Posts Tagged ‘re-purposing’

It was time to cut my hair and send it off to Locks of Love.

Time to cut my hair

Time to cut my hair

One of my nieces cut it two years ago, so I asked her if she wanted to cut it again. She made a scrunched up face and said, “No, I don’t like the sound it makes when I cut through the thick ponytail!”

A week later, when I friend came up to help us pack at my parents house, I asked her if she would do the honors…. and off we went outside to get it done.

I put my hair in two pony tails, we got out the tape measure to make sure we would get the 10″ or more they needed and it was done in less than a minute. This time it was over 13″ cut off to send away. The last time it was cut was back in September of 2011 (I thought it had only been 2 years…. time flies, and hair grows I guess!)

All that was left was a little trimming to even it up and we were back inside packing boxes again.

Hair cut for Locks of Love

Hair cut for Locks of Love

Each of the five times (this might have been the 6th time, I have lost count) that I have cut my hair for Locks of Love I go through a thought process of “should I cut it now, or wait” then a day later I am tired of brushing through the length of the hair and also tired of finding long hair on everything that I know it is time. I used to cut it every 18 months, but I cut it in the beginning of summer and will be much cooler for me.

My hair tends to grow fast and I wish I would have started cutting in many years ago for Locks of Love. I can’t turn back the clock on the cutting part, or even the gray in my hair, but I know as long as my hair keeps growing, I will cut it and send it off. Even though my hair has gray in it, they will still take it. They will sell it and use the money to help keep their organization going.


  • Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.
  • Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.
  • Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable.  If unsure, ask your stylist. We are not able to accept bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process. **If the hair was bleached years ago and has completely grown out it is fine to donate.
  • Hair that is swept off of the floor is not usable because it is not bundled in a ponytail or braid.
  • Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. If shaving your head, first divide hair into multiple ponytails to cut off.
  • We cannot accept dreadlocks. Our manufacturer is not able to use them in our children’s hairpieces. We also cannot accept wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.
  • Layered hair is acceptable if the longest layer is 10 inches.
  • Layered hair may be divided into multiple ponytails.
  • Curly hair may be pulled straight to measure the minimum 10 inches.
  • 10 inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.
  • Printable Guidelines (PDF)Please Note:
  • Shorter hair will be separated from the ponytails and sold to offset the manufacturing costs. Although the shorter hair cannot be used in the hairpieces, it still greatly helps to reduce costs.
  • Gray hair will be accepted and sold to offset the manufacturing costs.
  • Colored hair is not usable if it is colored over bleached hair.
  • Because Locks of Love creates custom hairpieces for each child, we are unable to accept donations of wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.

Have you cut and donated your hair in the past? Are you inspired to do it now?

Sincerely, Emily

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Grams yarn hangersI am taking a chance and posting this before Christmas, hoping that my nieces are not reading! This is all about Gram’s hangers. Now, I know my Gram wasn’t the only person out there making these, but she was the only person out there making them for me when I was younger… hence, Gram’s hangars.

When I got a bit older (I’m guessing 10 or 12 years old), she taught me how to make them. I searched all of our closets looking for one of Grams hanger. Do you think I found one? NO!  I just wanted to look at it and work out how I was going to make them. Do you think I remembered how to do them?  Yes, and no! I worked it out rather quickly, but I knew mine are a bit different. In fact, when I took the hangars I finished to MN this past fall to wrap them up and stash them away for my nieces, my mom came in to see what I was doing and then started pulling hanger after hanger out of her closest. All Gram’s hangars! She has all of them! I couldn’t help but laugh.

Started at the base of the hookWhat I love about using these hangars is that my clothes don’t slip off the hangar (and I made them by recycling old wire hangars and gave them a new purpose in life)

You start with two metal dry cleaner hangers that are of equal shape and size.  Tape them together in a few spots so you are fighting to keep the hangars together as you are working your yarn around them. You need two balls of yarn. They can be the same color or different colors, that is completely up to you, but the yarn does need to be in balls (not skeins). I could not remember how much yarn it took to make a hanger, so I bought two skeins of blue (for one niece) and two skeins of pink( for the other niece) and started wrapping them into balls. Make your yarn balls a manageable size so you can handle it easily enough and not be fighting with it to get it through the triangle form of the hanger at each pass. I made two hangers for each niece and have TONS of yarn left over. I could probably make them two more hangers each year for several years and still not run out (and hope they still like the colors I have!)

