How to (not) get rid of old T-shirts


Finally we have an Internet connection at our new home. We have been camping here since the beginning of the month, while renovating. Everything is full of dust, but slowly things are coming together and on Sunday we will move the rest of our furniture and stuff here.

The move forced me into a new hobby (lets see how long it lasts…).

My husband wanted to use the move to get rid of a whole bunch of old t-shirts… and I know that this is exactly what one should do when moving. But…

As many of you already know, I find it difficult to throw away things, especially if there is a slight chance that I can reuse them in some different way. I must pay tribute my mother and grand-mothers for early inspiration to do this. And all of them were practical women and I am grateful that I have been able to learn and receive this gift from them, too. I also am grateful for my dad, who is an engineer and farmer, and who always knows a plan to make my ideas workable, when I am at a loss. So I am bowing to these wonderful people with this post and work.

I knew that I could not just keep the t-shirts, without having a convincing plan for them straight-away and putting it into action soon. Fortunately I remembered that I have seen a tutorial on the internet, about how to make yarn from old t-shirts. And saw a lovely crocheted round carpet on Pintrest, which I wished I could get for our new house…

So re-purposing became a plausible plan with which I could convince my husband to hang on to the t-shirts.

My father’s mother taught me to crotchet when I was about 4, and since then I have never touched a crochet needle again. In fact, I disliked needlework so much, that I fought for my right to rather join the boys in the woodworking class – and succeeded, becoming the first girl in Namibia who was allowed to do woodwork at school. (Yes, till that date we had gender specific classes at school.)

Humble beginnings © Imke Rust

Humble beginnings © Imke Rust

My sweet mother-in-law bought me a crochet needle, after I told her about my plans and that I did not know where to find one. So in between the hard physical renovation work I started to crochet…

…and I am having so much fun, that I am already busy with the second carpet, recycling my own old t-shirts.

And we are so much looking forward to using them in our new house!

Hand-made T-shirt yarn carpets (one still in progress)© Imke Rust

Hand-made T-shirt yarn carpets (one still in progress)© Imke Rust

Wishing you all a wonderful and inspired weekend!


5 thoughts on “How to (not) get rid of old T-shirts

  1. Indigo Spider

    I’ve seen it before but was always a bit suspicious that it really looked as good as the video’s claimed but your pics are proof! 🙂

    I can crochet and pulled out a bunch of Tshirts (and other stuff) to donate but I think I might just have to try this!

    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Oh, yes, just try it! I am also always sceptical, especially because I often think that I will not be able to let it look as pretty or perfect as the ‘experts’ do, but with this, I was happy to find that the rough look works and I do not need to be too careful. And the resulting carpets are a real wonderful reward. I love walking on them. Please share pics of what you come up with – I would love to see!


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