The summer stole project

I know, summer is technically over, and we’re into autumn around here, but I promised finished photos of the t-shirt stole, and it’s a sunny day on the north coast, so …

Recycling, knitting, and by no means least liturgy are some of my passions. Combining them into, er, unique liturgical wear has been a project which had me working with some great friends and some colourful plastic bags in the past ( ; this time, it’s the humble t-shirt’s turn for a role in the artful worship of God.

There are many ways to reuse t-shirts, and if they’re clean enough, many places to donate them. But for the truly old, holey and stained beyond redemption, here’s a way to redeem them after all, and put them to really Good use.

Suitable for sweltering summer Sundays when even the Queen of England wears a t-shirt to church:

… for outdoor services on the lawn:






For those parish picnics at the park:






Even, had one sufficient “white” t-shirts to recycle, those beachside baptisms or destination weddings:








I know it looks frivolous. And okay, maybe I had a little bit too much fun at the beach :). But don’t take offence. I am serious about sustainable worship, in many senses of the phrase.

The technical details:

This stole used seven t-shirts, cut into single strips (t-shirts without side seams are best, and just cut round and round from the bottom to the bottom of the sleeves). I divided the t-shirt strips in half to provide two symmetrical sides to the stole. I cast on 16 stitches using 10.5 needles, then switched to 13 or 15 needles to continue in linen stitch for about 50 inches – don’t go too long, it’s t-shirt and it will stretch when finished (for a description of how to knit linen stitch, click here: )

I repeated the same pattern for the second side.

Holding both sides together, I cast off using the three-needle technique (here you go: )

A good wash is necessary to get rid of all the little t-shirt specks that have accumulated on the stole, your clothes, floor, couch and cats while the knitting was in process. The stole will stretch on washing; shape it appropriately to dry. Embroider a cross on the seam if you wish.

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