Saturday, 31 January 2015

T-Shirt Yarn tutorial

I am often asked how I make giant yarn to knit or crochet with using giant tools (like the ones I sell in my Etsy shop). I created a tutorial a while back to hand out to people, I'd like to share it with you here along with a few tips.

Firstly before you start making you need to gather old, no-longer-wanted, t-shirts!  (I say no longer wanted because some people are precious about old holey clothes- please check before you go snipping up someone's favourite!).

As well as your own unwanted clothes try friends and family members, I found that people were glad to get rid of children's torn or outgrown garments that were not quite good enough for charity shops.You are looking for jersey type material, it doesn't matter if they are t-shirts/long sleeves or vest tops as you only need the 'body' part to follow my tutorial.

You will also need:
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Some cotton thread
  • A needle. 

Here goes:

1). Cut off your t-shirt arms and hem like this:

2). Put aside the excess.

 3). Fold the t-shirt like so:

4). Cut the t-shirt through both layers as the below image shows, leave about 4cm at the top edge. The width of my lines are around 4cm, this makes a nice chunky yarn but you can go finer or thicker if you prefer, it depends on what you need it for. 

5). Lay the t-shirt out so that you have the area where the loops are joined facing you, like this:

6). Cut t-shirt as per the image below, you may not be able to see this image very well (darn stripes!) but each loop of yarn is cut to connect with the one next to it- diagonally, this is so that you are creating one long yarn:

7). Pull the yarn through your fingers, this is to create a yarn that is easier to knit or crochet with, it takes out some of the excess 'stretch' that could later cause your knitting or crochet to become loose.

8). Roll the yarn into a ball:

And that's it! Easy peasy t-shirt yarn, if you are adding yarn from multiple t-shirts together you can just sew the ends together with a few strong stitches and carry on winding onto your yarn ball.

This yarn is so good to knit and crochet with, projects just grow so quickly! I've used this sort of yarn to make a throw for a hideous arm-chair we have and I take the throw along to fairs to demonstrate what can be done, this is a picture of half way through making it:

 Though it should say 'Goodbye!' 



  1. Awesome! I'm still just learning to crochet, but maybe one day I'll know the craft well enough to try it in Giant Size. :)

    1. Thanks Victoria, I've tried to answer your reply so many times- my originals went along the lines of: Giant crochet is easier to learn than small crochet! ;)

  2. I've always wanted to know how you make t-shirt yarn! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. No worries, my pleasure, I've wanted to post this somewhere for ages but facebook wouldn't let me because of the image size- so i've made it more accessible here!

  3. This is great ! I've really been wanting to try some supersize knitting , think this will be on my next to do list :) Xx

    1. Yay! be careful it's addictive!
      Just to say- I do sell giant knitting needles as well as crochet hooks if you want to get yourself some, my dad makes them!

  4. This is a great tutorial! I want to give it a go myself now :)