I will be working with kids from kindergarten through 5th grade on a giant weaving project this Friday. Pictured above is the t-shirt yarn I’ve been making for this weaving adventure. Each ball skein is wound with strips that I hand cut, stretched, and tied from one single t-shirt.
This process works best on a t-shirt that does not have side seams. After cutting off the bottom hem and trimming off the seam, I then the hem along the fold and created two strips of fabric. I pull them to stretch the fabric and make it curl along its length, then tie the strips together. Then I cut a spiral from the bottom of the t-shirt up to the arms – a single 1″ wide strip cut at a slight angle to the bottom of the t-shirt. I continue to cut individual 1″ strips between the arms and then also spiral cut the arms. The only remnants are the ribbed neck and a bit of material below the neck. I tend to prefer fewer knots in my t-shirt yarn, so if a strip is less than 12″ long, I don’t use it in the yarn. But I do save all remnants because they make good stuffing for other sewing projects like my upcycled wool blanket poufs.
The process of creating a single skein of t-shirt yarn takes about 45 minutes. But the effort is worth it when I imagine the vivid colors and textures in the god’s eye.