Giant pieces of beautiful uselessness
January 23, 2013 4:44 PM   Subscribe

I enjoy making large, colourful crochet blankets. I have enough blankets but I don't want to give any more away or sell them. Apart from yarn bombing, in what artistic way can I use them? It can be for private or public display. This is an example of what I make.
posted by drunkonthemoon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Personally, when I see people who look cold, yarn bombing trees bothers me. Why not give them away to people who live on the street?
posted by Ideefixe at 4:49 PM on January 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

You could make wall hangings, or make miniature versions of the blankets and use them as potholders in the kitchen. You could also make rugs. Finally, you might want to put your crochet skills to use making other wearable garments.

I think you'll also get a lot of people here encouraging you to donate them to a needy organization. I've heard great things about Project Linus, and plan to start knitting blankets for them as soon as I get my works in progress off my needles. There are several drop-off locations in my area (mostly yarn stores and fabric stores, where I'd be going anyway). I'd consider donating them to a worthy cause.
posted by sockermom at 5:04 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

What do you mean by "enough blankets?" "Enough so that I have one blanket for every present need?" Because I know several people--my mom included--who have a ton of blankets and rotate them in and out of use. The rest go in a chest or closet, but they mostly all get rotated out to lay on the top of the couch, or hung on the wall, or used on beds, over the course of a year.

My wife and I are talking about changing the color scheme of our decor in keeping with the liturgical seasons. So blue/silver for advent (we're Protestant; Catholics us violet here), white for Christmas and Easter, green for "ordinary time," etc. So for something like this, we'd probably want at least a handful of differently-colored blankets for every place that we'd want one. You may not observe the church calendar, but the idea of changing colors with the seasons is far from a religious idea.

With a little creativity, you may have just quadrupled your "need" for blankets! "Enough" blankets? Impossible!
posted by valkyryn at 5:08 PM on January 23, 2013

^^ I like that idea. Homeless people would likely be very glad of them.

Another idea would be to give them away to nursing homes or rehab centers. Older people (or anyone bedfast, or in a wheelchair no matter the age) would probably be glad to have them. Also, something handmade is generally welcome in an institutional setting.

I'd stay away from anything to do with babies, since little fingers could get caught in the granny square holes, but maybe donate some to children's charities? There are cold children all over the country (and world).

Another idea would be to donate some smaller ones to animal shelters. Cages are cold and lonely, and a warm blanket would be good for a dog or cat to snuggle on.

They're lovely blankets.
posted by wolfgirl at 5:09 PM on January 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

You could make a really special one and enter it in a local contest/exhibition - typically they have these at county fairs.

Honestly though I would donate them to a homeless/abused women/children/etc shelter.
posted by radioamy at 5:16 PM on January 23, 2013

One of my sisters makes blankets for a group called something like 'Afghans for Afganis', but there are lots of groups, both here and overseas, that would LOVE to have your blankets! There are battered women's shelters; transitional housing for former drug/alcohol abusers or those trying to move out of homelessness; halfway houses; children's hospitals and places like Ronald McDonald Houses for families, just for starters.

I'd be less likely to hand them out to homeless people on the street, simply because I suspect they'd need blankets that can stand up to much more physical abuse. On the other hand, can you do sweaters and gloves or mittens? People on the street would surely appreciate those items.
posted by easily confused at 5:29 PM on January 23, 2013

I apologize if I read it wrong, but I think the asker is not interested in giving away the blankets.

Anyway, you could pretend they are giant pojagi and use them to wrap up things around the house that are not moved or accessed much.

You could channel your inner 7 year old and roll them up into cylinders to build big Lincoln Log structures if you have a-lot-a-lot.
posted by Marit at 5:55 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Could you connect a bunch of them together and make a giant one, and use that as a wall hanging, roof for a tent, mat for kids to sit on, or something else? What about covering (like upholstery) a chair or couch with them?
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:25 PM on January 23, 2013

Can you clarify- do you mean you don't want to give any more away to people you know as gifts, or that you aren't interested in doing any kind of charity project? My first thought, like many people above, was that there are many places that would love to have them- domestic violence shelters, shelters for homeless families, children's hospitals, the Ronald McDonald House or any other organization that provides housing for families of critically ill children, veterans' hospitals, hospice, care homes...
posted by Snarl Furillo at 6:46 PM on January 23, 2013

These are amazing. Maybe you could hang them as art. (I am thinking like a large canvas and maybe some glass in front of it so people do not just think it is a hanging blanket).

It is hard to tell because I don't know much about crochet but can you make figures? A family member has a silk tapestry handed down by the ages that was made by a grandmother- it is a hand embroidered city showing all the different neighborhoods and buildings. I have always thought that there is a lot of crossover between crafts like sewing/crocheting and fine art.
posted by kettleoffish at 7:07 PM on January 23, 2013

You could make Fibonacci tiling afghans, or big flat robot afghans with movable arms.
posted by Francolin at 7:31 PM on January 23, 2013

Can you transition to garment making? Can you work in wool and then felt your creations, and make other things like bags or rugs from the resulting heavy, dense felt?

(If you're ever interested in swapping them for art, memail me.)
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:02 PM on January 23, 2013

You could send them to military members!

Like me :-D
posted by DisreputableDog at 9:11 PM on January 23, 2013

Hello, thanks for the responses so far. To clarify - I don't want to give any more blankets away. I have already donated quite a few, I also donate/volunteer with various charities. They can take weeks and a lot of effort to make and I would like to display them in some way, so I am looking for alternatives to just draping them on beds. Thanks!
posted by drunkonthemoon at 2:10 AM on January 24, 2013

Play tents look like fun and something you could set up and take down whenever.

If you have the space (and the ambition!), you could come up with a more scaled down version of an art installation / play space (more info here and here, with several pages, links at the bottom).

If you have a room to dedicate, you could make a ceiling swag with crocheted strips, hang a large blanket or two against the full length/width of bare walls (maybe on wooden dowels in a way that would make it easy to switch them out), or use individual squares or circles on one wall, cover the furniture with blankets, crochet your own rugs and floor poufs. Sounds zany, but with some careful thought to colors and patterns, it could be a really cozy reading room, or similar – and for even more project longevity, you could have different color/pattern themes for different seasons.

Unfortunately, I can't find a more detailed/full image, but this crocheted room exhibit from a group called Maymott is pretty groovy (another pic with various details on this page). Their site doesn't have a ton of stuff in the gallery, but you may find what's there fun and inspiring. They seems to cull pattern ideas from marine life and similar.
posted by taz at 3:12 AM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

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