Make a loop

Make a loop

I started at the bottom of the neck where the hanger branches out and the worked my way around the hanger ending up back at the neck and then worked my way up to the top of the hook and back down to the neck. I know working my yarn over the hook and back gave it a bit of extra bulk, but I didn’t want to end at the top of the hook and have loos ends and knots up there where it gets most of its wear as it is put on your clothes rod and taken off over and over.

pass you yarn over the hanger and through the loop

pass you yarn over the hanger and through the loop

Tie both balls of yarn onto the bottom of the neck of the hangers leaving about a 6″ tail to work with later.  You want to keep one ball of yarn on one side of you and the other ball of yarn on the other side of you. I hold the hangar between my legs so that my hands are free to work with the yarn balls. I will mention that the chair that I sit on in our living room is an old swan neck rocker. It has open arm rests which isn’t the best situation because there isn’t much room on either side of my body to rest the yarn balls without them falling through the arms rest, off the chair, and unrolling out on the floor.

Pull tight

Pull tight

To make a “stitch” make a loop with your yarn and then pass your ball of yarn over the hangar and through the loop. Now pull it tight. The tighter you pull the more loops you will need to make to cover your hangar. The loosen your “stitches” the lass yarn. I made mine rather tight. From time to time you can also push your “stitches” so they are tighter together also. There are no rules here, do what ever you are comfortable with.

You can do one “stitch” with each color yarn or more. I did one hangar with single “stitches” and the other with two “stitches” with each ball of yarn before working the other side.

used single stitches on left and double stitches on right

used single stitches on left and double stitches on right

I finished by knotting my ends together and leaving about a 6″ tail on each end. I added pom poms that I made out of the same yarn and used the tail ends to attach them to the hangers.

Crossing my fingers that my nieces will love them.

Have you ever made yarn hangers?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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We have talked a lot in the last two weeks about our food and the challenge it is to eat real food in today’s modern world of pre-packaged processed fare.

Today I am going to switch gears a little…

As important as food is to me I am not a foodie.  I cook to sustain my family and I bake for health.  As much as I enjoy making a great meal it does not nourish my soul.  For that I do something else…

I create, I sew, I craft…when I cannot be out in the garden getting my hands dirty (my other great passion) I am upstairs in my sewing room making things, or painting things, or re-purposing things.

Today I am going to share something that I posted a few weeks ago on my blog.  It is and old sweater that for less than four dollars and a couple of hours work I made into a brand new knitting bag.

Wool sweater bag roses handmade craft felted

The sweater purchased from a thrift store was a mens X-large that is felted (washed in hot and dried on hot twice until it shrunk to a large child’s size sweater…you know it felted when you can no longer see the stitches and it will not unravel when cut)

I paid $3.00 for the sweater…

Wool sweater bag alpaca

I found two sweaters with this tag…lucky me!

Wool sweater bag cut sleeves

Start by cutting off the sleeves just inside the arm-hole seams

Next cut at the neck…

Wool sweater bad cut neck

I lined up a straight edge across the bottom of the armpits to make sure my neck cut would be as deep as my arm cuts.

Try to make the arm curves and the neck curves match…I had to fool with it a little after these pics to get them even.

These will be your handles

After you cuts are made shift the sweater around till the handles line up.

Wool sweater cut sleeve

Next is the bottom of the bag…you don’t have to do this, you can just sew the bottom together straight away but I needed the extra room.

I used one of the sleeves I cut off for this.  I made mine about 4 inches wide by the same length as the bottom of my sweater.

Wool sweater bag bottom cut

Turn your sweater inside out and at the bottom edge of the sweater pin your bottom piece, right sides together.

Wool sweater bag pin bottom

Now how does one fit a square cornered bottom piece into a curved sweater hem?

Well I put a little tuck in the corners of the bottom piece…all pointing in…to make it match up better to the sweater.

Wool sweater bag tuck bottom

Stitch along the bottom where you pinned, feed the sweater into the machine.  Don’t pull from the back it will stretch and warp the sweater.

Turn right side out.

Now you have a perfectly useful wool bag.


when I noticed all those scraps I knew I just could not let them go to waste.

Wool sweater bag scraps

So I played around with them a little…

Wool sweater bag scrap flowers

Hmmmm…maybe roses?

Wool sweater bag roses first

So I made a couple of roses by hand-stiching them as I wound them around

And if two were good…

Wool sweater bag roses leaves

Nine were better, with leaves to boot!

All made from the scraps and hand sewn on.

And what am I going to do with my newly created bag?

Wool sweater bag knitting

It is my new knitting bag!

Wool sweater bag ribbing

I love the ribbing on the bottom…no hiding what this used to be!

Wool sweater bag alpaca knitting

There you have it…a thrift store sweater turned new rose knitting bag!

Felted wool bag sweater handmade roses

So everybody run…don’t walk…to your nearest thrift store and grab an armful of wool sweaters.  Let loose your creative genius that I know is hiding in each of you!

Have fun!

Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she’s raising organic fruits, veggies, critters,kids, and…a camel!

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