Making T-shirt yarn is a great way to use shirts that might otherwise be hanging around your house without a purpose, and using that T-shirt yarn to knit up a sturdy bag is a great way to recycle and produce a handy project.
This is a good first project for someone new to working with T-shirt yarn, but it will take a good amount of yarn depending on the size you want to make (mine used 12 different shirts, though most of them had logos on them so I couldn't use the full length).
- a good quantity of T-shirt yarn
- the bottom seams from three shirts (optional, for handle)
- one size 13 US circular knitting needle (I used one about 36 inches long, but slightly shorter would work, too)
- stitch marker
- scissors, crochet hook and hand sewing supplies, if using handle shown
9 stitches and 12 rows per 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch in the round. Gauge is not critical, but a firm fabric is desired.
Finished size is 12 inches tall and about 32 inches around. Base is about 4.5 inches wide and 10 inches long.
- Cast on 10 stitches.
- Knit in Garter Stitch for about 10 inches.
- Pick up and knit one stitch for each row across the long sides of the base, and one stitch for each stitch on the short side of the base. Place marker and join in round. (Stitch number may vary.)
- Knit in Stockinette Stitch, changing yarn as you need to, until piece is about 12 inches tall.
- Bind off and use the crochet hook to help you weave in ends.
Making the Handle:
The handle shown is simply a braid made of the hems of three of the shirts used in the body of the bag. To make it, cut the hem pieces open so they're flat, then braid them together to the length of your choice (mine is 30 inches).
Use your sewing machine or sew by hand to keep the braid from unraveling, then sew the handle to the bag.
You could do the same thing with extra t-shirt yarn, or use a purchased handle of your choice.