I have found a new crafting passion! I really love to make new useful things out of items I already have around the house. Lauren took up loom knitting several years ago and made a few scarves before she moved on to other interests … like writing books. So, now I’m learning how to loom knit!
I asked her to show me how to use your straight loom and after a few lessons I was up and running. My goal was to utilize a pile of old t-shirts I had stashed to cut up into rags. But, I really wanted to use the t-shirts as my “yarn” (you know, it’s that whole re-purposing thing I love). Here’s a great (and easy) tutorial on how to cut up your t-shirts into yarn (How to Make T-Shirt Yarn by Mollie Makes). The only difference I do from this is that I use as much of the t-shirt I can. Once the main part of the t-shirt is separated and cut up, I will simply cut diagonally into the bottom of what’s left and just cut my way around the shirt, making one continuous loop. I try to keep about a 1″ width while I’m cutting. It’s not always accurate but I haven’t had any issues with it so far in the final product. It becomes a bit tricky with the sleeves, but I do what I can. I just hate to waste any of it.
Once I’m finished cutting the yarn, I wind it into a ball. then I start looming. My first project was a set of hot pads. You can see in the video below how to use a long loom to knit anything from a scarf to hot pads. The difference is that the hot pad is much smaller (obviously). Also, by using t-shirt yarn rather than regular yarn, the thickness of the hot pad is amazingly thick. And, I made it bit a longer than a regular hot pad to give my hand some extra room. So far, I haven’t burned myself once and it’s held up to numerous washings without shrinking (which would make sense since it is a well-worn and well-washed t-shirt).
And the cost? We already had the long loom and the old t-shirts so the hot pads don’t really cost a thing, other than about 30 minutes to knit them. And I can make 2-3 washcloths from one skein of yarn which costs anywhere from $1.50 at Walmart to $1.87 at Hobby Lobby. These are extremely economical ways to learn a new skill and make things for your home. A Boye Round Loom Set costs less than $12 on Amazon, but is well worth it in the long run.
I am working on a long-term project with our additional t-shirts. As we wear them out, I’m turning them into t-shirt yarn and am knitting small squares on the long loom. Eventually I’ll have enough to turn them into a throw for the couch. I’m looking forward to this!
On a side note, for those t-shirts that have unique designs on the front, I’m cutting those out and saving them to make a t-shirt (once I have enough of those as well). These are definitely long term projects, but something that if I work on a little at a time shouldn’t be too overwhelming.