Many years ago I accompanied my mother to a farm auction. Amongst the sale items, I found a couple balls of colorful rag yarn. As the auction went on in the background, I studied the “yarn” balls until I figured out how the strips were attached to each other. The balls are fun to make and display, even if you never knit anything with your “yarn”.
How to cut rags for knitting:
You can use any kind of fabric for this, even t-shirts or bedsheets. In this example I’m using plain muslin bed sheets from IKEA ($1.99 for a twin size). To make strips for a #19 needle, cut slits about 1 1/2″ apart across the bottom. For Really Big knitting on a #35 needles, cut them 3″ apart across the bottom.
Rip from each slit so you have a pile of strips like this:
Now cut slits in each end about 1” long like this:
So now you have strips with slits in the end.
Feed the end of one strip through the slit in the next strip:
Make sure that as you form a ball, you always poke the end of the strip attached to the ball through the slit first! Like this:
Now take the other end of the strip (not attached to the ball) and feed it through the remaining slit, like this:
Now carefully pull on the strip you just fed through the slit…keep pulling and you’ll get this:
Pull a little more until they are snug like this:
Ta-da! Keep doing that and you’ll end up with a big ball of rag yarn:
If you need to rip more “yarn” to add to your WIP, work backwards from your working yarn. If you try to attach a new ball of yarn to existing WIP, you will have no free end to pull through the slit, so you’ll have to tie a knot. It’s not the end of the world, but for a completely knot-free piece it’s something to think about…