Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to Make Plastic Yarn (Double-Strand Cutting and Connecting Tutorial)

There are multiple strip methods you can use to make and connect plarn (plastic yarn) strips.

The 3 methods I'm aware of are - 1) Double-Strand; 2) Continuous (Single-Strand) Strip and 3) Connecting Strip.

Tip: Any of the strip methods can also be used for fabric; pillow cases, t-shirts, etc..

Tutorial for the Double Strand Method:

Cutting Strips -
Lay the bag out flat, straightening out the straps.

Fold bag in half (folding bottom up to be even with the top) matching up the handles then a couple more times for easier cutting.

Cut straps off at the base of the straps and bottom seam. Cut off bottom seam of bag. Just a sliver is all that is needed.

Put your hand through the middle of the bag to pull it apart and lay flat as a tube. Fold the tube in half then a few more times until your tube is small enough to make one cut. The strips are cut to the size needed to meet your pattern needs. (The rule of thumb is not any less than 1”. 1 1/2 to 2” pieces are typical cut sizes.)

Connecting Strips –
I have had excellent success with this 'visual' teaching method of showing how to connect the strips: Hang 2 strips on your hand/arm

Using your opposite hand, reach through the middle of the first strip to grab the bottom of the 2nd strip and pull through. (The picture shows the same hand but I didn't have another set of hands available.)

Drop the 1st strip from your hand. (In the picture above it will be the strip in the middle.) You now have something that resembles a ‘T’.

Now take the bottom strip (In the picture above it will be the strip closest to the fingers) and lay it over the strip still sitting on your hand.

    Now grab the strip closest to the fingers (strip on bottom) with one hand and pull to form a small knot. (Reminder: Your primary objective is to avoid breaking the strip which is very easy to do if you pull too tight).

    Keep adding strips using this same method (eventually you’ll grasp the concept of connecting the strips and won’t have to use the ‘hand method’).

    Important: Here are some important tips to remember:
    · Avoid ripping the strip from pulling too tight.
    · Keep the 2-strand strip even.
    · Make the knot as small as you can. You’ll find that some strips will knot gracefully but believe me there’s always those few that will make you work for it. When this happens you just have to do a little pulling and tugging on the knot.

    Forming the Ball –The easiest way I have found to make a ball is put your pointer and middle fingers together. Place the end of the strip between the fingers and begin wrapping the strips around both fingers about 5 times. Then pull off the fingers and begin wrapping the strips around it. Before you know it, your ball begins to take shape. (Side Note: To avoid tangles, I usually start making the ball after I have 6-10 strips made, then make another 6-10 strips and wrap.)

    Copyright 2009 Plastique Recreations. All rights reserved.

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