Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shop Feature: Gooses Golden Eggs

May is going to be the month of features of shops that use tarn and other upcycled goods starting with Gooses Golden Eggs.  Ilse has a fabulous shop going full of goodies.  While browsing her shop, you will find a variety of jewelry and knitted goods, as well as the household items that we will be looking at today. 

Of course, I am a sucker for tarn.  I asked her how she started working with tarn.
Ilse:  "I had a bunch of old t-shirts laying around.  Normally I chop them up for dust rags once they've passed their prime.  I got the idea to use them for craft projects from a magazine, Disney Family Fun I believe it was.  They had a project to make pot holders with old t-shirts.  So I looked around on the internet for ideas on what to do with these old t-shirts.  I stumbled across a webpage that showed how to make yarn out of them.  It just grew from there.  I've been doing it ever since.  My family and friends find my habit of buying old tie dye t-shirts amusing." 

And how did the pot holders turn out?  Well, Ilse was kind enough to provide us some pictures.  Take a look for yourself!

Ilse:  "This was the first time I dyed the t-shirts to make a set of matching pot holders.  They used to be two, white, mens undershirts that had seen better days.  I love the idea of giving the t-shirts a second lease on life."

Ilse:  "These used to be an old tie dyed souvenir t-shirt from Hawaii and a red souvenir t-shirt from San Francisco.  I like that they mirror each other. I found both t-shirts in a second hand store just waiting to be reborn into something new and useful."
You can purchase these adorable pink and red potholder here.

Ilse started her Etsy shop in February of 2011.  Like all of us shop owners, she closed her eyes and jumped right in.
Ilse:  "My shop was opened on a hope and a prayer.  So many people had suggested I try my hand at selling my hats online. I'd made a few sales through friends and word of mouth.  I finally got the courage to put myself out there in February of 2011.  I encouraged my friend to join me last summer and she has a few items in the shop as well."

I have gotten to know cyber know Ilse a bit and find her to be just lovely.  I was curious to know how she got started and what motivated her.
Ilse:  "I'm a single mom of two wonderful little boys, ages 2 and 9.  They are the driving force behind everything I do.  I've been making jewelry for 15 years, crocheting for 8 years and knitting hats for 5 years.  I got my need to create from my mom who was an amazing candle maker, painter and jewelry maker.  I always thought my mom was an artist but have a hard time labeling myself one.  I am an avid recycler/upcycler.  This I also got from my mom.  She could turn random "trash" into beautiful things.  Around my house everyone asks if I have any use for things before they throw them away.  It's kind of a joke these days.  I love creating beautiful things for others to enjoy."

Ilse doesn't just make potholders from tarn.  She also says she has made coasters, hats and used it in jewelry in place of chain, ribbon or other cord.  She's also made a couple scarves.  I also want to give a shout out to her rugs.  They are not made of tarn, but from upcycled fleece.  The one below used to be a Snuggie.  I personally find this to be a huge improvement over a snuggie.  Talk about the definition of upcycling (talking something and increasing its value)! 

Ilse:  "This rug was super fun to make.  Watching it come together was cool.  It's made from about a yard of black fleece and an old second hand snuggie. I had used this particular technique to make some coasters once in middle school and figured if I just went bigger I could do a rug.  These fleece rag rugs make really awesome bath mats because they are absorbent but dry super fast.  They also save your feet from a cold tile floor when you get out of the shower."
I just love the wild kinda jungle look of this rug.  This rug is available for purchase here,

Ilse has also been kind enough to offer an awesome coupon for 25% off!  Just use coupon code Luv2Upcycle25.  The sale will run from May 3 through May 10 so don't miss out!  You can thank Ilse for her generous sale by visiting her on Facebook and on Twitter.  She often displays special deals on both sites that you won't want to miss out on.

Thank you Ilse for allowing me to feature you!  I had a lot of fun browsing your shop and getting to know you. Next week we will feature a shop that upcycles fabrics into bowls.  I can't wait to introduce you!  Til then...

Love and Peace

Idle Hands Yarn and Supply


  1. Love this post & the artist! Great feature!

  2. Thank you Kate! I am so happy that you enjoyed this post and I know that Ilse will be just thrilled. :)

  3. Tie-dyed t-shirts are the best for making t-shirt yarn! I love the variegation, and it shows nicely in the potholders.

  4. I agree Laura! I am working on getting some up in my shop. It is fabulous for adding dimension to the colors in your projects. Great advice for people!

  5. Tie dye t-shirts are the best! I've got a couple sitting my basket waiting to be made into yarn right now. I've been shopping around today to find some more.

  6. I've wanted a rug like that forever and Ilse's prices are too good to pass up! I got an awesome blue one to match my decor :-)

  7. I am so glad you found something you liked Cybele! It is easy to do in Ilse's shop and her prices are fabulous, aren't they? :)

    1. Indeed! She's a swift shipper, as well. Thank you for featuring her! I really like her leopard Snuggie rug and the black/red/white one, too. Awesome upcycling!

  8. That leopard snuggie rug finally found a home!! This makes me super happy!