Wednesday, January 17, 2007


More sustainable crafting--

Building on the idea of recycling surplus possessions (like old cds and dvds), I have knit a welcome mat out of old t-shirts.

To make one, you simply cut the shirts in a spiral to make one long strip (sort of like when you peel an apple all in one go) and then knit them up on giant needles (I used size 17) in garter stitch. I paired the t-shirt strand with a little mohair yarn to make the rug a bit fuzzier. As you can see, I used green and red t-shirts--and the blue stripes were white t-shirts that I dyed indigo and then cut up.

I got the idea from Alterknits: Imaginative Projects and Creativity Exercises, which not only has a chapter on knitting with t-shirts but also has a great chapter on making felted bags out of old wool sweaters--which I am very keen to try (but doubt that my old sewing machine will be able to sew over a felted wool sweater....).


Stephanie said...


Elizabeth said...

So, Steph, could I interest you in a recycled t-shirt rug in lieu of a prayer shawl?

Stephanie said...

Jim thought it was pretty cool too. Sure, we're very interested. Now, do we provide the T-shirts? Or do you have a supply?

Elizabeth said...

Well, we seem to collect/get given several t-shirts a year, and neither Al nor I are really t-shirt people, so I am happy to recycle my stash. But if there are some you'd particularly like to have reused for your rug, you could send them on. What is your preferred color scheme? I can dye to order. :)

Stephanie said...

Ooooh! How exciting. Well, dark colors (blue, green, black, brown?) seem better with rugs, especially with the dog. Our walls are yellow with fire engine red trim. I know. It sounds like McDonalds.