Staff Writer

ReuseNYC: Reusable Materials Rejuvenate Urban Gardens

From the ReuseNYC front page and article archive, supporting reuse-focused organizations and events in New York City:

Reusable Materials Rejuvenate Urban Gardens

July 16, 2013

by Margaret Dunham

(NEW YORK, NY) Any patch of greenery in New York City is a treasure for the community. Parks, tree lawns, and urban gardens can be sanctuaries for wildlife and plants while providing welcome relief to city dwellers in a landscape of cement and asphalt. This time of year it’s easy to see some of Build It Green!NYC’s projects in action, especially their BIG!Compost and BIG!Blooms initiatives.

BIG!Blooms is all about building gardens in the city; specifically, the program focuses on distributing retired scaffolding lumber to groups building raised garden beds. Fertile, unused space to garden in is rare in NYC, and a raised bed can be built almost anywhere. All you need to get started are lumber for the framework and willing hands to set it up! This project helps convert construction waste into direct support for community and school gardens.

Scaffolding lumber used in construction is normally retired and sent to a landfill, a chipping facility, or to an incinerator when it is no longer needed. Build It Green!NYC saw raised bed gardening as an opportunity to divert wood from the waste stream and provide free materials to local gardens. Build It Green!NYC has supported gardens all over the city with the BIG!Blooms Program.

To find out more about the project, donate lumber or get in touch for supplies to build your own garden, click here.

BIG!Compost grew out of the volunteer-led Western Queens Compost Initiative, which was founded in late 2009. They have been collecting food scraps from NYC residents since then. Here’s what the folks at Build It Green!NYC have to say about expanding into composting beyond their core salvage and reclamation projects:

“We believe this program is strongly connected to BIG’s mission of keeping materials out of the landfill and providing them to the public to help build a stronger, healthier, and greener NYC. In the case of compost, we take in food scraps, transform them into compost, and then distribute that compost to community greening initiatives.” – Louise Bruce – Project Manager NYC Compost Project, Western Queens Compost Initiative

The compostable materials are processed locally at one of their composting sites. To find out more about BIG!Compost, click here.

Image credit: The garden photo above was taken at the Roger That Community Garden, which has benefited from the support of Build It Green!NYC’s programs. For more pictures and information, click here.

Lion Brand Notebook: How to Crochet Broomstick Lace

Posted on April 26, 2012

From the Lion Brand Yarn Company crafts and lifestyle blog ’11-’12, the Lion Brand Notebook:

How to Crochet Broomstick Lace

April 26th, 2012 by Margaret

Broomstick lace has a beautiful, open look that really shows off the character and texture of your yarn. Dating back to the 1800s, this technique creates large loops of yarn that gently twist to the left, giving the finished project especially elegant drape. For a long time I was intimidated by broomstick lace, so I wanted to share how easy it is to create this beautiful, reversible fabric!

Ready to get started? You’ll need:

  • Yarn for your project: Choose a yarn you want to show off. I chose Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend because I love the twist and soft luster.
  • Crochet hook: Use whatever hook you feel works best with your yarn. I used a US K10.5/6.5mm hook for larger, more open stitches.
  • Large knitting needle (or actual broomstick, if you dare!): You can use any large needle for this project; the larger your needle, the larger your loops will be. I used a needle from a pair of ‘Speed Stix’ (US 50/25mm). When making broomstick lace, this tool is often called the “pin.”

How to Crochet Broom Stick Lace Step By Sep Guide with Pictures


1. First, make a chain. For this sample I wanted to make repeats of 5, so I chained 15 stitches for 3 repeats. Draw the final chain up over the knitting needle.

2. Crochet back into the chain, drawing up a loop in each stitch and pulling it up over the knitting needle.

3. Repeat until you have drawn up a loop through every stitch in your chain and transferred them onto the knitting needle. This step creates the large loops of yarn you will see in the finished lace.

4. Slide your hook through the first group of loops (for this example that’s 5 loops per repeat) and pull them off the needle. At this point, if it is easier for you to manage, you can remove the large needle from your work altogether.

5. Yarn over and pull through the group of large loops on your hook. Work one single crochet for every loop in the group on your hook (I worked 5 single crochet into the group of 5 loops). Continue this process until all the loops have been crocheted into. Note: make sure to check how many loops you have in each group to avoid accidental increases or decreases.

6. This completes your first row of broomstick lace! You can now draw loops up through each of the single crochet stitches you made in step 5, and continue to repeat steps 1-5 till your project reaches the desired length.


What new techniques have you tried that looked tricky at first? What would you tell a crafter who was nervous about trying a new craft for the first time? Leave a comment to share!


Related Links: