Oct 25, 2011

Rainbow Rug From T-Shirt Yarn

Months ago, for our "Green Challenge", Dora wrote a post about turning t-shirts into yarn. I love to use what I have, and I love taking something mundane and turning it into something beautiful. Even just the pictures of the balls of yarn she made were so inspiring, to take a wrinkly old t-shirt and turn it into one of my favorite things, a ball of yarn, how cool is that? Of course, I didn't want to take this great recycling idea and turn it on its head by going out and buying t-shirts for it, even at the thrift store, it seemed wrong somehow. So I patiently waited, and some weeks later my brother, who'd been living nearby with our mom, took off in search of adventure in the wilds of Alaska, and left behind several bags of clothes for my mom to donate. As luck would have it, there were a lot of t-shirts, in a lot of colors.

I used this tutorial, suggested by Dora, and set about making yarn. It was fun! And slightly addictive. Then I had to figure out what to do with it. Design is not my strong suit. I had enough colors to suggest a rainbow, and I began to knit a rectangular rug, telling myself that it didn't matter that my rainbow would be missing the yellow and purple colors, that it would just be bright and cheery and that would be good enough. I went through red, orange, green, and got to blue and I just didn't like it. I decided maybe it would be okay to purchase just two t-shirts. Several months passed by while I chewed on it, and then one day last week I found myself in a thrift store and actually remembered while I was there (not as soon as I got home) that I needed a purple and a yellow t-shirt. I got home, turned them into yarn, and finally had my complete rainbow, each ball below represents one t-shirt's worth of yarn:

I hadn't loved the rectangular knitted rug I'd started before, so I decided to try crocheting in a circle. I googled "how to crochet a circle" and found a bunch of tutorials, this is the tutorial I used, except I did mine in half-double crochet instead of single crochet, and I used a size Q, 15.75 mm hook. (I have this beautiful wooden one that I got years ago from this woodworker.) Seven balls of yarn, two of red, and one each of the other colors, made a smallish rug about 20" in diameter. I may hunt for some more red t-shirts and just expand the border to make it bigger, but for now, it's adding a bright spot of color in my small downstairs bathroom. I really love how bright and beautiful all the colors look together:

Links to tutorials on how to make T-shirt yarn: