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!
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)!
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