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Topic: T-Shirt Yarn Tutorial  (Read 6538 times)
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PixieVal
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« on: October 11, 2010 08:29:12 PM »

I love making rag rugs, and I love to use t-shirt yarn for them! I used to be intimidated about making t-shirt yarn, but after I got the hang of it, I cant get enough of making it!! Its super simple to make, so I thought I would make a tutorial to share with you all! Big thanks to my mom to taking all the pictures for me(I only have 2 hands! Lol!)

Tools needed:
T-Shirt
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Something to lean on while youre cutting to protect surfaces


Lay your t-shirt out


I like to immediately cut out at the armpits to remove the top half. (I cut this part up, and donate as rags on base at the auto center.)



I also like to cut off the bottom seam of the t-shirt because I find this too thick and difficult to comfortably crochet with. Totally optional.

Smooth out your wrinkles, and fold from one seamed side to the other.

When you bring over your seam, do not bring it totally over. Leave one inch from the other seam.

Start cutting about an inch away from the bottom seam, going all the way through our top seam. NOT ALL THE WAY THOUGH BOTH SEAMS. Some people measure, so each strip is a precise width. I strive for a little less than an inch, eyeballing it. Sometime larger, sometimes thinner.



Alternate method: Scissors


Continue cutting out strips, leaving about an inch at the top so that youre not disconnecting any of the strips.


When you reach the end, pick up the uncut seam and shake everything out.

Some people use a bottle, Im lazy! I use my arm. Insert arm through the shredded shirt, having the uncut seam laying across your arm.


Now comes the part where youll have to pay just a little bit of attention!:D
We can forget about the rotary cutter now, and get our scissors out.
Make a cut to separate half of the first strip from the rest, like shown on the diagram. THIS IS ONLY 1X.


Now we will continue cutting the rest DIAGONALLY
Take your scissors and make a diagonal cut from the top of the first strip to the bottom of second strip on the opposite side.


Continue to make this same diagonal cut all the way across the shirt.

When you reach the end you will have one long strip of t-shirt fabric!

Roll it up like a regular ball of yarn, and it is ready for you to use to knit, crochet, weave, whatever you want to do!



What kind of projects can I make with t-shirt yarn?
Rag Rugs are my favorite thing to make, but Ive also heard of folks using them to make large bags, dishcloths and many other things! It is kindve heavy, so I wouldnt recommend wearables! Cheesy
Where do I get t-shirts?
First place I raid is my closet. Shirts with holes or stains. With a 2 year old and a hole in my lip, I have a lot of stained shirts! Wink
Theres always Freecycle.com. You have to join, but its a free yahoo group, and you can ask for a bag of t-shirts. Youd be surprised how many you could get!
Also, all of the thrift stores in my town have bag sale days, fill a brown bag for anywhere from 3-5 dollars, great way to get a lot of shirts! You might be able to ask them for their bags of clothes that were donated, but were not good enough quality for them to sell. They might give you a giant discount, or even give them to you for free!

Q/A
I roll it flat, but pull as I'm crocheting so it rolls up then.
  Do you pull yours so it gets all curled up and yarn like or do you use it flat?

I want to cut squares from the fronts to make a quilt, but wanted to use the leftovers for rag rugs.  =]  do you tie ends together or is there another method you use?  I was just visiting my sister who cuts up sheets for crocheting into rugs...her joining would work here, I think.  Thanks!
If you're using shorter pieces (from the sleeves or something) I love to join them by snipping a small hole an inch or so from the end of each piece you are joining. Put the holey end of Piece A through the hole you snipped in Piece B. Then take the non-holey end of Piece A and put it through the hole of Piece A and pull all the way through (since you're pulling it through its whole length, this join is obviously suited to shorter pieces). You effectively make a little knot that can't come undone and is not very bulky, with no loose ends flapping.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010 08:04:04 PM by pixieval » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010 08:41:50 PM »

Ooh great tute! I can never figure out how to cut those lol.
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010 09:21:26 PM »

This is on my list of things to try. 
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PixieVal
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2010 09:24:57 PM »

This is on my list of things to try. 
I hope you do! Its addicting!
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010 01:36:16 AM »

What size needle would you use to knit/crochet with such a yarn?
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PixieVal
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2010 06:57:33 AM »

What size needle would you use to knit/crochet with such a yarn?
I don't know much about knitting, but when I crochet I use a N, P, or Q hook- depends on how loose I want it. Lately, I've been using an N. The rug in the background of the pictures is not done yet, but it is an example of crocheting with an N hook.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2010 07:31:58 AM »

Such a simple technique!  I was hand cutting round and round...this is WAY easier!  Thanks also for the ideas on where to get lots of t-shirts for free or cheap...I never thought to ask the Goodwill for stuff that is not good enough to sell!

Can't wait to see your finished rug--it looks great back there so far!!
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2010 07:57:14 AM »

Well this sure makes it a whole lot easier to get enough t-shirt yarn for the rag rug of my dreams....thanks pixieval!!  Now I just need to learn how to crochet and I'll be all set Grin
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2010 10:46:43 AM »

Thank you for all of the detailed pics. If only I had some good quality t-shirts around the house. We usually wear all the life out of ours.
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2010 12:34:41 PM »

oh oh.. I love this tute.. I have a small pile of t-shirts from the bf, of which only 1 or 2 or worth remaking for myself the rest usually have 'youthful' (ie inappropiate) sayings on them.. Hmm.. where ar emy scissors...
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