Kate has a fun Scrap Happy Day that I am participating in this month. Most people I know, are aware that I love to use up my scraps and recycle as much as possible. Well…
I have lots and lots of t-shirts that my kids (all 5!) have grown out of. The t-shirts that were suitable to donating we donated; however, many of them had stains or rips or were just too worn out to donate to anyone. I knew I wanted to use them so I started making t-shirt yarn with them.
I use the rotary cutter to cut one inch strips.
Lots of shirts!
I usually cut many over the course of a day or two and then…
Turn them into t-shirt yarn. It does make a bit of a mess!! But these are ready to use. Sometimes I crochet hats, bags, bowls etc with them. This time I am making some more rag rugs.
I’ve been trying out a bit of clasped weft for this one. In the winter we use lots of rugs what with the dog, students and my own kids traipsing in from the rain. I love these because they have a nice feel to them, are very sturdy, hold up to tons of washing and drying AND it’s a repurposed craft! Now, back to weaving! I’ve got some t-shirt yarn to use up.
The first rug for this warp is complete, but not without some “issues”.
Rag Rug #1 – Evenweave
I wanted this rug to end up being about 24″ X 36″. The warp is 27″ wide and I wove for 40″ – all evenweave. I took it off the loom (you’ll see why later in this post), tied the ends and washed and dried it. It is wonderfully soft! The dimensions without fringe are: 18″X29 1/4″. I lost almost 11″ in length and 9″ in width. This is good to know for future items! Another surprise to me was that it only took 4 t-shirts! I have boxes of the kid’s t-shirts and lots of them already cut and rolled into yarn balls. I will need to think of other things to make from them as we don’t need that many rugs. This rug is already in use by the front door.
Challenges: t – e – n – s – i – o – n! I am a newish weaver. I have only ever warped this loom with the help of a teacher and have never put a warp on that is this long. I decided to “just go for it” and use the rag rugs as an experiment and learning opportunity.
As I was weaving and advancing my warp, this is what was happening at the back of the loom. The threads were coming loose and not holding tension. I would run my fingers through them, and then stick the pick up sticks in the back and twist to get at least some tension so I could weave.
Warp hanging off the back of the loom.
Without the pick up sticks and weights, the warp looked like this. From this picture, I’m sure some of you can see what I did wrong. The warp on the back beam is much narrower than the weaving width. I forgot to measure the width of the warp when I put it in the raddle and adjust to make sure the warp went straight across from the back beam to the front beam.
To fix the problem, I stopped weaving and rolled the warp to the front beam, fixing the tangles. Once all of the warp was on the front beam, I retied it onto the back beam and rolled back. Many, many hours later, I still had some issues, but not as many as before. The warp is not perfect, but it is straight, has no tangles and I can weave much easier. And I started the second rug.
2nd rag rug – twill
If all goes well, the plan is to weave about 8 more rugs with this warp. I am not planning on cutting them off as I finish each one but rather to weave with the whole warp and cut them at the end. Wish me luck!!
I finally got my table loom up and warped!! Boy did that take a LONG time!
312 ends warped!
I have been wanting to weave some rag rugs out of t-shirt yarn.
T-shirt yarn from the kid’s old t-shirts.
I have saved the kids t-shirts and they are stored in boxes. The plan all along was to make yarn from them and weave rag rugs. Finally, I am getting around to doing it!
The first little bit.
Closeup of t-shirt weaving.
It seems to be going ok. My warp is not as even as I would like it. I will need to figure out what I did before I warp again so I can get a more even one next time.