Retiring some old t-shirts? Not sure what to do with them? Why not cut them up to use in place of yarn for knitting?
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Step 1: What You Need
First and foremost, you need to know how or be willing to learn how to knit. For beginners, I recommend the learning to knit section of KnittingHelp.com. They have a lot of excellent instructional videos.
Other than that, the list of supplies is very short:
- At least one large t-shirt* you are willing to bid farewell (One men's large to x-large t-shirt makes one potholder, so how many you need really depends on what you are making)
- Large knitting needles, at least US size 13, 9.0mm (I'm using US size 19, 15mm)
* T-shirt type note: Best to use are ones with no or at least not 'heavy' graphics and ones that have no seams down the side (the body of the fabric is a seamless tube).
Step 2: Making the 'Yarn'
First, remove the bottom hem from your t-shirt. Then cut the shirt into a long strip approximately 3/4 to 1 1/4" in width. You can roughly estimate this, since when you pull the fabric, it'll curl together at about the same diameter anyway. The best way to cut is to spiral up the body, so you have one long strip. I planned to change colors frequently by switching strips from different t-shirts though, so I simply went straight across and had several shorter length strips with which to work.
Pull the strip just hard enough that it curls together and appears more rope-like. If you have many shorter pieces like me, tie them together with a square knot (this, by the way, is not the way one would normally change colors in knitting, which you can do if you like, but I wanted a more knotted, raggy look).
Step 3: Get Knitting!
Now you have your 'yarn', get knitting. For my fast and easy potholder, use US size 19 (15mm). Cast on 11 stitches (should be about 6 1/2"). Knit each row until it is about 6" long. Cast off, and weave in your ends. Done!
Again, you'll need about one men's large to x-large t-shirt to get this potholder.