Wednesday, 2 February 2011

WIP-Wednesday – The slice your old shirts and crochet it – Rug

Crocheted rug

I am a big fan of recycling. We have a compost box in the backyard, we separate glass and paper from our regular waste and if the plastic-recycling-containers weren’t further away than a 5 mile drive, I would separate those as well.
Besides recycling, I am a big fan of clothing, as is Mr. Dull. Our closets are stuffed with it. But because we don’t like to throw out stuff that isn’t damaged or permanently stained, there are quite some piles of clothes that don’t fit anymore (these are the “I will start going to the gym next month, so I will lose some weight” labelled items) or just aren’t fashionable anymore suited for going outside. But hey, sometimes a girl needs a little space in her closet for some new finds, which means shifting through your stuff and throw out the “I am absolutely not going to wear this anymore” items. With Mr Dull, this resulted in a very big pile of t-shirts. I cut one up for polishing cloths, but since we don’t have a silverware tea-set in our house, nor a big pile of shoes that needs polishing, I needed to find a different destination for the other 15 shirts. Hurray for the WWW and good ol’ Google, who told me to go and make some T-shirt yarn!!! Now I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in Holland “Hoooked Zpagetti” yarn is basically the same thing; a “yarn” made out of a cotton knit fabric. You can buy these yarns in lots of colours, in patternkits, or just on cones. They sell these online for about €1,- per 100 grams of yarn, which is quite do-able. But I just love the recycling-thing, so I started to make my own. The first problem I encountered is that Dutch shirts are almost never knitted-in the-round, but made from a front and a back piece, sewn together, which results in two seams on the sides (or maybe this is because we only buy cheap shirts?). These seams make lumps in the yarn. But since I was going to make a rug, I decided it didn’t matter, I could place these little lumps on the backside, so you wouldn’t notice them. I cut 5 shirts and started hooking with a 10mm bamboo hook – which is absolute bliss – I wanted it to be a round rug.

Crocheted rug

I hooked, and I hooked, and I hooked, cut some more shirts, hooked and hooked, ran out of shirts and decided I could search Mr. Dulls closet for some other shirts he didn’t wear anymore, cut them up and hooked, and hooked, had a little argument about one of the shirts that ended up in the rug and hooked and hooked, asked some relatives if they had any old shirts, cut them up and hooked, hooked, hooked….

In October I went to the “Handwerkbeurs” with Mom. This is a fair for all kinds of needlework, weaving, feltmaking and so on and so forth. There was a large stand from Zpagetti and they had big tubs filled with left over balls of yarn, at great prices. I loved some of the colours, so I bought them and used them for the rug. Which resulted in the second problem, the Zpagetti yarn is a bit wider than the strips I cut from the shirts, resulting in bulkier stitches, which caused the last rows of the rug to curl up. I can stretch it out, but it remains a bit ‘bubbly’. Then I tossed the entire thing in a large bin and put it on top of the closet. This was in November last year.

I actually forgot about it – a bit. Last week, while we were shopping and getting inspired for the nursery Mr. Dull said it would be cool if we could incorporate the rug in the room for the wee one. Because it contains shirts of us, and the grandparents, it would be a really nice extra. I loved him a little bit more.

Crocheted rug

So I took the bin off the closet yesterday and put the rug on the floor. If I stretch out the points (the larger it got, the more hexagon-y it became) the curling is gone, I am thinking about maybe making it more star shaped, by skipping the middle stitch in the straight lines, and maybe start hdc on the points, later on dc’s. But I don’t know if it will work out. Or I could rip the last couple of rows until I get to the bought yarn and take it out. But I hate ripping hours of work.

Any ideas? Because I would love to finish this thing up before Mr. Dulls Birthday on March 1st…. Or at least get started on it again!


  1. THIS is gorgeous!
    How do you make it into a HEXAGANAL? I am just dabbling in crocheting so it's all new to me:-)

  2. That rug is AWESOME! I love it! I'm thinking it would be a great 'keepsake' rug from all my son's old t-shirts...