Friday, May 14, 2010

Reusable Duster - T-Shirt Yarn Version

As promised, I worked out a version of the "Twisted Loop Double Knit Reusable Duster" for T-Shirt yarn.  In case you haven't heard of this yet, lots of people are making yarn from old t-shirts and using it for all kinds of things.  As most of us have used a t-shirt or two for dusting, upcycling a t-shirt into the knitted duster cover seemed like a good thing.


There are lots of tutorials out there on how to make t-shirt yarn, or "tarn" as some folks have labeled it.  Just hit up google or U-Tube.  I used a large, well-worn  man's undershirt.  I dyed it first using a weak solution of Rit dye - sunshine orange.  To get the streaking effect, I balled up the dry shirt and put it in the dye bath.  OK - truth is, I totally forgot to wet the shirt first, per the instructions. but I really like the effect. I then cut roughly 1" wide strips by spiral cutting up the body of the shirt.  Stretching the cut strip causes it to roll in on itself, forming the "yarn".  This yields about 30 yards or so.  The following duster used just about all the tarn from the shirt.

I used US size 15 (10 mm) needles (I had some double points that were just the right length).  Gauge is not critical on this project - use a needle size that is comfortable for you knitting with this yarn.  I found it hard to stay loose - a metal needle is probably better than wood or plastic.

Directions:
See definitions and key to abbreviations in the original duster post below.

Cast on 9 stitches  - I used long tail over two needles - a loose cast on helps with the next row
Set-up row: K1, Kfb2, K3, Kfb2, K1 (13 stitches)
Row 1: K1, TLS1, Sf1, TLS1, K1, TLS3, K1, TLS1, Sf1, TLS1, K1
Row 2: K1, Sf1, Kb1, Sf1, P1, Sf1, P1, Sf1, P1, Sf1, Kb1, Sf1, K1

Repeat rows 1-2 until piece measures about 5 inches - or you have about 0.5 to 1 yard of tarn left ending on row 2.

Finish Row - K1, K2tog2, K3, K2tog2, K1
Bind off all stitches knitwise.

Weave in ends.  Slip the wand of the duster through the slip stitch loops on the back and dust on.  NOTE - if using dyed yarn, wash separately or with dark colors as the dye can definitely run on cottons.

Please don't copy or distribute this pattern without crediting this blog. If you knit this pattern, feel free to do whatever you like with the results - if you can, post a project on Ravelry.com so we can all see what you did. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions for improvements or questions.

16 comments:

  1. What a cool t-yarn project. Alas I don't knit but am so envious of your duster. I might have to try that in crochet if I can figure out a method.

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  2. thanks - would love to see it in crochet as well. All along I kept thinking those loops are probably more easily stitched with crochet!

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  3. A pdf version of the pattern has been posted - see the complimentary patterns section to the right.

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  4. I’ve given you the “Sunshine Award” come on over to my blog and get it.
    woolandchocolate.wordpress.com

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  5. You are very clever! I've never knitted with tarn, but now you have me interested in finding out more. Thank you!

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  6. Thanks! I love working with tarn - definitely give it a try. And I use these dusters all the time. The tarn ones are my favorite. They wash up beautifully - I've been using the one in the photo for almost two years.

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  7. Could you post a glossary for some of the terms like: TLS, Sf, Kb? Thanks!

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  8. Would you mind posting the long version of how to knit this. I am very interested but need more clarification.e.g.Kfb2 etc.

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  9. The complete pattern, included a list of all the abreviations, is available over on the right hadn side of the blog under the complimentary patterns section.

    Sarah B

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  10. See previous post or pattern available for download over on the right hand side of the blog under the complimentary patterns section.

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  11. Love, Love, Love this!! Great way to reuse and have some fun at the same time!

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  12. I went to the complimentary section, but when I clicked on it, it said that type of file could harm my computer, how less can I see the glossary.

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    1. I'm sorry you are having trouble downloading the pattern - the file is an adobe pdf hosted on Ravelry as a free download. It has been downloaded thousands of times since it was published. You can also look at the original duster post - http://www.verdigrisknits.com/2010/05/twisted-loop-double-knit-resuable.html for more information.

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  13. I think it is a great idea. Where do you get the plastic piece to hold the knitted fabric?

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    1. They are sold in the US under the brand name "Swiffer". I'm sure there are other brands as well. They are sold with the disposable covers.

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  14. Thank you very much! My husband is always saving t shirts says they will come in handy 'someday' LOL I think someday has arrived :)

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