The holidays are here, and it's time to spread the good cheer. Why not make an effort this year to reuse and recycle as many of your gifts as possible?
Today I'll be showing you how to make t shirt yarn, which is great for creating custom yarns, from slim to bulky weight, that can be made into any number of great home decor or fashion gifts.
First, collect t shirts. Specifically, you want a tube knit shirt with no side seams for the best results. Harvest shirts from your give-away pile, your friends' or family's cast-offs or closets (after asking, of course!), or from thrift stores. If you opt for the last option, this is a case where bigger is better. Hit up the men's sections first, heading straight to the xxxl's if possible. Bigger shirts will get you more yardage for the same amount of money.
Wash and dry all shirts when you get them home. Next, we dissect
Begin by cutting off the hemmed portion of the t shirt as close to the stitching as possible. From there, cut a spiral strip from the bottom edge of the t shirt all the way up to either the armpit area of the t shirt or to the printed design, whichever comes first.
The thickness of your strip will determine the thickness of your yarn, but be careful not to cut down to less than a quarter of an inch strip or you won't be able to stretch your strips into yarn.
Here's one 3xl shirt, cut into 1 continuous strip, before stretching.
Begin stretching the strips between both hands by pulling the strip lengthwise. This works with the properties of a knit stitch to curl the cut ends of the fabric in on the strip, creating a rounded piece of fabric that is easy to work with and looks smooth. Continue pulling the strip until the entire length of the fabric has been stretched.
Here's the same 3xl t shirt after being cut and stretched, waiting to be rolled into a ball.
Here's my original pile of t shirts after being cut, stretched, and wound into balls. As you can see, I've already started crocheting them into a Christmas-colored rag rug. The rag rug was raffled off at the Our City Forest Eco-Holiday Craft Fair, and now has a happy new home!
Enjoy your new yarn, and enjoy making a green impact on our world!