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 second rag rug is off the loom.
Rag Rug #2
I am still having lots of tension issues so instead of continuing with the warp and the next rug, I rolled the warp all forward and re-rolled it back onto the back beam. This time with paper between the warp strings instead of the card board strips. We’ll see how that goes.
Twill for this rug.
I wove twill this time and really like the pattern, but it’s not as tight as the first one that was woven in even weave.
This one also has a hem instead of fringe which I like much better. The third rug will have a hem and be woven in even weave. I’m learning as I go!
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.
I was finally able to take pictures of the scarves that I wove for the family for Christmas gifts!
Plaid for the 18yo…
Evenweave with variegated yarn and a stripe for the 23 yo and her boyfriend…
A different plaid for the 20yo…
Plaid for the 17yo…
Plaid for the 13yo. I love that purple is his favorite color!
And one more plaid for my hubby. These are my first plaid weavings and I really enjoyed them. I think I want to play around with tartan next time.
As usual, I am starting this weave-a-long after everyone else has already finished. BUT…at least I’m getting there!
I got the loom warped and for the first time, I used sticks to pill all the threads together at the beginning instead of waste yarn. I have been reading that some weavers prefer this method. I will share my thoughts after I have finished this project.
This is the first section woven. I am using random acrylic yarn for the warp and some simply soft I had in the cabinet for the weft. The weave-a-long instructions are on Kelly Casanova’s you tube channel and can be found here. Some of her instructional videos are free and some of them are paid. This one is paid. Her videos are extremely well made and easy to follow. I used one of them for the woven tote bag with great success.
The instructions tell us to use a solid yarn for the honeycomb part and I chose the variegated because I have a lot of it. I think, for the next section, I will try a solid color and see what the difference is.
I blogged about this tote bag back on October 5th. Kelly Casanova had led a weave-a-long and I was working on it. I finally finished my tote bag and couldn’t be happier!!
I used her youtube videos to make to whole bag (I figured out the handles myself).
If you would like to try one yourself, her videos are VERY straight forward and easy to follow. The introduction for this bag can be found here.
I wove the fabric as one piece using a bag of embroidery threads, only using those that corresponded to the colors of the rainbow.
The lining – isn’t it fun?!
I had this fun rainbow colored fabric in my stash and decided it would be the perfect addition for the lining of this bag. Now I have a new tote bag to carry around my knitting projects!