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Blocking and Crocheting a T-Shirt Yarn Rug

Posted on August 7, 2011

This week’s project is a rug I crocheted from a couple of old white t-shirts and the remaining pieces of a blue jersey sheet. I cut my cotton into 3/4 inch wide strips using my t-yarn making tutorial. Recycling t-shirts and old cotton sheets is a great way to repurpose those old items into new usable rugs, oven mitts, trivets, baby bibs, and more.

Once completed, this t-yarn rug had a problem. The center was not flat and the rug needed blocking badly so this week’s project turned into a two-fold post. A blocking tutorial for t-shirt yarn rugs and the free crochet pattern for the rug.

I didn’t take a photo of the rug before blocking but trust me, the center was all rumpled up and the rug wasn’t laying down flat. I used the same process I did when I blocked a round ripple afghan that was bowl-shaped in the center. My blocking method helped flatten both projects and really saved me a lot of frustration so I wanted to share how I did it. So first I will show how to block a t-shirt yarn rug.

Lay the rug down and stretch it out on a large piece of plastic on the carpet. I used a large trash bag and then just reuse it for the next blocking project. I pin it all around as I stretch the rug and shape it. Use lots of pins and push them down into the carpet to hold the rug in place. Then using a wet rag or wash cloth, press down and wet the rug. Move your cloth around and continue to wet it and as you do, shape and stretch your rug. I laid a wash cloth down as shown and with my hands flat, I move my hands around on top of the cloth. My center was the real problem area so I pressed down and wet this area more as I worked out the rumpled center.
Click on any photo to supersize

Next photo shows after I have been shaping and flattening out the center. Move your pins as needed to get the rug flat and a nice shape. Gently pull on the corners and edges to get it as straight and square as possible. Apply more water on a rag as needed.

Once you have the center flat and the rug shaped, its time to let it dry. I let my rug dry overnight with the pins in place. The next day, I removed the pins and flipped it over gently and let the back dry. The next morning the rug was completely dry and the rug held its shape rather nicely.

Closeup of the t-yarn rug once it was blocked and flatten. As you can see its pretty flat and I can live with how it looks now. I hope you find this t-yarn blocking tutorial useful should you find your rug or other projects need a little flattening.

Below you will find the crochet pattern details for the rug itself. Working with recycled materials can be challenging but with blocking methods you can have a final product that is quite presentable.

Free Crocheted Recycled T-Yarn Rug Pattern

Rug measures 19 inches wide and 16 inches tall

Material: 2) each colored cotton t-shirts or jersey sheet material cut into 3/4 inch strips
Approximately four t-shirts

T-yarn making tutorial here if you need it.

Hook: Metal N (9 mm) hook

With blue t-yarn, chain 8

Rnd 1
Using blue t-yarn, Sc in 2nd ch from hook in each chain stitch to end. Now continuing around the backside of chain work Sc in each st. (12st) Do not join rnds. Just continue to work in rounds unless advised otherwise.

Rnd 2
Work 3 Sc in the end st and then Sc in ea st down to the other end. Work 3 Sc in the end st and then Sc in ea remaining st of round.

Rnd 3
Sc in sm st at curve, 3 Sc in end st, 2 sc in next st (curve), then Sc in ea st down to next end’s curve. Work 3 Sc in end st, 2 Sc in next st (curve) then Sc in ea st down to curve.
Finish round with sl st into next st. FO blue t-yarn.
Click to Supersize

Rnd 4
With white t-yarn, draw up loop in same st (curve) where you just finished blue t-yarn and work 2 Sc in curve and 2 Sc in next st (end) and then 2 Sc in next st (curve). Sc in ea st down to next curve. Continue in same pattern for the sides and curves on the other end.

Rnd 5
Work 2 Sc in ea of the next 5 sts (on the oval), then Sc in ea st down to next curve, work 2 Sc in ea of the 5 sts of the oval then Sc in ea st down to the beginning. FO with sl st into next st.

Rnd 6
With blue t-yarn, work 2 Sc into the same st as you finished off in on rnd 5. Work 2 Sc in next st (curve) and then Sc in ea st around to the other side’s curve on the same end. Work 2 Sc in ea of the 2 sts on curve. Repeat this pattern for the other side and end curves.

Rnd 7-9
Sc in ea st to first curve, work 2 Sc in curve, Sc in ea st around to the curve on the same end, work 2 Sc in that st too. Tip: Try and work the 2 Sc’s in same sts as prior round to give the rug a uniform look. Check the lay of the rug and if necessary; work an extra st here and there to get a flat rug.

Continue working one Sc in ea st down to curves and work 2 Sc’s into the 2 end curves to match the prior rounds increase sts. FO blue tarn at last st before 1st inc st of round.

