coil the denim around, the sisal twine is what keeps it in place.

The first couple of rounds are akward.  Once you make it past that part, this method of crocheting will feel much easier.

I am only using simple, single crochet here, but I think half double crochet would work well also.  Use whatever you prefer

need more recycled denim basket ideas?  

some old jeans and a cardboard box is all you need to create this Recycled Denim basket
a small fabric bowl crocheted from recycled denim

Continue crocheting around until you reach the size that you want the bottom of your basket to be.

I made an oval shape.  In the few stitches at the ends of my oval I increased by placing two stitches in one stitch from the previous row.  I did this two or three times at each end on both sides while making the bottom of the basket.
Once  I completed the bottom, I started to crochet up the sides of my basket.  

In order to allow my basket to grow vertically, there was NO MORE INCREASING

I also found it helpful to shape my basket as I went, pulling the row on top of the previous one as I stitched 
Ready for a larger scale upcycled denim project? Check out this post where I share how I made an enormous rectangular rag rug using only recycled denim jeans.

Continue crocheting around and around with no increases until your basket has reached the height you want.

I snipped off my recycled denim and continued to crochet with the sisal past the end of the denim and a few stitches beyond.

I could have tie off and been finished at this point, but I decided to continue crocheting with only the sisal for a couple of rounds in order to make a border.  When I finished my border, I tied the sisal off and I was finished.
recycled wool mouse pad and desk blotter will spruce up the office without harming the environment

This post first appeared on Reragg: No Scrap Wasted, please read the originial post: here

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Sisal and recycled denim basket


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