A lot of crazy things are happening in our world lately. A LOT of crazy things.
How do YOU deal with the crazy?
Me? I craft. I create. I watch Stephen Colbert or Queer Eye. I play with my daughter.
But sometimes my overthinking, hyperactive brain needs something else to keep anxious fingers busy. You know, like when you're watching your daughter in gymnastics class or sitting in the waiting room for a dentist appointment.
Calming breaths? Check. People-watching? Check.
But what to do with antsy fingers when the last thing you need to do is look at another screen??
I found a great answer!
It's easy, fun, portable, productive, and upcycled! Woohoo!
Follow me, my friend, to learn how to calm the twine down. :)
One day I found myself putzing around on Pinterest (like we all do) when I should have been doing something 'productive.' Hah! One search led to another search, led to another search, and then I see someone mention the phrase 'fabric twine.' Huh?? Now THAT was an intriguing new phrase.
See, I love the idea of twine. But I don't like the smell or prickly feel of twine. Not to mention, I always have a basket full of scraps from some sewing or quilting experiment from years past. Doesn't everyone?
Funny enough, my initial search didn't produce much. However, a video search was far more helpful as to HOW to make the twine itself. (I kept finding what to do with finished twine at first. Doh!)
Soon, Voila! I found a great video on how to make the fabric twine and it is SO easy!!!
(Okay, so a fantastic Australian accent certainly adds to the awesome factor.)
Twist Your Cares Away
Once I watched mypoppetblogs' video a couple of times, I was ready to go.
Thanks to a recent craft room clean up I already had a basket of scraps that would work great for the task.
They were all sizes, shapes, and fabric types but I really didn't think fabric type would matter all that much, for once.
Some of them frankly didn't even look that interesting. But I thought twisted with other colors it would turn out ok.
First step? Slice and dice. I started cutting up my scrap fabrics into strips of 1/2 to 1 inch wide strips.
(*Tip* - Closer to 1/2 inch is much easier to work with than 1 inch when twisting.)
It takes a little practice to get used to the twisting motions and how to hold the fabric, but you pick it up pretty quick. It will also take some trial and error to get those connecting pieces figured out, but honestly only you're perfectionism will notice.
Just remember, c'est la vie and move on. It's a calming endeavor after all.
Once I got the connecting pieces figured out (watched the video again for a tip or two and just went with it) I tried to just breath and go with the flow.
THAT's when I realized how calming this could be.
When I took my eyes off of the process and thus couldn't scrutinize my work anymore, it became a soothing repetitive motion that was also productive.
We all have those days when twisting a rope around and around (maybe imagining twisting it around someone or something...) sounds like a nice stress reliever?
Well this is FAR more socially acceptable!
Have Twine, Will Travel
Now, the first time I tried the fabric twine was actually at my first vendor show (eep!). I needed something to do to keep myself busy but also able to interact with people, so I grabbed my scrap basket and took it with me.
Turned out I did this for nearly 5 hours straight! It was the perfect anxiety relief while also being appropriately productive.
(*Warning* - your fingers will cramp the next day if you try this...lol.)
I sure thought this was a great anxiety took for other things like doctor appointments, social gatherings, etc. However, I didn't want to tote a scrap basket with me all the time. SO, I rummaged around the house for a good alternative.
Fabric twine is an amazingly easy activity to carry around in your purse.
I just found a little zipper pouch I had in the closet, put my in-progress twine ball in it with a handful of cut up scrap strips and tucked it in my purse.
I also packed a tiny binder clip to hold the end of my twine ball when I had to stop each time.
Anxious waiting for the doctor?
Pulled out my twine ball.
Watching my daughter at gymnastics while reigning in brain overload with my mental to-do list? Pulled out my twine ball.
Riding in the car for a long drive? (Packing more strips, of course.)
Pulled out my twine ball.
Sitting at the coffeeshop with my daughter and could get some work done on my phone but not wanting to promote staring at a screen?
Pulled out my twine ball.
Did I mention that fabric twine can be fun for toddlers too? Lol.
My daughter LOVES to unravel the ball I'm currently twisting and play with it while I add to it. Bonus - this actually finds the weak connections I have so I can fix them.
(*Tip* - the only real way to fix a week strip connection is to continue with the ball on the side with one dangling strip and tie off the start of a now new ball on the side with the other dangling strip. Once you find a broken connection this will totally make sense.)
The only sort of weird aspect of carrying a fabric twine ball with you is that you get smattered with little bits of fabric fuzz. Lol.
I'm always brushing off the little fabric bits stuck to me at the doctor's office or gymnastics class.
But eh, at least I didn't have food down the front of my shirt instead...cuz, well, that happens too. Hah!
Otherwise, any funny looks you get are probably people just wanting to know what you're making. I had a few people actually inquire and then ask how to do it themselves!
BUT, if you are self-conscious about it, just remember the 2018 Finnish Winter Olympic Team who all knitted!!
At the End of Your Rope...er...Twine
So get to twisting, my friends!
If you don't have scrap fabric on hand, cut up some t-shirts you were going to donate or ask a sewing friend if they have some bits they don't have a good use for. Scrap fabric is not hard to find and just about any kind of fabric will do!
Once you've made a big ball of twine, then what? Well, whatever you want!
You can let your kids or animals play with it.
You can set a few balls of twine in a basket or bowl as decor.
You can use it for anything you would use regular twine for.
OR you can take my search full circle and start looking up Pinterest ideas.
In fact, here's just one of many Pinterest rabbit holes you can hop down if you like:
So far I've made a number of twine balls myself and, believe it or not, emptied that entire full basket of fabric scraps!
The plan for my twine?
1. Use it to make a business sign/bunting for the Cole County Extension Fall Festival (see my Events below) out of upcycled lace, more fabric scraps, and old wooden shingles.
2. Put my extra twine balls up for sale at the Extension Festival for others to enjoy!
Want to see??
Here's a little looky-loo at the twine balls that will be up for sale and my business bunting sign in progress.
I don't know about you, but I LOVE the colorful shagginess of fabric twine.
I think these twine balls are far more interesting to look at than the fake baker's twine or twig balls you see in ceramic bowls on coffee tables these days. BUT, that's my opinion. :)
Have a question? Made your own twine? Let me know, let me see!
Leave me a question, comment, and /or picture below. I'd love to hear from you.