Joining the Strips of Fabric
There is more than one way to join the strips you’ve cut. One of those ways involves a sewing machine. I wouldn’t do it that way even if I could use a sewing machine competently (which I can’t). I join the strips by hand and that’s much easier. Its a method that vaguely resembles rope splicing, if you’ve ever done that.
1) You need some cat-free space for this. That’s what the bribes are for.
2) Don’t forget to bribe Cowardly Boy Cat, watching silently from inside the laundry basket over there. If he doesn’t get a treat then he’ll come out of that laundry basket and you’ll have TWO bad cats to deal with. So walk the treat over to him. Trust me its easier to just give in.
3) Cut a slit into the end of one strip. I’ll call this Slit #1 and Strip #1.
4) Get Strip #2 and pull it up through Slit #1 for a few inches.
5) Cut Slit #2 into Strip #2.
6) Take the other end of Strip #2 and pull it through Slit #2.
7) Pull Strip #2 all the way through until you have this join.
8) Repeat steps 3 through 7 to join in a third strip.
9) Keep going, taking coffee breaks and handing out bribes as necessary
That’s all there is to it. I recommend not knocking yourself out and trying to get it all done at once. A little bit each morning and pretty soon you’ve have plenty of fabric yarn to play with.
"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen
10 Comments on "From Sheets to Yarn – Starting a Rag Crochet Project"
You are such an inspiration. Never attempted a rag project but now I’m ready. Your tutorials are great. Can shorter pieces of fabric be used? Or would too many joins muck up the finished work? What about denim maybe for a tote or baskets. My mind is spinning with ideas. I love your “help”. My furry friends always help when I change sheets on my bed.
Shorter pieces are just fine. They are to me anyways. When I cut up t-shirts I cut up the sleeves too. That does mean more joins but yarn is yarn. I’m not wasting any of it!
As for denim…. huh. I’ve never tried that. I think it would work but It cut thin strips. Its a heavy fabric and I’d be worried about having a hook big enough to work it if I cut the strips too thick.
I’ve worked with denim and it’s a real drag! Seriously, it causes lots of extra tension… It also frays a lot, making a huge mess. And the project comes out soooo heavy! (I was going to make a rug and abandoned the project.) But, it makes good stiff baskets 🙂
Interesting. I have an old pair of jeans that I might become a basket then someday.
You make it look easy. If it turns out to be a lot of work… I’ll complain.
It is work, lol. Cutting strips is a pain.
But don’t let that stop you! not from the rag crochet or the complaining. 🙂
I was thinking I might cut up some old t-shirts for yarn and wondered if it’s okay to cut a long spiral piece to avoid so much joining – what do you say?
And I’ve spliced rope. The best part – the only fun part, I think – is rolling it under your boot to finish it smooth. Very satisfying!
Have fun crocheting 🙂
There is a way to cut a t-shirt body and have it all come out as one long strip/yarn. The t-shirt has to be made in the round though. No side seams. If that is the kind of t-shirts you have then definitely use this method. Its easier and faster.
Here is a decent video showing how the cuts are made. (The real info starts at 1 min mark, skip all the talky-talky)
Thanks, Jenn – that is really helpful!
Thanks for the advice on the denim. Raising a granddaughter and we go thru a lot of denim. I did not even think about the fraying. YUK! Just might try a basket after Christmas. I might even dig out the electric scissors I’ve been hoarding in the back of my closet to help with cutting. Yes i’m a craft hoarder.thanks again.