What you can do with two worn-out shirts

I’ve wanted a spinner’s lap cloth for a while, but the cost and the shipping have deterred me. My husband recently discarded a few shirts that had gotten old and worn-out, and so I had the perfect materials to try making one myself. I looked up pictures of various types of lap cloth, both homemade and storebought ones, and measured my lap while sitting at the wheel in the typical spinning position to determine the dimensions I wanted.

Spinner's lap cloth

It is reversible, one side is black, the other light blue, so I can use it for contrast when spinning both light and dark yarns. There are pockets on both sides, two pockets on one side and three on the other. I stash my singles reference card, my threading hook, oil bottle and my nøstepinne in the pockets so they are all close to hand.

Spinner's lap cloth, reversible

I won’t claim that the handiwork is particularly impressive, because it absolutely isn’t (notice, for example, the bias tape hanging off the end), but it works beautifully to provide  contrast to help me get more consistent singles and protects my trousers from stray fibres.

Spinner's lap cloth

And best of all: Using old sewing thread, bias tape from the corner convenience store (yes, really!) and two old shirts, I now have a perfectly nice lap cloth for next to nothing! I feel so very, very thrifty 🙂

What I’m spinning? I’m glad you asked…


Shetland top from Jamieson & Smith. I bought a sample pack (25 g each of 5 different fleece colours) and 1 kg of the moorit colour. I have started sampling the moorit with a view to spinning for a whole sweater. My two-ply samples using short forward draw and aiming at a DK/light worsted have bloomed to a surprising extent and are probably closer to aran weight. Sampling will continue. This is lovely spinning fibre, and considerably cheaper to buy than comparable amounts of fibre from most other sources, European or otherwise. So far highly recommended!



1 Response to “What you can do with two worn-out shirts”

  1. 1 Cinda 13 March, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks so much for the directions/pictures of you lap cloth. I’ve had the same issue with cost so I’m thrilled to see one that was made. I’m planning to work on one for myself before knit group this week. Thanks again.

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