sweatshirt bowl

Recycling school sweatshirts into crochet bowls

In a nutshell – the secondhand uniform sale at school has lots of obsolete sweatshirts with an old logo. I’m exploring ways to re-use and recycle them to save them from the rag man.

This year saw a new uniform at my son’s secondary school. It won’t make a difference to him because old uniform is being phased out very slowly. It does mean that in the second hand uniform sale there are boxes of blue sweatshirts to fit 11 year olds that cannot be used. Because they are second hand some of them are way past wearing anyway so I took a few bags home to see what I could come up with.

sweatshirt bowl

Crocheted baskets

Cut the rib off the sweatshirt and then cut around the whole body in a spiral, making a long strip of fabric about half an inch wide. Any thinner and it’s likely to break. You can make it thicker but it will be hard work to crochet with. I cut spirals round the sleeves and left the top for another project.

Starting with a chain of 4 slip stitched together I crocheted round and round, doubling up the stitches every now and then. You can get a feel for when you need to increase and decrease if you imagine a line drawn from the centre of the circle to the outside. To keep the circle flat check if your last stitch is at an angle to that line, if it is you need to double up.

Once you have a flat base you can stop increasing so much. I made up the shape as I went along and started to decrease by crocheting two stitches together to build up strength. This basket has turned out to be really useful – it holds my hairdryer which means it is easy to find in it’s place under the sofa, and it stops the cable getting tangled up with the extension lead. Now I write it I am doubting that under the sofa is a traditional place to keep a hair dryer but it’s in the room with a big mirror and good light.

To get the stitches tight enough to be firm takes a fair bit of strength, be prepared to pull and tug at the fabric as it refuses to go through the stitches underneath. I used a 9mm crochet hook to make this basket and it took four sweatshirts size 11 -12 years.

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It’s quicker to crochet than it is to cut the yarn up. I like the way the shades of blue blend together. It took 2 evenings to make this, with a lot of ripping out and starting again!