Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric

Day 39 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Or — Queen Dido, the Ox Hide, and the Founding of Carthage.

This is a post for Math Nerds, History Buffs, and Crafters that don’t like to have empty heads.

First off, I have to admit that historical accuracy of Dido, the Phoenician Queen of Tyre is questionable, but I do like her cleverness.

After escaping Her city of Tyre instead of being assassinated by Her Brother, she begged King Hiarbas for as much land as could be contained within the hide of an ox.


An ox hide is pretty large – about 55 to 60 square feet. What she actually did is that she had it cut in a long spiral – and probably thread fine – and it ended up long enough to encircle the hill that she founded Carthage upon.

Again, the historicity of this is questionable, but the means of getting long laces from leather is well known to crafters.

I’m applying this to my current project. Since it uses the same method as the clever Queen used, I have even more appreciation of the story.

T-shirt “yarn” is obtained by cutting old t-shirts in a long spiral. This can turn out to be a fairly substantial amount of yarn.

I just got a box of half t-shirts (Rahn’s sister had cut them up for the fronts to be made into a memory quilt)

The back of a men’s t-shirt is about 2 foot by 2 foot. When cut in a half inch wide spiral, one ends up with approximately seventy feet of t-shirt yarn.

Math Nerds can come up with the size of the circle enclosed by an ox hide by applying calculus. They also can prove that the largest amount of area enclosed in this way will always be a circle.

I tend to be a bit more practical minded, as I don’t have a King Hiarbas that I can trick into giving me land. Applying the method to creating a use for the old t-shirts is enough.

Over the years, I’ve used yarn made in this way for several projects.

This little red basket.

A little basket – holding balls of unused t-shirt yarn.

This blue tote bag in progress.

And completed.

And this “Boho” bag.

I plan to re-viist this one for a new small tote to hold a few things. T-shirt yarn is adaptable for a wide variety of techniques and projects. Crochet, knit, weaving, braiding, macrame are all valid. Bags, baskets, hot pads, rugs, hangings, are just a few of the possible projects.

My YouTube playlists include a wide variety of my interests. I like to play history videos, music, cooking, crafting, or my catch-all of “watch later”. I pay the small monthly charge to get my YouTube without commercials. I find that I can let one of my playlists run while I am working on something else.

I plan to start posting my own videos shortly!


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