Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My adventures in tarn.

Hi there. Wow, this week has really flown.  I have been putting off getting on the computer, as I have nothing much to report really, life has been humming along with all the usual good and bad stuff.  I have been pondering on the unfairness of life, how random our 'luck' seems to be, sometimes it is very hard to find the silver lining on all the crappy things that happen out there.  There seems to have been a lot of bizarre, terrible news happening out in the big wide world, it makes me wonder where we are heading as a society.  I'd like to think somewhere calm and enlightened and embracing, but I do wonder.  There have also been moments a lot closer to home where I have been forced to contemplate the randomness of good health. One day it is there, and seemingly the next it has dissolved before your eyes.  I have been sending lots of positive vibes to my extended family, everything is crossed and heres hoping for a great recovery.

As an antidote to all this kind of sad thinking, I decided to try something a bit new on the crafty front.  

I have to say, I spend a fair amount of time trawling Pinterest, and I do come across a lot of gems. 
A couple of weeks ago I found a great tutorial on how to make T-shirt yarn (tarn) for crocheting.  Yes please!  It was super easy, so on the weekend I had a go.  
I couldn't find any t-shirts around our house that were in colours I liked for crocheting, so I bought some cotton jersey from Spotlight, sewed it into long tubes and pretended it came from a t-shirt.(completely disregarded the thrifty, recycling element of this project).

......here is the green jersey all cut up waiting to be stretched....

.......and here are the finished piles of tarn waiting to be wound into balls.......

.........and here are the nice neat balls of tarn waiting to be crocheted into something fab!

I bought 1 metre each of 5 colours and was hoping to have enough tarn 
to hook up a 6 granny square bathmat.
Well, that wasn't to be.  
1 metre of fabric made about 42m of tarn, and I was quite alarmed at the rapid rate of consumption while hooking up the granny squares.  These squares really ate up the tarn!!
I  had just enough to make 4 squares with 1 colour left for a row of border.  I was hoping for 6 squares, but I guess 4 will have to do. Next time I will cut up 2 metres of each fabric, I need a much bigger ball of tarn!

Anyway, here is how it worked out, my slightly wonky bathmat. Tadah!

It is hard to tell how chunky and heavy it is from this photo, but it does feel very nice to walk on in bare feet.  And I guess it is nearly big enough, the granny squares are pretty huge!!  
This was a fun, frivolous project, and now I have a bathmat that ended up costing a lot more than if I had just bought one, but I don't know where I would have found a chunky, crocheted, granny square, tarn mat!  So I have a fairly unique bit of whimsy there!

Have you ever made anything from t-shirt yarn?  
Did your arms get sore? (mine did a little bit!)
Did you like using the huge hook? I used a 10mm hook, although I think I could have used a bigger one.

Well that's about all my tarning adventures for now.  If I find a better supply of fabric I might just dip my toe back in the tarn waters again, it was a fun side track to follow!

 Have a lovely day, wherever you are!



  1. This is fantastic, I just love it, I have some very boring balls waiting to be used now I have something I have seen that is fun and functional. Well done! Love your work. Frances

  2. Oh it's wonderful! I've got a lot of tshirts ready to send to the charity shop but may just whip them back out so make some tarn!

  3. What a fab colourful plan, I love it x

  4. I think that this bathmat is really gorgeous!!!! you did a great job!!!!
    love it!!!!
    xxxx Ale

  5. I've been wondering about all the bad that's been going on in the world lately too - it's crazy. I wish for good health for your family. Have a good day. :)

  6. What a wonderful and colorful bath mat! It perfectly improves mood! (Sorry for my English)

  7. Wow what a lovely bath mat. What a great idea Mx

  8. A bathmat! What a great idea! I started knitting with tarn (it is actually bought tarn, but well...) in January aiming for a carpet (about 1x1.5m in size). But at some point it started to get heavy and knitting took its time so I stopped. But I still want to finish it at some point...

  9. I made a rug a few years ago. I cut the strips one inch wide and used a size J hook. Click here to read my post: http://www.squaregrannie.blogspot.com/2008/12/t-rug_31.html

  10. Hi There, It seems an awful lot of work, but I suppose if you have the time it's a nice little project to try!!!!And I am one of those people who have to try it at least once!!!

