After the t-shirt upcycle I did in a previous post, I came up with a crazy idea. I wondered if I could combine the technique with the knitting technique of cabling. I had to wait until I could get to the thrift shop to get a junky old t-shirt that I wouldn't mind ruining. The thrift shop near here is only open on Tuesdays, so I went today and found an XL tunic-length t-shirt.
So, if you want to try this out, you'll need:
→ a t-shirt that is not only too big around, but too long by at least six inches.
→ sharp scissors
→ a measuring tape or ruler
→ three crochet hooks (size 8 or 9 works well)
→ a needle and thread
The most time-consuming part is laying out the t-shirt for the cuts. I wanted my decoration to run up the center of the front of the shirt, so I put the side seams together to find the center, and folded it there. Then I measured 1 1/2 inches away from the fold and marked it, then folded along those marks on both sides of the center. So I had three folds, held together. I used my measuring tape, and cut every 1/2 inch, about 1/2 inch in from the folded edges. The important thing was to not cut all the way through; I wanted a little space between each cut.
When it was unfolded, it looked like this:
Next, I took the three crochet hooks, and started picking up the loops. I did a couple of rows, then stopped...
Then I began switching the columns. And I just realized this picture is wrong; I changed my technique a little after I took it and forgot to take another. Oh well. I'll try to describe what I did...
I took the center hook and reached over to the next loop in one of the side columns, and pulled it through. Then I lifted that hook up and over the one that belonged in that column, so that they switched places. Then I took the hook that had its loop stolen, and use it to pick up the next loop in the center column. The hook on the other side picked up its loop as normal. Then I did the same thing, going the other way: use the center hook to pick up the next loop in the opposite side, lift it up and over the hook that was there, use the hook from that side to pick up the center loop, and used the leftover hook to pick up its own loop. It sounds a little complicated, but if you can braid, you can do it.
Here's a closeup of how it looked after I'd done all the columns all the way up.
I used the needle and thread to secure the last loops at the top.
And here's how it looks on me!
As you can see, it's almost too short in the front now; this technique pulls up even more than the original technique did. I need to do something to the neckline; it's almost a v-neck now, but it doesn't lay flat, so I'm going to do something to fix that. I haven't decided yet what I want to do to the sleeves; I might cut them shorter and hem them, or I might leave them as 3/4 length sleeves. It's still winter where I live, and this is a popular sleeve length around here.