Recycled Knitting

A local organization is sponsoring a recycled art contest and I decided that I’d like to enter. I played around with a few ideas for entries and began a few small projects before realizing that what I really love is knitting and that I’d like that to be my art medium. I’ve seen a few knitting projects using strips cut from recycled plastic grocery bags, and I tried some small projects but found them difficult to work with and missing the fiber feeling that I love when knitting. I decided to experiment with cutting up some old outgrown and worn t-shirts that were sitting around that were not quite usable enough to be donated to anyone. I played around with some swatches and a few different patterns before settling on using a knitted bag pattern I’d used several times previously, adapting it a bit for my needs. The pattern is the Himalaya Trinket Bag in the Just One More Row Beautiful Bags pattern here:

I love the patterns from this company and I love the way this bag turned out. My t-shirt version was knit on size 11 needles and is about 14 inches tall and 13 inches wide. It used most of 5 t-shirts and one dress, so it’s pretty heavy and sturdy. I sewed in a lining pieced from parts left over from the two black t-shirts.

Here is a picture of the finished bag as well as a close up of the detail of the front flap and crocheted button.

Recycled t-shirt bag

Detail of crocheted button and front flap



  1. Sharon said,

    March 16, 2007 at 4:09 am

    Beautiful bag, Karyn! I think I might give t-shirts a try in a project.

  2. Elisa said,

    March 16, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Very cute bag, Karyn! I’ll have to show that to my knitting daughters. It might be something that they would like to try.

  3. Lisa in ME (SHS) said,

    April 11, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Very cool! You are very creative!!!!!

  4. Cynthia said,

    May 27, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Ok… so now I looked back further and see a picture of the bag you made from the recylced tee shirts. VERY CUTE!

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