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Make your own t-shirt yarn

When supplies are low, upcycle!

The world feels a little bit topsy-turvy right now. Just at the point where the weather is improving and the days are getting longer, we're all being asked to stay at home.

It's important we all do our bit and only venture out for emergency supplies. While crafting is an essential part of our day, I'm not sure BoJo would consider it an emergency, so what do you do if you need some more yarn?

Well, if you happen to have some old t-shirt lying around I'll show you how you can turn them in to yarn, perfect for crochet, weaving and macrame! I first came across t-shirt yarn (or jersey yarn as it's sometimes called) on pinterest, where it was being used to create necklaces and baskets. I've had a go at the necklaces with my own t-shirt yarn and they've come out great! But there are some learnings on the way which I'll go through with you below.

When I was learning, I googled a tutorial on how to turn a t-shirt in to yarn, this is the one I used.

It was pretty good on the whole, but there's some bits I learned from following it, so I'll go through it step by step here and add my two cents :)

Step 1) Cut off the sleeves, as close to the seam as possible. It tell you to use super sharp scissors to get the best results. I have fabric scissors which are ok, but they haven't been sharpened in years. They seemed to do the trick though! If you're not sure how good your scissors are, test them on a small area of the t-shirt before jumping in.

2) Cut off the top of the t-shirt in a lino running from the bottom seam of the arms.

 

On the video, they say for extra material you can unpick the seams. I tried this and not only does it take FOREVER, it gave very little extra material, so for my next one I just chopped it off.

3) Using just the lower torso part of the t-shirt (the big bit) fold it in half leaving a 2 inch gap at the top. With the fold facing you cut strips at least 1inch thick just leaving and inch gap at the top.

Note: After doing very unequal strips the first time, I can confirm you get better and more chunky yarn with 1-1.5inch strips. Any less and it looses it's integrity when pulled.

4) The next bit is the tricky bit. You're meant to cut each strip diagonally to join with the next one but I'm not sure mine looked diagonal. But either way, as long as you take it slow and keep track of how it's looking, it should work out ok.

And once you've done that you'll end up with a whole pile of yarn!

Now you can roll it up in to a ball ready to use!

You can use t-shirt yarn to make all sorts of things, from neckalces to bracelets to baskets! Pinterest has loads of great tutorials and I'll share my technique for make the necklace below in another blog soon!

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