Intrigued by the idea of plarn, but secretly thinking to yourself, “That is just wayway too much work. There’s no way I have time for that, even if I did want to do it”?
Good news! BEHOLD! – the next thing I’ve discovered: INSTANT PLARN.
Instant plarn? How, you may ask? Very simple: sacrifice those old VHS and cassette tapes that you’ve already replaced with DVD’s and CD’s. Voila! Instant plarn, conveniently already evenly sliced and on a spool.
I’m looking forward to designing many projects around this new material! So far I’ve experimented with a cassette tape (Bye bye, Steppenwolfe) and a size H and I crochet hook. Stay tuned for projects and patterns!
UPDATE – I have been informed by my lovely friends on Pinterest that cassette tapes do have chemicals on them (like chromium) that are toxic in large quantities. So! Let’s use some common sense. Wash your hands, use it in conjunctions with some other building materials, and enjoy responsibly. 🙂
Sit back and fasten your seatbelts, folks. Today, we learn about making plarn! (not sure what plarn is? Read my definition here.)
To make plarn, you’ll need plastic grocery bags. You know, the kind typical of all those Super-Marts we know and love. Depending on the project you want to make – a rug, a placemat, or my personal favorite, a reusable shopping tote – you’re going to need a LOT of plastic bags. If you don’t happen to have a stash that is 4 years old (like the kind I stumbled upon at my brother’s house), then you may want to contact neighbors, friends, family — most people are happy to get rid of their stash of recyclable plastic grocery bags
The gallery below explains the preparation process to make the plarn. After you master this basic step, Lather, Rinse, and Repeat. A LOT. 🙂
Step 1 – Flatten the bag to be plarned.
Step 2 – Fold in half.
Step 3 – Fold in half again.
Step 4 – Cut off the handles.
(I save these for making plarn tassles later.)
Step 5 – Cut off the bottom 1/2″ of the bag
(This gets rid of the bottom of the bag that is sealed.)
Steps 4 and 5 are really the only “waste” In the plarning process. If you don’t want to save these pieces for tassles later, then sack them up and recycle them. Please! )
Step 6 – Cut the remaining flattened bag into 3 pieces.
(Yes, these seem big. However, you want the pieces to be thick so that they will not rip when you pull on them later.)
After Step 6, you should have three loops of plastic bag.
(Switching colors here so the looping process can be seen more clearly.)
Now that you have the loops, you need to connect them so you can create the long piece of plarn you will then use for knitting or crocheting or whatever your crafty heart fancies! So! To plarn — get 2 loops of plastic bag.
Step 7 – Place the tail of one loop (the yellow) inside another plastic loop (the blue).
Step 8 – Tuck the tail of the yellow piece (you just put in the other piece) in on itself. (That probably doesn’t make sense to read it, but reference the picture and I think it will make sense.)
Step 9 – Pull the yellow piece tail until it pulls the knot tight against the blue piece.
When you pull it tight (do so gently so it doesn’t rip!) the knot should be fairly tight and small. This way it won’t get in the way when you are crocheting or knitting with it.
What is Plarn, you ask? Simply, Plarn = Plastic Yarn. (Not the world’s most clever pormanteau, but it’s functional.)
How do you find it? You make it! I make my own plarn by reusing plastic grocery bags. You know, the kind we love to collect and save because we’ll reuse them, but most likely the end up thrown away or, hopefully, put out with the recyclables.