You may be wondering, what is plarn? Plarn is plastic yarn. It’s true! Plarn is made using plastic shopping bags, and I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of those around the house. I’m always looking for a way to reuse these bags that are literally overflowing from my plastic bag bin. And here it is: Plarn can be used to make a variety of items, such as rugs, reusable grocery totes, and even hats or shoes! But before you can get to work crocheting or knitting something with plarn, first you must make it.
Here’s how to make plarn:
- Plastic grocery bags
- Cutting mat or towel to protect your tabletop
- Sharp scissors
Lay the plastic bag out on your cutting mat, folding in the sides, making sure to get it as flat as possible. Don’t worry too much if there are a lot of wrinkles in the plastic. That won’t be noticeable once it is plarned.
Remove the bag handles by cutting as closely and as evenly along the top as possible.
Cut the bottom half inch of the bag off.
Cut the bag into approximately 1″ strips.
Open one strip of the bag. (It should be a plastic ring now.)
Open up a second strip of the bag and lay it on top of the first.
From the top, pull the left loop to the right, and from the bottom, pull the right loop to the left. Pull the ends snug but not so tight that you are stretching or distorting the plastic. This will create a knot and your first length of plarn.
Repeat Steps 6 and 7, looping and knotting a new piece of plastic bag until you have a length of plarn that you need for your project.
I found that I made about 8 to 10 yards of plarn per plastic bag, depending on how thick I was cutting the strips, so keep that in mind you’re making the plarn for your project. However, the great thing about plarn and the way it is made is that if you find you’re running short, all you need to do it cut up another plastic bag and add it to the end of your ball of plarn.
And as always, before starting any new project, be sure to do a gauge swatch. You’ll want to get a good sense of what kind of plastic fabric will be made with the needles you use as well as checking your gauge if you are using a pattern.
Let’s take a look at how some creative Craftsy members used plarn for their knitting and crochet projects!
See, there are many creative uses for plarn! Feeling inspired to try your own plarn project? Try it out with the plarn-friendly Grocery Bag pattern by designer KPLee15. Or beat the winter blues by crocheting the Ruffle Brim Sun Hat pattern by Rcorneglio. This casual summer hat uses about 200 yards of plarn (roughly about 20 plastic bags).
Tomorrow on the Craftsy blog, we’ll share 5 easy sweater patterns you’ll actually have time to knit!