If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a week, you know that I’m very attracted to the work of those who upcycle, recycle, repurpose, reuse, redesign, renew, remake, and restyle.  Do I have all the re-‘s covered?  I do some of this sort of thing myself.  But, darnnit, I’m just not as good as coming up with ideas as the people in this book.  I’m in love…

For crocheters, we must move beyond thinking of merely frogging that thrift store sweater for its yarn.  That’s a good idea, but there’s so much more we can do.  Here are a few of the ideas in the book that speak to crocheters:

* item#0108 – garbage bag bag made of (you guessed it) garbage bags as well as orange flagger’s tape, a place mat, and recycled shoulder straps and zipper

*plarn items like an ipod cozy, pencil caddies, and rings for your fingers in addition to the totes and rugs we’ve seen elsewhere

*recycled (upcycled) tee shirts used to make floor doilies, floor grannies,  and the most attractive large family room rug reminiscent of the Babette Blanket

*a mash-up of knitted (but could be crocheted) scarves – chop them up and reassemble as you like

*an attractive use for all those tiny scraps of yarn and thread coiled into various decorative shapes for fun

*hacky sacks or baby toys made of pieces of knit or crochet like the aforementioned scarves

*a lovely shawl made from an old, round crocheted tablecloth

*scraps of rescued yarn (from a sweater and a sock) crocheted to create a cap topped with a flower for your puppy

*the pretties little pincusion made from rolled scraps of what look like swatch squares sewn together a la sushi rolls and sewn together.

However, nothing is off limits to this crew of artists.  Virtually every item that one could find in a home or garage, tool shed or classroom, has found its way into a ‘new’ design.  The projects range from practical to outrageous, from whimsical to kitchy.  No patterns or directions are given.  However, this book would be a wonderful resource for an avid craft recycler like me.  Listed in the back of the book are all the artists, websites, blogs, and a useful list of Recycle Centers for Alternative Art Materials.

Unlike most books that purport to be guides to recycling for crafting purposes, this book is sophisticated.  It’s not your Sunday school craft guide.  It’s a wide ranging overview of the possibilities, a guide to get you moving.  While I’ve seen some of these ideas on the net or in other books, I’ve never seen such a complete reference for craft recycling.  If you’re wanting to craft ‘green’, you gotta get your hands on this book.

For a taste of the kinds of projects in this book, check out the author’s website  www.extremecraft.com


Author Garth Johnson

Quarry Books, 2009

320 pages with 1000+ color photos

ISBN 9781592535408

$25.00 USD


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