  11. That's such a great idea! I was just thinking this morning that I should really get rid of some of my old t-shirts (to make space for loads of new ones!) but hate throwing things out. This is a great solution! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. What a fantastic idea! You've inspired me. Thank you. Love Amanda xxx

  13. I'm writing to say I appreciate your creativity, colors and professionalism . I have you bookmarked and stop by on occasionally to look at your very pretternstty things. I want to try your kitty pattern. Thanks for the inspiration. One more point. Your free patterns are great. Not the usual.

  14. I love it - pure genius!!!

  15. This year's project for my crafting group is taking tarn and making something with it. We have until October. I love your idea! I'm lucky that there are lots of warehouses here and some sell T-shirts at really cheap prices. I'm going to stock up on lots of colors. Loooooove your bathmat!!

  16. A bathmat was the first thing I crocheted 2 and a half years ago, with tarn. That was the very moment I rediscovered crcohet and start learning more about it and the amazing and beutiful comunity its crocheting all around the world. Love how this turns out, gorgeous!! Love peace and crochet Gabriela

  17. I have not used tarn but I have crocheted with strips of fabric using a 10 mm hook i love the effect.

  18. your mat looks great! just last weekend i over paid for some tshirt yarn. $7 for 30 yards! i didn't know it was only 30 yards when i purchased it so i just ended up making a small basket with it. i was originally intending to make a small rug. but i'll have to buy a few yards of jersey knit fabric and cut it like you did. thanks for sharing this!

  19. Love it! Doing it with new bright colours gives it a zing. In the bottom of my wardrobe is a bag full of t-shirts gifted to me by a friend so that they could be dyed and made into tarn.....and they have been there for MONTHS. One day I will get my tarn mat up on the old blog for the world to see.

  20. Жюль, очень красиво получается! Я тоже иногда режу яркие майки на полоски и вяжу крючком круглые коврики в загородный дом. Вяжу крючком № 12
    а еще я очень люблю вязать спицами. Я часто использую фирму Ализе Кашемир и Дропс
    У нас в этом году погода до сих пор не летняя. Весна никак не закончится. Очень жду лета чтобы поехать на природу. Там я тоже люблю вязать :)
    Мне понравился ваш блог, записалась в постоянные читатели. Буду приходить за вашими новыми историями!
    Катерина, Россия

  21. How very clever! I love it. XD I have plenty of old T shirts that would make wonderful mats around here. I do love the colors of your mat too.

  22. I look forward to your emails. You have such wonderful ideas, and u make so many beautiful items and your writing is very entertaining and I look forward to it. Love the idea, is in my to do list, which is ever growing.

  23. What a lovely idea, I love it and would enjoy having a go at this. Thank you for a great blog, always enjoy reading you posts.
    Lots of love

  24. I am in the process of making a tarn bath mat too. Mine is very boring and started oval but I made it too long and thin so I'm going to unravel and make a round one.
    I am using old t-shirts and so far I have used 3 and it isn't even half way big enough. Check out charity shops for colourful t-shirts. It would be a cheaper supply and environmentally friendly :-)

  25. This looks very intriguing and I love the colours you used. Might have to put this on the to-do list. Kicking myself that I just cut up a whole heap of t-shirts for cleaning clothes. Hopefully Spotlight might have some cheap t-shirt fabric next week.

  26. You have inspired me! I thought you might like to see the beginnings of my foray into all things tarn over here: http://stitchesandseeds.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-pile-of-old-t-shirts-is-very.html

    Thanks for posting about this. I am having sooo much fun!

    Eleanor xx

  27. Hi Julie
    Love your tutorial and colourful rug!
    I'm totally addicted to crocheting with tarn! We are so fortunate here on the West Coast of South Africa. We buy t-yarn in 1kg balls from our LYS. It is off cuts they buy from a t-shirt factory.
    You can see some of my rugs on my blog and fb page.

    I came to your blog to look at your tiny crochet postage stamp.



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