I learned an important lesson about making tarn (t-shirt yarn) while preparing to start our new kitchen rug. Two of the t-shirts had side seams so I couldn’t just cut looong spiraling strips from a t-shirt’s hem up to the bottom edge of its armholes like I’m used to. So I made piles of short 3/4″ strips by cutting from seam to seam instead.
Not hard, just time consuming. But now, Ah-HA, I realized that I could cut short strips out of the upper part of t-shirts I’d been flinging aside and the sleeves too! This could give me as much as 50% more tarn per shirt. Yay!
Earlier I’d wondered if my dozen shirts. . .
would yield enough tarn to knit a 40″ long kitchen rug. Now, thanks to my new idea I was sure I would have plenty!
But wanting a 65% larger and denser rug meant a much longer knitting slog compared to that of my lighter, smaller bathmat.
When I got to this point, so very close to being done. . .
it seemed that no matter how long I knit, it didn’t get any longer! A typical case of “a watched pot never boils” I suppose, because I did keep measuring it in hopes that I was done. lol.
It’s all been worth it though. I’m so proud to show you our lovely new kitchen rug. Ta-Dah!!
Who would guess that I made it from discarded t-shirts?
I cut tarn from the bodies (hem to armholes) of 12 t-shirts, mostly sized XL to XXL, and from the upper parts of a few of them. This was way more tarn than I needed. Our 22″ x 40″ rug weighs 2 lb. 13 oz. and I have 1 lb. 4 oz. of left.
This means I used only about 70% (45 oz. out of 65 oz.) of the tarn I made. That’s about 8 1/2 shirts’ worth (12 XL-XXL shirts x .7 = 8.4 shirts).
And that means that I got about 100 square inches of rug out of each t-shirt. (22 x 40 = 880 ÷ 8.4 = 105 in²/shirt) I’ll keep that in mind the next time I want to knit a dense tarn rug. I’m wondering about putting one at the front door. Must check to see whether the door could swing freely over such a thick rug.
I’m also wondering what it would be like to weave with tarn!
P.S. Just noticed that the colors in this rug are almost the same as in the Rugby Scrum ripple. Hunh.