Rnd 10-14
Attach white tarn in next st from where you finished off blue, work 2 Sc in st and Sc over to the other inc st of prior rnd and work 2 Sc in that st. Sc around to other end and repeat pattern of working 2 Sc in same sts as inc of prior round and Sc in each other sts of round. FO white tarn.

Rnd 15
Attach blue tarn and continue in same pattern of Sc in ea st and 2 Sc at curves of prior round where you worked an increase.

Rnd 16-20
These rounds, I had to work 2 Sc’s into the two sts on each side of the curve to get my rug to lay down flat. (8 increases total each round) Then Sc in ea other st of rnd. Adjust your sts at curve as needed to get as flat a rug as possible but remember blocking can help the rug to lay flatter later. FO blue tarn.

Rnd 21-23
Attach white tarn, work 2 Sc into two sts of prior rounds increase sts and Sc in ea other st of round. (8 increases total each round). FO white tarn.

Rnd 24
Attach blue tarn, work 2 Sc into two sts of prior rounds increase sts and Sc in ea other st of round. (8 increases total each round). FO blue tarn with sl st into next st and weave under all ends.

If you have any questions or find discrepancies in this pattern, please email me using contact tab above.

Ch – Chain
Dc – Double Crochet
Dec – Decrease
Ea – Each
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Inc – Increase
Rnd – Round
Sc – Single Crochet
Sk – Skip
Sl St – Slip Stitch
Sm – Same
St – Stitch
T-yarn or tarn – T-shirt yarn

This pattern is copyrighted by Cindy of My Recycled Bags {dot com} and may only be used for private individual use. No commercial sales or use of my patterns or photos are permitted. Links to this pattern are acceptable and appreciated. ©2011

****Please do not copy my patterns on your blog site or post my patterns on Internet sites. I do not allow my patterns to be republished without expressed written permission. Posting of my patterns, without written permission is in violation of my copyrights and is content theft.

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13 Responses to “Blocking and Crocheting a T-Shirt Yarn Rug”

  1. Lynne
    Aug 08, 2011

    The colours you have chosen for that rug work really well.

  2. Julie
    Aug 08, 2011

    Hi Cindy,

    In rnd 3 there are some dc’s. Did you mean those to be sc’s?

    Great pattern… I don’t know if I have enough of anything the same color to make such a pretty rug. ūüôā

  3. Rob
    Aug 08, 2011

    Cool project! I don’t know anything about crochet but love the idea that old clothes, sheets, etc could be re-used like this. When I was a kid we had rugs like this in the house that had been around forever, probably projects from the Depression-era generation. They really know how to make the most out of everything they had, and this type of project is all about that. Most of the rugs I remember were oval in shape; that shape may have been easier that doing crochet corners (?).

  4. Cindy
    Aug 08, 2011

    Thanks for catching that and I corrected the pattern. It is all Sc’s. If you don’t have enough of one color, you could always just use different colors throughout the pattern.

  5. What a good project! The colors are pretty together, oval on the center and square in the end. Well done! Thanks for sharing the pattern!

  6. Cindy
    Aug 10, 2011

    This rug started out being an oval but then it didn’t want to lay down flat so I switched it up to a square shape. I like how it looks with the oval center and square edges. Thanks for stopping by and noticing as I wasn’t sure people would like the combination.

  7. Serena Galentine
    Aug 11, 2011

    this is so nice and beautiful,but i think it is too challenging for me . and i am not good at this thing .however i will try my best to do it .

  8. RicCreaties
    Aug 12, 2011

    I will finish my tarn rug coming winter, because it is too big to take it to the camping… I still need a lot of blue and grey t-shirts though.
    And I use the same method of blocking. In a spare room at the attick on the floor, where I leave the things for a few days to dry.

  9. crochet link love! | Crochet Concupiscence
    Aug 13, 2011

    […] My Recycled Bags shared a T-shirt rug pattern along with lessons in blocking this rug. […]

  10. Robin
    Aug 31, 2011

    Great tip. I honestly never knew what blocking was until now and it makes so much sense. I LOVE it.

  11. JacqBrisbane
    Apr 23, 2012

    Blocking information is interesting. I would like to now if blocking needs to be redone after each wash? In which case all that intensive blocking effort seems somewhat futile… ?

  12. Cindy
    Apr 23, 2012

    Jacq — I have found that once I block something it generally doesn’t need to be re-blocked. When I wash it, I just dry it in the dryer and then shape it once I take it out. If it is something that gets wonky shaped after washing, I shaped it and let it dry on a flat surface to make sure it has a nice shape and that it lays down flat.

  13. […] Paso a paso de la alfombra cuadrada en espa√ɬĪol […]


  1. crochet link love! | Crochet Concupiscence says:

    […] My Recycled Bags shared a T-shirt rug pattern along with lessons in blocking this rug. […]

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About Me

Hello, I’m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.

Here is a direct link to all my free patterns available here on My Recycled Bags.

Thank you for stopping by to visit and for your interest in My Recycled Bags!