Tuesday, March 10, 2015

T-shirt Yarn? Or is it tshirt yarn? Or maybe t shirt yarn? It couldn't be tee shirt yarn, could it?

Well, whatever way you choose to spell it, I've just added it to my Etsy shop.  Take a look at these happy spring colors.

And of course, we need some point of reference regarding the thickness of the t-shirt yarn (this is my personal spelling preference.)  I've opted for wraps per inch, since that gives a consistent visual result to compare.

Interestingly, these three shirts were all 100% cotton and all cut to the same width prior to stretching but they yielded slightly different results.

So why t-shirt yarn?  It comes back to my personal goal for 2015, which was to be open to the opportunities that present themselves.

For me, part of becoming someone who crafts to sell, rather than someone who crafts just for themselves requires outing myself self a bit.  If I intend to get anywhere in this endeavor, I have to confess to others that I have an Etsy shop, how much I love what I do and what's so special about my stuff.   That's hard for me.  I'd rather wear the hand knit sweater or use the handmade yoga mat bag and hope someone notices it and asks about it.  It doesn't work that way though.

I live in Ithaca, NY.  It is a place that has more crafty people per square mile than anywhere else I've ever lived or visited.  Its a place that invites crafty show and tell.  My challenge has been to answer the question, "what have you been up to?" with something other than, "not much."  Which brings me back to the t-shirt yarn and why that has been added to my shop.

A local business owner knew I made rugs out of upcycled t-shirts, because I finally had the courage to tell her about my Etsy shop.  She uses t-shirt yarn for some crochet projects in her shop but the commercial t-shirt yarn she had been using was out of stock.  Since she knew I worked with upcycled t-shirts, she asked me if I could make some t-shirt yarn for her.

I needed a few days to make sure I could create something that would yield a consistent product.  That was Friday.  I spent a good portion of the weekend, figuring out my process and my costs.  On Monday I met with her to share what I had come up with.  I wanted to throw up.

She bought 5 balls and I walked home feeling validated and dancing on air.   The best part was, I really enjoyed the process.  You can expect to see more t-shirt yarn in the the shop's future.

For the record, although the overall endeavor was a success I did have one notable fail.  White t-shirts yield boring t-shirt yarn.  I didn't have any fabric dye and I looked up other options on the web to try. The food coloring as fabric dye tutorial that uses salt as a mordant was an epic fail.

What new endeavors are you dipping your toes into this year?

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