Compelled by craft-infatuation, I sliced up some old dinge-y tshirts according the the various helpful tutorials that are out there. The tutorials might be useful for, say, making crochet bowls.
They are not helpful for making the quantity necessary for a rug. I love the way it looks now, but it was a somewhat miserable slog to get enough material for the giant rug I had in mind. From trial and error, how to make an enormous amount of t-shirt yarn.
1. Buy a lot of jersey fabric. A lot. I ended up using four king sheet size sets (I know.) because it was the most cost-effective fabric I could find. If you live in Philly, don’t go to Fabric Row for this one. The only white jersey I found was $24/yard. I don’t know how many yards are in a king-sized sheet set, but at $34/set it barely matters.
2. Cut all hems and elastic out of or away from your sheets. You may be tempted to try to use your seam ripper because you feel guilty about waste, but doing so will turn this arduous project into an even greater time-suck. If you feel really guilty, put leftovers in your ‘scraps for stuffing’ bag for when you finally make that ottoman you’ve pinned like eight times already.
3. Open your windows. This shiz gets dusty.
4. Either cut or rip one-inch strips. Doing this will take you an ungodly amount of time, so I would recommend:
4.5. Taking your entire sheet. Folding it in half lengthwise. Fold it nearly in half again, but let the edges peak out about 8 inches. Keep folding from the bottom to the top two layers of fabric.
4.63. You can use scissors, or if you are blessed by your own craft supplies buying compulsion, break out your cutting matt and rotary cutter. Slice through the folded sheet at one-inch intervals. This will give you many one-inch strips that are folded over on themselves. I cannot tell you how pleased I was with myself for having bought the rotary cutter after the first six balls of yarn.
5. At the edges of your strips, cut slits. This way you can join the yarn together without making knots.
6. Join the yarn using numero 3 of this tutorial.
7. Stretch the strips so they get ropey. Now you understand why the commercially available brands are named after pasta.
Netflix in the background: Seasons 1 and 2 of the Tudors. You can take that judgment somewhere else.