I have generated a fair number of scrap T-shirts in the process of making stock. When the screen printing rig is all set up, it’s a good idea to run through a couple of prints to get everything running smoothly before embarking on a job. I also create multiple samples in different colours, and sometimes things go wrong too. The result of all this is a steady supply of scrap Tees, which are kept in a box under my workbench till they literally fill up with print. I turn them inside out and use the backs, and eventually they go in a scrap pile. In the past I would take this to the tip where old textiles are collected to be recycled into new, but recently I’ve been trying to close the loop and use more of this resource myself. In part because some very happy accidents often occur and make beautiful unique prints.
First I hopped on YouTube where someone demonstrated how to turn a T-shirt into a continuous ball of yarn with a rotary cutter and a rule. Just google ‘recycling a T shirt’ or similar.
Now I had my ball of jersey yarn, which naturally curled into a cord, and where there was a lot of print, looked a bit like a pretty ribbon. I made a couple of pompoms, it was close to Christmas and they made great decorations for my kraft paper gift wrap.
Next I KNITTED a tea-cosy. I haven’t photographed it because it’s not at all attractive, though it’s great at keeping my tea warm! I also broke a knitting needle with the sheer heft of the yarn, and got a dose of RSI. Plus, now we have a tea-cosy, what am I going to knit next?
Luckily, just as I was casting around for the next project, (watch out, pooch) I spotted a Crochet workshop, and signed up pronto.
I’d never crochet-ed (?) before, I think my needle-ninja mum gave up after the pain of teaching me to knit.
Heather made the whole experience not just pain-free but fun and useful. Just a 90 minute session with a very specific goal- a crochet planter/ pen pot/ nest… All in the beautiful surroundings of Pot & Vessel, in Folkestone.
I have now crafted 3 pots, and there will be more. However, along the way I’ve also started using my home-made yarn on the swing tags for my T-shirts. Such a small touch, but so satisfying.