It seems like every Holiday has it’s own festive brand of tacky shirt and now that the forth of July has passed there is an abundance of flag themed shirts in the local thrift stores. My Mother rescued these two, thinking they were both tie dyed, only one was and it was really more splatter dyed, oh and covered in stiff glitter paint fireworks (don’t worry, I have plans for this one). This flag themed shirt was made into yarn. I really enjoy turning a not so great shirt into some fun yarn and there is a quick and easy way to do it: Start by cutting off the bottom hem of the shirt. Then cut across the shirt from armpit to armpit. You’ll be left with a tube from the center of the shirt.Here, you can see, I’ve folded the tube so one folded edge is about an inch and a half past the other fold. Using a rotary cutter and straight edge cut strips one half inch wide without cutting through the top fold. When you open up your fabric it will look like this, BTW putting it on your cutting mat, like this, is a pain in the arse, I don’t recommend it! To make the yarn cut from the first strip, diagonally to the second strip and continue cutting diagonally like this until you reach the end. Cut the first strip (on the right in this picture) to a point. To finish your new yarn, stretch it so the edges curl and roll into a ball. BTW if you mound your freshly cut yarn up like this it will end up getting knotted and will take forever to untangle, ask me how I know. I was disappointed that this fabric curled with the printed side of the shirt in, but it turned out to be for the best.
A few tips/hints:
This technique only works on knit shirts without side seams, the seams will pull apart when you cut your strips.
Use a very large crochet hook or knitting needles when working with this yarn. It will make a heavy fabric if knitted on smaller needles.
Wash your shirt before cutting if it is dirty or you’ll end up with dirty yarn.
Knit fabric doesn’t fray, but it does shed little lint balls, it can be messy.
The top and sleeves can also be cut into yarn, but you will have to do it by hand with scissors, cutting in a spiral on the front piece and the back piece minimizes the knots needed to connect the yarn.
Check back later this week and see what I made from these two shirts, and let me know if you have any questions about making T-shirt yarn.