Have you tried making T-shirt yarn yet? It's actually more simple than you would think and you can make all kinds of cute and useful stuff for your home with it. Like hot-pads!
Striped T-Shirt Yarn Hot-pads Free Pattern
by Elise Engh
T-Shirt Yarn (check out this free tutorial to make your own)
Size I/9-5.50MM Crochet Hook
sc = single crochet
Notes: This pattern makes a hotpad that measures approx. 6 3/4 in x 8 1/4 in. To make a larger or smaller hotpad, increase or decrease the beginning ch, or use a larger or smaller crochet hook.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook. Sc in each ch across. Turn.
Row 2- 17: Ch 1, sc in each ch across. Turn. (alternate colors as desired)
Row 18: Ch 1, sc in each sc across. At the end of this row, add yarn for the edging.
Row 1: 3 sc in same sc as join, sc in each space along each side of the hotpad, making sure to 3 sc in each corner.
Row 2: 3 sc in first sc in the corner, sc in each space along each side of the hotpad, making sure to 3 sc in each corner. Fasten off and weave in ends.