Tuesday, April 30, 2019

T-shirt yarn: Yay or Nay?


There is a spectacular yarn market in Istanbul's Kapalıçarşı
and whenever we are in Istanbul, we never miss to visit it and freshen up our supplies. On out last visit this October I found a new shop selling yarn at factory (outlet) prices and was particularly intrigued with the t-shirt yarn, because I planned to make bags for the summer.  They were extremely cheap and when I asked the seller why so cheap, he responded that they are recycled yarn (the burgundy and the pink one in particular). 

I thought that this is yarn that is left over which factories spun and sell at a quarter of the price and although he pointed it out to me and the label read in PLAIN English that this is RECYCLED Craft yarn I didn't suspect anything unusual (like that it has flaws) until several months forward where you see me readying for a project and imagine my hysteria when I find out at the first stitch that the yarn has tiny holes all the length through spread at a certain distance! I mean it looks like being nibbled by the factory machine's teeth! 

Nevertheless, although disheartened, I decided to finish the bag I had in mind, and though you cannot see the tiny holes, believe me, they are there. Steady as mountains. 

Luckily, just 2 of those balls? skeins? are such, the others are perfectly fine. 

I made the orange one first. It is way sturdier than the burgundy and was more difficult to make. 

Thus, this being my first time working with T-shirt yarn, I can report the yays and nays.


1. It works up insanely fast. I made the Oreo bag in less than 2 hours. And a pattern like this one ate up a a kilo of yarn.
2. It is a fab choice for a bag. 
3. Things made from T-shirt yarn are really durable.

1. It is very difficult to work with (the change from my 1.9 mm to 10 mm hook was very dramatic) and my arms and shoulder blades and back hurt like hell. You have to put up an enormous effort. Especially if the yarn is of a sturdy cotton.
2. Other than bags and rugs (or maybe baskets/containers) I don't see it used for anything else. 

I didn't want to waste any of the handles I have for the burgundy bag, so I crocheted them, while I think I have good ones chosen for the Oreo bag. 

Have you ever worked with t-shirt yarn? What's your experience?


Alhana said...

For me, t-shirt yarn (or trapillo, as it is called in Spanish) is a big nay for the same reasons you pointed out. Also, I love to crochet with tiny hooks and threads, old style. ;-) Too bad the yarn was damaged because the bags turned out prettily. Sometimes bargains and cheap prices are a bad sign, though luckily your other cones were fine. Now you just made me want to fly to Istanbul and visit that market!

Julie's Creative Lifestyle said...

Hi Maya, so sorry to hear about the yarn having tiny holes in it. The bag does look nice but I have not worked with Tshirt yarn. I almost bought some recently but put it back for some reason. It does look like it would be hard to work with and maybe that is why I didn't buy it.

Atelier Marie-Lucienne said...

Totally here with you: Made my "A Winter's Companion" with T-shirt yarn and the rug for my eldest's bathroom, but haven't touched it ever since. I do not just dislike those huge hooks, working with t-shirt-yarn makes my wrists, hands, elbows, shoulder ache too.

Maya Kuzman said...

Oh, visiting the yplik market is obligatory for any crafter :)
Well, I don't regret buying the other, flawless yarn, so there will be more bags from me.

Maya Kuzman said...

I have always wanted to try my hand at it Julie.

Maya Kuzman said...

Right. But now I can cross it off of my "to try list". Of course after I use all yarn I bought, I don't think I will buy more. Unless I get hooked on making bags :/

Moois van mie said...

I made some rugs with them some years ago and I still use them!

Maya Kuzman said...

That confirms the durability if anything made with this yarn :)

Ginx Craft said...

I haven't worked with T-shirt yarn, but have always fancies doing so. I am not sure it would be as good for knitting as crochet. Your review is very useful, and I will look very carefully before buying any.

Maya Kuzman said...

Thank you! As you I always fancied whipping up projects with this kind of yarn. Cannot say I am disappointed. But other than bags, maybe, a slim maybe, I will make a rug.

Kim said...

I like the thought that you will make a rug from this t-shirt yarn. Very disappointing re the holes.