Friday, February 20, 2015

Tutorial: Making Plastic Yarn (Plarn)

The cold weather here in the northeast has been pretty brutal this year. We're looking at a rather nasty weekend ahead, so I'm planning to cocoon myself at home.  I know I run the risk of going stir-crazy with family cabin fever, but if I keep myself busy, I should come out of it okay. I think I'm going to make "plarn" (plastic yarn) for some future projects.

Here's a little tutorial I've put together on how I make plarn.

Materials Needed:
- Plastic Grocery Shopping Bags
- Scissors or Rotary Cutter
- Yard Stick (Not necessary, especially if you have a good eye at keeping cuts straight)
- Cutting mat (Only if you're using a rotary cutter. Although, unless you have a dedicated crafting table, using a cutting mat will protect your furniture.)

 Step 1: Open up and smooth out the plastic bag.

Step 2: Trim off the handles and the bottom seal.

Step 3: Open up the bag, releasing all the folds. Flatten and fold vertically to a width that you are comfortable cutting. I fold until the piece is about 4 inches in width.

Step 4: Cut bag across into 1-inch strips. (A standard-sized shopping bag should produce about 11 or 12 1-inch strips)

Step 5: Open up the strip and chain the strips together.

Process as many bags as you wish. One standard sized plastic bag yields about of 5 1/2 yards. Once you've made your desired quantity, simply roll the plastic yarn into a ball. Sometimes I get lazy or too excited to chain all the loops before I start a project so I just chain the loops as I go along with my project.

This can be used on any knitting or crochet project that requires a chunky weight yarn.

Here are some links to free patterns for the items above:
Grocery Bag Purse by Michelle Molis on Another Knitting Blog (the middle one)
Crochet Grocery Bag Pattern by Knit-O-Matic (the one of the right and left*)
*I modified the one on the left with the body of the Knit-O-Matic pattern and then handle of the bag by Michelle Mois.

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