Alternative Coasters

Jan 4, 2006
Views: 41,754
Comments: 3
Average rating:

Author

by Robyn Chachula

Introduction

Alernative CoastersUntil a few weeks ago, I thought “alternative fibers” meant eyelash yarn. Oh, how I was mistaken. Alternative fibers really mean anything you can get your hands on to crochet and knit with except yarn. The only limitation is your own creativity. My awakening happened at the Crochet and Knitting Conference in Valley Forge. My mom, sister, cousin, and I took a class on “alternative fibers.” It was fantastic. It was like being in camp again, sitting around the fire talking while trying to make lanyards; except there was no fire and we were trying to crochet with the gimp instead. Since then, I’ve been a woman on a mission. The mission is to crochet every material, paper to plastic, in sight. Recently, when Mother’s Day came around, I wanted to make my mom something with alternative fibers to say thank you for bringing me to class. That’s when these coasters were born.

I chose black flagging tape for my mom’s coasters. I wanted them to resemble the black bamboo mats that she bought and I wanted them to be waterproof, to be used outside. Flagging tape is a heavy plastic ribbon (no adhesive on any side) that surveyors, gardeners, and hikers use to mark off areas. You can easily find it in any hardware store (gardening aisle), sports store (camping/climbing aisle), or eBay - where you can find anything. Once I finished these, I tried grocery bags just for fun (shown in photo, above). The grocery bags coaster uses both plies of the bag (one seemed too flimsy). For yours, feel free to try any alternative fiber, like hemp, curling ribbon, or twine. Just think about the fabric and the use you want to achieve. One last note, if you are new to Tunisian crochet, I would recommend trying the pattern with yarn first. Yarn is much easier to work with to master the stitch.

Materials List

  • 1 roll of Black Flagging Tape (150 ft) or 10 grocery bags will make at least 4 coasters
  • L Afghan Hook
  • Notes

    US pattern notation used
    Ch = chain
    Yo = Yarn Over
    Sl st = Slip stitch
    TSS = Tunisian simple stitch – insert hook under next vertical bar, YO, pull up loop. For more information, see tutorial in April/May ’05 issue.

    The Pattern

    “Basket Weave” Coaster

    Basket weave coaster

    Ch 14

    Row 1: (forward) Insert hook in 2nd ch, YO, pull up loop. (Insert hook in next ch, YO, pull up loop) in each ch across.

    (reverse) YO and pull through one loop. *YO and pull through two loops*, repeat from * to * across to end.

    Row 2: (forward) Skip first vertical bar, [YO LOOSELY, TSS in next 3 vertical bars, pull YO over the 3 last loops on the hook (see Detail 1)], across to last vertical bar, TSS in last vertical bar.

     

    Detail 1
    Detail 1

    (reverse) YO and pull through one loop, *YO and pull through two loops*, repeat * to* across to end.

    Rows 3-8: Repeat Row 2.

    Last Row: Skip first vertical bar, pull up loop in next vertical bar and pull through one loop on hook (sl st made), sl st across to end.

    Finish off by tucking in loose ends.

    “Diagonal Weave” Coaster:

    diagonal weave coaster
    Ch 14

    Row 1: (forward) Insert hook in 2nd ch, YO, pull up loop, (insert hook in next ch, YO, pull up loop) in each ch across.

    (reverse) YO and pull through one loop, *YO and pull through two loops*, repeat * to * across to end.

    Row 2: (forward) Skip first vertical bar, [insert hook into next 2 vertical bars (see Detail 2), yo, pull loop up, TSS in first vertical bar of group (see Detail 3)], across to last vertical bar, TSS in last vertical bar.

    coaster
    Detail 2

    coaster
    Detail 3

    (reverse) YO and pull through one loop, *YO and pull through two loops*, repeat * to * across to end.

    Row 3: (forward) Skip first vertical bar, TSS in next vertical bar, [insert hook into next 2 vertical bars, yo, pull loop up, TSS in first vertical bar of group], across to last 2 vertical bars, TSS in last 2 vertical bars.

    (reverse) YO and pull through one loop, *YO and pull through two loops*, repeat * to * across to end.

    Row 4-9: Repeat Rows 2 and 3, alternating.

    Last Row: Skip first vertical bar, [insert hook into next two vertical bars, yo, pull up loop and pull through one loop on hook (sl st made), sl st in first vertical bar of group], across to last vertical bar, sl st in last bar.

    Finish off by tucking in loose ends.

    The author has licensed this page under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved.

    + Add a comment

    Comments

    Anonymous wrote
    on Sep 25, 2006 5:43 AM

    What a great concept! My daughter is taking a weaving class and they are currently using plants. I'm going to give that a try.

    on Dec 16, 2008 1:21 PM

    How are you using the plastic grocery bags? Do you cut it up? I'm not sure how to use the alternative material.

    duckie013 wrote
    on Feb 5, 2009 9:28 PM

    probably talking about making plastic bag yarn.. heres how you make it... http://hellejorgensen.typepad.com/gooseflesh/2007/02/plastic_bag_yar.html