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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tarn (T-Shirt Yarn)-Upcycling is Easy

What do you do with old t-shirts? I used to just dump them off at Good Will. Now that I am sewing and fiending for more fabric, I want to hang on to every thread.
I have a ton of old t-shirts.  I guess everyone does. I wanted to go through all the old ones from my travels and trips and cut them up. However, I couldn't. I love all my old t-shirts. So I dug through garbage bags of my old clothes and found some stained shirts to use.  It was pretty easy to make t-shirt yarn or TARN.
1.  Cut the shirt off at the arm pits. The bigger, the more fabric you will have. I believe this t-shirt is 2 XL.  From my days of oil painting, I often kept a lot of clothes just to paint in. I kept the top of the shirt. For what? No clue yet. 
2.  Measure your cuts.
Guidelines
Thin t-shirt: 1 and a half inches
 Medium thickness: an inch
Thin: 3/4 of an inch
I ended up just making my cuts on the inch mark.  I started out cutting with scissors but switched to a rotary cutter with a metal ruler.  Don't worry if the edges are ragged and uneven.  You cut to the edge of the "other side" and then STOP. You want to leave a connect strip so you can have a continuous roll of tarn.
I didn't worry if I had stains and text on the shirt.  At this point I was just experimenting so I wasn't too worried about the final result.
2. Don't do this.  Somehow, I got my tarn bunched up. You basically want to take an end and cut diagonally so you have a straight strand of thread.  Keep going. Then, PULL and tug on the fabric so it curves. I did this as I wound my tarn into a ball.
(Confused? Try http://textiles4you.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-make-tarn-t-shirt-yarn.html)
tarn ball

 
Now, I need to figure out what to do with my balls of tarn.  I have more to make. The main thing that I wanted to make is a rug. However, I can't yet crochet.  My sister suggested that I watch some You Tube videos to learn. The weird thing is that I just found a crochet hook and stashed it somewhere. Now, I don't know where! I am searching for that crafty needle in the haystack. When I find it, I will figure out how to crochet. 
MORE:
http://blog.makezine.com/craft/how-to-crochet-a-rug-with-yarn-old-t-shirts/
http://amandashappyhearth.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-make-tarn-t-shirt-yarn.html