Sierra and I made a list of things to do together while I was visiting in Florida; top of that list was “how to cut a t-shirt for crocheting into a rug” because I’ve wanted to learn how to do this for years. It didn’t happen until my second-to-last night because it’s something Sierra was doing a couple years ago. Start saving your old t-shirts. You’ll never throw or give away another t-shirt again.
Begin by cutting off the sleeves and their seams so that you have as much of a square piece of fabric as possible. Then begin cutting an inch thick strip from the bottom corner. The idea is to a single long strip of fabric from the entire t-shirt.. Go diagonally all the way around the t-shirt like peeling an orange in one long strip. Cut straight across side seams.
When you get to the cut armpit, you can start going back and forth. When you get to the neckline make your way over to the other side. The hole pictured above is the neck hole. When the entire shirt has been transformed into a single long strip of fabric, roll it into a ball.
You’ll need a BIG crochet hook (fat as a kindergartener’s first pencil – at least). For a rectangle, crochet a chain the width of the rectangle you want. at the end of the row, turn and single crochet back to the beginning. To turn the next row, chain one before beginning the row. Crochet as many rows as you want the rug long.
You can make circles and ovals as easily as rectangles., by crocheting in a spiral. Each stripe of color in this little rug is one entire shirt.
When you get as advances as Sierra, you can make rugs like this one. Sierra used a spool of cotton rope (ten pounds of 5/32 ” cotton piping from an upholstery web store: diyupholsterysupply.com) to make this beauty for her daughter’s bedroom. She made two baskets with the leftover spool too. The actual pattern is free here.