Leggi questo post in: Italiano
So, what do you do when you’ve accumulated way too many old, ugly, worn-out, stained or otherwise ruined t-shirts and other jersey clothing items?
Easy! You cut them up into strips and wind up your lovely new balls of t shirt yarn! (Read how in this post from nearly five years ago!)
There are all sorts of fun ways to knit or crochet with this upcycled yarn, such as a squishy knitted bathroom rug (and I will add that the rug in that post is still in near-perfect condition despite the fact that it gets used a lot and doesn’t get treated delicately).
This past summer I decided to turn that pile of unwanted clothing into upcycled yarn, and crochet T shirt yarn baskets for my loved ones in the United States. But I couldn’t just stick with one type of basket, oh no! That would’ve been much too boring for my over-active mind and fingers. So I ended up making four different styles. Earlier this week I wrote about a couple of knit projects, so now let me tell you about these crochet projects!
First I tackled a project that I’d seen on My Poppet for a set of three nesting baskets.
Aren’t those cool how they fit one inside another? That way they even look cool when you’re just storing them!
I’ll be totally honest here: Cyntia did not use upcycled t-shirts, but Zpagetti yarn, which is really the same fabric, but cut from factory fabric remnants, not used clothing. I noticed this very same brand in my local yarn shop, and eventually caved in and bought some out of curiosity. It’s much thicker than normal t-shirt yarn, so makes for a sturdier basket (and tires your hand out faster).
These baskets are just BEGGING to be worn as hats. There’s a picture in the tutorial post of Cyntia’s daughter wearing one as a hat and, without knowing that, both my kids did it too! (And my Sofia threw in a furoshiki square, too!)
When I saw this oval basket, I was curious to try out that shape, too. Instead of starting off from a magic ring, this basket starts with a chain base. I always seem to have a lot of blue t-shirts to upcycle, so I love going for the ombre-effect (like I did in these stripe appliqué t-shirts).
I’d fallen in love with Alessia’s “Clean & Simple” bag/yarn carrier since she published it in 2010, but I still didn’t know how to crochet at that point. So I decided to finally try it out, even if it in theory wasn’t a t-shirt yarn project.
I ran into problems a couple of times with the instructions, and once I wrote to Alessia to check if there was a mistake in the pattern, and it turned out that there was. I unravelled the project and started over, but continued to have issues, so I ended up improvising some parts.
The top came out excessively floppy, but then I realized that it could just be folded over as a brim. (You can see in this picture that I crochet with a very tight hand, and the yarn is pulled too tight in this project.)
By the way, here’s another similar pattern to this one that I pinned a while ago, and I just LOVE the colors on it!
At this point I had smaller amounts of yarn left over, so I decided to just crochet up a couple of smaller spiral baskets. I made them similar to the way these ones are made, but really just eyeballed it and worked up the sides when it looked the right size.
After a few evenings and a few movies watched in bed, this is what I had: seven baskets total, and some random smallish t-shirt yarn balls.
But don’t they look even more enticing when filled up with Italian goodies to eat?! (and some jars of my rosemary lemon garlic salt, of course….)
Happy gift receivers for getting a fun gift. Happy gift givers for having made gifts for free. Happy t-shirts for being reborn instead of dumped. And happy kids, who get to play with their grandparents’ baskets! Yah for happiness all around!
Hey, and speaking of happiness, if you understand Italian and want to hear about how my blog was born and how it’s changed over time, why I love teaching sewing and some of my sewing preferences, not to mention some sort of embarrassing photos of my incredibly messy sewing space, read my interview at Supercut!
Looking for other ideas for using your yarn? Check out my knit/crochet archives!