To make t-shirt “yarn”, you can use one of two methods. The first method involves cutting the t-shirt from the bottom up in sort of a winding-staircase type pattern; you end up with a continuous strand. As far as I’ve found, all of the t-shirt yarn instructions are for the first method. The second method is one that I made up and I have had good luck with it.
To start, lay the t-shirt out on a flat surface. Cut straight across from armpit to armpit; the top part (with the sleeves and collar) is not used in this project. (You can use it for other projects as stuffing or something.) Cut horizonal strips through both layers of the t-shirt that are about 1″-2″ wide (your choice).
Link up the two loops by putting one hoop under the other and pulling the bottom of that hoop through the middle.
If my explanation is insufficient, there are some sites that have instructions on how to do this with plastic bags.You can link all of the shirt hoops together and roll into a ball, or you can link as you go. The benefit to the second method is that you can change colors anywhere you want to.
Anyway on to the pattern; if you find the instructions to be unclear, please do let me know. Done using a Q hook:
Ch 5, join with sl st to form ring.
Ch 2 (counts as first hdc from here on), 10 hdc in ring. Join with sl st to first st.
Ch2, hdc in same st, ch 1, *2 hdc in next st, ch 1* to end. Join with slip stitch 20 hdc, 10 ch total.
Ch 2, hdc in next four stitches, *hdc, ch 1, hdc in ch-1 sp, hdc in next 5 st* Repeat to last stitch then hdc, ch 1, hdc in last st. Close round with a sl st.
This makes a thick, good sized hot pad.
To make a coaster, you can use two strands of ww cotton and follow the same pattern. Because the t-shirt yarn can be uneven, it makes a rather lumpy coaster which I wouldn’t recommend for anything larger than a beer stein 🙂