06 Jul

Making T-Shirt Yarn and a Braided Rug

A couple months ago at Sewing Bee my friends Val and Dori decided to experiment with making yarn from old t-shirts, and then knitting it into rugs. I was intrigued by this upcycling project, but had no interest in doing any knitting. I looked around for other ideas for using t-shirt yarn and found good tutorials around making a braided rug.

Work in progress braided rug
Work in progress braided rug

When Boris did a clothing purge just weeks after their experiment I put aside a giant stash of t-shirts and have slowly worked away at transforming them into yarn. I ended up with twenty-seven balls of yarn because Boris had a lot of shirts packed away in his drawers.

These are excellent step-by-step instructions on how to make continuous yarn from t-shirts.

Work in progress braided rug

This weekend I began swatching colours and practicing my braiding with some of the yarn. There are three different methods that I’ve found of attaching the braids together, from sewing, gluing, and tucking. I decided to go with the tucking method and watched the two videos over on this blog post to learn the method. The videos also include how to splice more yarn onto the ends of the pieces you are working with.

Work in progress braided rug

Work in progress braided rug

I’ve swatched a circle, an oval, and attempted something like a rectangle to figure out how to shape things. I’m going with the oval for the final shape and started working on added more length to it this afternoon. I have so much yarn I can make multiple rugs or a really massive one. I’m just going to see where it goes because it’s an experiment.

© Rachael Ashe