T-shirt Yarn Knit Rug

I've been wanting to start a new project for the home for awhile now, and spring break seemed like the perfect time to start. We went away for a few days, and I wanted a project that was not Etsy related to work on while we were gone. In preparation, I cut and cut numerous old t-shirts into strips and sewed the strips together, then stretched them into t-shirt yarn.

The rug I wanted to make was needing to be quite sturdy, so I cut the strips 1-1/2 inches wide. To knit this yarn, I need some BIG needles! I didn't have any really big circular needles, and my straight pins wouldn't hold enough stitches to do the job. At the yarn shop, I found these wonderful Knit Picks interchangeable needles. Who knew that knitting was so technologically advanced? You can attach the cable to two needles for circular needles, or use two cables with a cap at each end for longer separate needles (that's what I'm doing). And the needles are so pretty too!

I'm using a Linen Stitch, which appears like a woven pattern after a few rows. I decided to use lots of different colours of t-shirts, and this stitch looks really good with colours (no boring stripes). Here's how far I am now:

I'm making good progress, but I do have a long way to go--I want to make this a large size for my front entrance:

I think my t-shirt count is at about 22 right now--I've used all or parts of 22 cut up shirts so far! I wonder how many I will need to finish it?

Unfortunately, the knitting will be a little slower now--I have to focus on updating my shops and preparing for another craft sale in a few weeks....


  1. holy crap! are those needles as huge as they look in the picture? What size are they? I love my knitpicks needles, they work so well and so pretty too.
    You have a lot of patience, I can't wait to see the rug grow! I did a scarf with linen stitch and it was a long project but i love the look of the stitch!

  2. Awesome post! I can't wait to see the rug all finished. Very cool you are keeping track of how many tshirts you are using too.

  3. Hi Ashley! I was thinking of making a scarf with the linen stitch too! It would look so nice with lots of colours. The needles are the biggest they had--a 12mm.

    Thanks Bee! I think you'll be waiting a little while to see the finished rug, but I will post photos in progress.

  4. great beginnings of a rug. Do you need some more tshirts? I just cleaned out a dozen out of David's drawer. I'd like you to show me how to do that linen stitch.

  5. What a great project; thanks for sharing. I love the look of those needles, too.

  6. Thanks Brenda! I'll email you.

    Thanks Margaret and Linda! The needles are so smooth too--you can probably tell I'm not used to using such nice needles....

  7. Thanks Ruth! My youngest daughter loves it so much too that she keeps asking for it for her room instead!

  8. Looks great. How many stitches did you cast on?

    1. Thanks Anonymous! I really don't know how many stitches I cast on. I'd suggest you do a test square to figure out how many stitches you would need for the size you want to make.


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