Friday, June 3, 2011

Crochet Friday Series 7: Make your own recycled belt

Someone asked me on Facebook if I could post a video of how I make my Treasure Belts. So I come here to give you a quick explanation-guide on how to make your own. My camera does not have a good resolution when taking video, besides my computer is so full of running software right now that every time I try to edit video it gets bitchy. So no video, sorry. Instead I'm jotting a few words that might help you find the inspiration on your very own belt.

  1. Get your materials ready: Go to your yarn stash and pick two colors that would look great together. Dark and Bright. If you use the dark for the in-the-middle of the belt (like I did) that will make your bright (my blood orange) pop out and look wider. If you do it the opposite way putting the bright in the middle and dark in the outline, your belt will look narrower. Considering this belt is only 1" wide, I didn't want to make it look narrower, or it'd look like a shoe lace. Find an old belt you don't like anymore and use the buckle. Note: The buckles I like to use have a permanent middle post, not loose. See picture above. I found my buckles in a Treasure Shop online and I keep looking for them in local thrift stores. I used two different weight yarns, a chunky and medium, leaving the chunky for the middle to give it dimension. And it is important that you use the proper hook for each. My case: 6mm for the chunky and 4mm for the medium weight. How do you figure out the weight? well, the yarn is thicker.
  2. If you have been following the Crochet Friday Series, you should be confident making chains and single crochet stitches. If not, go back and practice them
  3. I started with the general rule of making a long chain that runs around my bottom waist. A bit longer than that. In the case of this belt above I did a 130 Chain that measured 45" across, to fit the average waist in women. If it's too long you can fold it and if a bit short it stretches about 7" more. Adapt this to your personal taste. To the total of chain stitches add 1 and in 2nd Chain from hook make 1 Single Crochet on each stitch across and after the last one just fasten off.  With your second color for the outline just start where you began your foundation chain (my case the 130 chain) using the smaller hook (the appropriated one) and single crochet all around the belt with no chains in the corners. Plain single crochet all around, get to the last one and fasten off.
  4. Wave in the loose ends without mixing the colors. Hide the dark in the dark part and the bright in the bright one, if possible. 
  5. Take the side of the belt where you started and wrap it around the middle post of your buckle and with needle and thread (try to match the color) do a few stitches to make sure it won't ever in a lifetime come apart. Sew very tight to the post.
And that's it. I want to add the note that color work is very important. The colors you pick might not look that cool after it's crocheted, if so, before sewing just undo your work and find the appropriate ones. You're using scrap yarn so it's OK to experiment as much as possible. Believe me, a great color may vary in its tone depending on what other color you're putting it against.

I hope this quick tutorial helped you. Now go recycle!

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