Upcycle T-Shirts into Knitting Yarn
What do to with all the T-Shirts?
If you are anything like me (by that I mean a pack rat...) you most likely have a bunch of too big, too small, stained or just plain freaking ugly t shirts stacked up somewhere. I currently have huge tub in my craft room taking up prime real estate that I could fill up with other crap. (I also have about 5 bajillion six pack rings that are going to be something really, really awesome...one day)
Since I know I am not the only one who saves every tshirt hoping to give it a new life, I knew I had to share this project when I found it!
If you know how to knit or have ever wanted to learn how to knit, this is the perfect use for your stash. Follow this tutorial and you will have all the "yarn" you could ever knit. (or crochet, but I knit!)
Grab your shirt and your scissors!
To get started all you need are scissors and a couple of tshirts. I suggest using a tshirt that does not have seams down the sides, or you will have to attach a bunch of little strips together. No big deal, but a shirt with no seams is easier. I also avoid shirts with printing because they can be a pain to knit and leave bumps in your finished project. But, for a rug or pot holder they would work fine.
Start by cutting off the hem of the shirt and discarding.
(I chop discard pieces like this up into little bitty pieces to use as stuffing for other projects)
Now that the seam is off, begin cutting a strip about an inch wide at the bottom of the shirt parallel to where the seam was.
You want to cut one strip in a spiral up the body of the shirt to just under the arms. If you want to use every last bit of the shirt you can cut smaller strips from the sleeves and upper body and then attach with a few stitches.
Don't waste your time measuring and marking as tshirt material curls and you won't be able to tell the difference. Just do the best you can to make clean cuts with no ragged edges and keep the strips around an inch wide. Larger strips are difficult to knit and strips any smaller than an inch will fray and come apart.
Once you have the entire shirt cut into one strip, gently pull small sections of your yarn. The edges will curl up and leave you with some awesome upcycled yarn!
By the way: you will end up with a bunch of little tiny threads EVERYWHERE! I suggest pulling the yarn outside if you want to keep from having to vacuum.
Roll it up
Roll up your yarn into a ball and get knitting! You can cast on, knit, purl, and bind off just like normal. I do find that using slightly larger needles works better, the smaller sizes can make working with tshirt yarn a bit more difficult.
I am looking forward to making some absorbent bath mats for holiday gifts, but you could easily knit bags, pot holders, or dish towels. Let me know what other ideas you come up with!
Avoid mistakes by reading my blog for more updates :)
If you like this tutorial, I have a bunchof other cool ways to use freebies!