12 June 2008

T-shirt rug tutorial

New project! I'm recycling old t-shirts into yarn, and knitting it into a rug. I know, that sounds kind of hippy-dippy, but it's also fun and recycling is always good. Here's how this works...

You need some t-shirts, and some big knitting needles! I'm actually using bamboo chopsticks that I sharpened, sanded and waxed smooth. You also need to know how to do the garter stitch.

Cut the shirts into strips, about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide. To minimize having to mess around with joining strands of your yarn together, try to cut the longest strips possible. A good way to do this is to cut in a spiral around the torso, starting at the bottom.

You can probably knit with the material flat, but I stretched it all out so it curled in on itself and was round and more like yarn.

Here's a picture of the whole process, with flat material on the right (that's not spiral cut around the torso like I mentioned earlier, that's a sleeve), yarn in the middle, and knitting on the left!

Here's a closeup of the knitting compared to the flat material. The knitting transforms boring thin fabric into thicker and slightly more exciting fabric:

Since my chopstick needles aren't very long, I am going to knit thinner strips, and then sew them all together lengthwise into the final rug. I will probably use some different colored shirts to make stripes.

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