Check it out ... handbags knitted from strips of recycled t-shirts!
Do you remember as a kid making potholder from knit loops? That's all there is to it. This red bag is one of the first ones I made. Of course I couldn't use just one color red, I mixed it up a bit with a burgundy tee, and a taupe tee.
Then I got a little fancy and added a flap and just one strap and some fun home dec fabric as lining.
This handbag is the largest of the three and my favorite ... Love the brooch on the flap!
Knitting needles: Size 11 circular, 24” or 29”.
T-shirts: 5 or 6 size large in coordinating colors
Cutting t-shirts into ‘Yarn’:
1. Lay shirt flat with the front facing you and smooth out any wrinkles.
2. Fold shirt in half lengthwise. (Do not try and line up the hem)
3. Place shirt on a green mat and align the folded edge with a horizontal line on the mat.
4. Using a large see-through ruler and a rotary cutter, cut off the hem area.
5. Cut the remaining body of the shirt in 1/4 “ – 3/8 “ strips. Stop when you reach the underarm of the sleeve. The width of the strips will be determined by the weight of the shirt. If it is a rather heavy knit, cut ¼ “strips. If the shirt is lightweight, cut 3/8” strips.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 for all your t-shirts.
- Pull strips to break the loop, creating a little roll out of them. Tie together 3 or 4 strips of ‘yarn’.
- Cast on (CO) 62, 80, 90 (Small, Medium, Large) stitches.
- Knit (K) 1 row.
- Purl (P) 1 row.
- Tie on yarn as needed. This way you can see what color is needed next.
- Repeat 2 and 3 until the purse measure 10”, 12”, 14”.
- Bind off 39, 48, 55 stitches.
- Knit 1 row, turn work. Repeat until flap measures about two thirds the length of the body.
- Cast off stitches.
- Pick up 4, 4, 5 stitches at the top edge of work, on either sides of the flap.
- Knit these stitches until the strap measures the desired length.
- Whip stitch, or crochet the bottom shut.
- Cut lining for purse about 2” larger in length and width than the purse measures. The purse will stretch as it hangs.
- Cut the flap lining just slightly larger than it measures, allowing for seam allowance to be turned under.
- Machine, or hand stitch flap lining into place.
- Drop the purse lining into the pure and Machine or hand stitch in place.
Hand sew a large button or broach to the flap, or braid a loop and attach to the purse, then add a large button to the front.