My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton
I love my dogs. They protect me, watch over me, and provide endless amount of joy and amusement. Their favorite perch in the house is in the bench window seat of my studio on the second floor of our house. They love to watch all the action on the street, barking their warning of approaching dogs and humans. The bench seat was getting a bit torn up by their claws, so I need to add some protection and with my ever growing stash of t shirts, I decided to upcycle them into t-shirt yarn that I could crochet into a rag rag. I wanted the rug to be substantial, machine washable and yet a soft spot for my dogs to hang out. As you can see above, Josie loves her new spot. Miss Toony was jealous and decided to move in on Josie's territory. Missing from the pic was their ensuing dog spat of snarling and snapping at each other. Josie wanted the rug to herself.
Want to make one for your dogs? This is what you will need to make a rug 14" x 36".
6 adult t-shirts
6 balls of worsted cotton (I used a variegated Sugar and Cream.)
H crochet hook
First you need to cut your t-shirts into yarn. Save all the extra bits for a dog toy following in my next blog post.
Here is a great video on how to make the yarn from Upcycled Stuff.
Now to get started, you chain the width you want the project to be. So I initially chained 14 inches.
Insert your hook into the second stitch from the hook and work a single crochet while wrapping the yarn up an around the t-shirt yarn.
Proceed in this fashion single crocheting along the length of chains while wrapping around the t-shirt yarn as you go.
When you come to the end. Work the last stitch and then crochet a single crochet around the t-shirt yarn, not working a chain. This is your turning stitch and replaces the usual Chain 1 to turn in single crochet when crocheting in rows.
You will bend the t-shirt yarn as you turn to work your way across the row. Insert your hook into the last stitch of teh first row to begin.
Work your way along single crocheting as you go, pulling and catching the t-shirt yarn as you go. If you run out of T-shirt yarn, add more by simply overlapping the ends and working right over both.
That all there is to it. Work until you get to the desired length of your project. To finish off, crochet one row without the t-shirt yarn to give it a nice finished edge. Sew in all ends. Trim off all dangling t-shirt yarn. I know there are projects out there to crochet with the actual t-shirt yarn, but I found this process was easier on my arthritic hands and I like the extra dash of color from the cotton yarn. Think of how cute this would be in a little girls bedroom?! Or as a rug in the bathroom. If you are a marathon runner and have collected t-shirts from your runs, this is a fun way to repurpose them. I do advise that you use a non-slip mat underneath it to keep it in place or if for a bench seat. I staple gunned mine into place, so my dogs wouldn't constantly knock it off the bench when jumping up.
I've been working with the young company Cotopaxi on developing this blog post. Their mission is sustainability and the repurposing of materials into great outdoor gear and hiking backpacks. They are a public benefit corporation based in Delaware, which means part of their corporate mission is not only sustainability but poverty alleviation. I love it when companies take on positive change in the world as their mission!! They've offered additional projects for you to make by upcycling your clothes into new projects, take a look - View this photo! And they are offering 15% off to anyone reading this blog post- the code word at check out is STICKERME.