Tag Archives: t-shirt yarn


Recall my Ridiculously Delicious T-Shirt Yarn? A few weeks ago I finally got around to buying a 10-millimetre crochet hook by Addi, and since I had no energy left in my body for sitting at the sewing machine, I ended up in a horizontal state on my sofa. Invited to join were my iPad for searching yarn-bowl patterns, the new fancy hook with gold glitter in the plastic, and a box of all the yarn balls of course. I ended up using this tutorial by NimiDesign in various ways.

Nina With Freckles - T-shirt yarn bowls 1 2016-03-15

My first project was a small bowl in white, medium green, and dark green. It used up yarn cut (check out advice in my earlier blog post) from one normal white t-shirt, an extra long white t-shirt, a medium green one, and one row of the dark green. The intended recipient, my sister, already uses it in her entryway for corralling dog paraphernalia, since Miss Puppy is rather teeny tiny still, and needs to go out quite often.

This roughly corresponds to four t-shirts, which took me by complete surprise. While a perk is that such thick yarn is quickly worked, it also means I will have to be mindful how I choose to use my balls of yarn in the future, because the supply is limited after several rounds of purging the wardrobe.

Next up was a wide, open bowl in white and a dark mustardy yellow, also for sister dearest. I never knew terrorbabies aka adorable puppies come with so much stuff, but yup, it can invade a space quickly as lightning.

Nina With Freckles - T-shirt yarn bowls 2 2016-03-15

I used three t-shirt yarns for that project, but while there was one end project shown here, I had frogged it twice. It became wobbly, or too loose and wobbly, which might work for someone else, but not me, even when this was a practice project only.

Thanks to Creativebug, at least I know chain stitch, slip stitch, and single crochet (US) now… Phew. Towards the end, my hand was quite sore from twisting the heavy thread and hook so many times, but I still kept going.

The smallest bowl is around 10 cm in diameter, and now houses keys on my entryway table, which white paint was starting to scream quietly from being scratched so brutally by metal keys. Its bottom is one whole t-shirt yarn, and then for accent I used bits of two other yarns in white and greyish blue-navy stripe.

I still have a few balls left from my cutting fest last year, and closely scrutinising other shirts have revealed that two or three more will face the rotary cutter sooner rather than later.

So, what to do with the rest? There’s still the upper portion, from armpits to neck to sleeves, to use. Currently I have a library book borrowed in which various patterns are written for t-shirt yarn, and one idea in it is to place a tennis ball inside a cover of t-shirt material, to create dryer balls. On Pinterest I’ve seen someone make similar out of old socks bundled up, so instead of a tennis ball, all the excess fabric could be bunched up into a ball, then handsewn closed. Supposedly these dryer balls fluff textiles during drying, but I have no such machine so can’t test these.

Are you sold on repurposing textiles like this or in other ways?



Nina With Freckles - T-shirt yarn 2015-11-03

If you’re following me on Instagram (@ninawithfreckles), you may have seen the t-shirt yarn, or tarn, I made yesterday. After cutting up those eight t-shirts, I added another one straight from the drying rack.

Currently, I’m deep cleaning my walk-in closet and since among others my cleaning gear is in there, I stumbled upon a stack of old t-shirts destined to be reused as something else. It’s not often that I clean my bike for instance, so despite a modest stack of items demoted to cleaning, I haven’t worked my way through these particular t-shirts in various dirty jobs around the house.

Being the frugal person I am, the thought of simply throwing out ‘good cleaning materials’ is positively mind-boggling, but I do want to declutter Stuff and so Pinterest has been my friend once again.

(A side note: I realise I haven’t updated my info here after having changed username. Very sorry about that! It’s @ninakmartin now.)

Back to t-shirt tutorials. I’ve pinned a few of them, but the one I liked best turned out to have a video as part of it. Here it is, made by Bao of Relevé Design:

Since many t-shirts have side seams, his tips shared in another blog post include scissors. I’ve treated some of the more protruding seams as he suggests.

And now my own comments on his tutorials. First of all, I like my rotary cutter. A lot. To a quilter, using an x-acto knife seems almost painful. In the next step, when cutting the final seams by hand, after a couple of t-shirts I got bored and wanted the job done quickly. Enter rotary cutter once more.

What you want to do is keep the t-shirt going through a face lift on the cutting mat. Spread out like a spider with a bazillion legs the part to be cut, then cut fabric. Slide to the right (if you’re cutting from the right side as in this tutorial; some start from the left side) the chopped off piece of yarn, and spread out the spider legs once more. Chop off yarn, spread out spider, repeat. See how I can’t chop off spider legs… I’m a delicate flower, sorry.

In some other tutorials I’ve looked at, the strips are cut much closer to the t-shirt edge (where the side seam is on some of them), but this causes a zigzag to form in the produced yarn. My recommendation is to stop at a greater distance, like in this tutorial by Bao, and that way you create a less curvy strip. If you intend to use a rotary cutter, the final diagonal snip will be swift anyway, so that part isn’t slowed down at all.

I’m sure I could think of more to share, but I’m trying to restrain the babbling a bit. As for future projects on my mind, I’ve pinned some basket tutorials to the crochet board, so check it out! There’s even a project involving ‘plarn’, not just ‘tarn’, and recycling plastic bags into yarn seems a great idea. Someone has made a laundry basket and it looks fantastic, although I may have forgotten to pin it, oops.

Have you reused t-shirts or plastic bags like this? My bee buddy Synnøve mentioned using a 12-millimetre crochet hook on spaghetti yarn (there’s a z in there somewhere but I no google now), which is a size I don’t have yet. T-shirts, however, are like Swiss train, always arriving and usually on time, so that size might be clever to invest in.