Saturday, November 20, 2010

Plastic Yarn Preparation

I can't believe the overwhelming number of responses received and still receiving for the C-PAL.  It really is exciting to hear from both crocheters and non-crocheters... 

Let me take this opportunity to address a few questions from the individuals not quite ready to take the plunge.  

Most are concerned with ....  where to begin / what to do first?   

For those that have never tried using plastic bag yarn (aka plarn), I have outlined below some helpful hints and tips:  

1) Where to find plastic bags:   Majority of the grocery stores (e.g. WalMart, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Publix, etc.) typically have a recycle container located at the front entrance.  You should have no problem finding an ample supply of plastic bags in the container.  The recycle containers are either a cardboard boxes (with or without a lid) or something fancier as a hard plastic green colored container with a slot on the front for depositing.   

For this type of container, there should be a key turn on the side. Just turn the key, open it in front and choose from what's in there.   The recycle container could also be located in the checkout area.    If that's the case,  I suggest going to the Customer Service counter and letting the manager know what you're doing and make sure they have no objections.  I have yet to be told no  (but, I always have an example of a plarn item on me so I show them what I make with the plastic bags and the fascination puts them into a trance).  Also, be prepared for the stares and questions.  

2) RECOMMENDATION: Whether you choose to pick through the recycle container at the store or wait until you get home - I strongly urge, recommend, suggest you wear some form of hand protection - (e.g. playtex gloves, etc.). Over the years, I have discovered that people also use plastic bags for various other things (to be specific, dog poop) and they'll put those nasty plastic bags in with the other plastic bags. And believe me I have come across much worst than dog poop ..

3) Finding what you want:  There are many various types of plastic bags but amongst the popular are the t-shirt style most grocery stores use
and shiny merchandise/retain store bags .
If you're new to crafting with plastic yarn, I strongly recommend choosing the t-shirt bag as these are easier to work with.  The retail bag has a tendency to resist the crochet hook. 

4) Once you've picked the plastic bags you will be using for this project it's time to make plastic yarn.  You can access the tutorials on how to make plastic yarn on my blog.  The 2 creative ways are: 1) double-strand method (cutting the plastic bag into loops and looping the strips together) or 2) continuous strand method (making 1 long strand).   There are also other sites on the internet that also offers tutorials including YouTube.

As I indicated in my previous post, I recommend that a practice swatch be made prior to beginning the project because:
Not all plastic is made the same.  When using plarn, achieving a desired size or gauge is dependent on texture, thickness and strip width of the plastic yarn. 

Hopefully you will find this information helpful as you prepare for the C-PAL.  By all means please leave me any comments or questions that you might have.  Feel free to email me privately at

Let the count down begin - 7 days remaining

1 comment:

  1. Hi,I saw at Etsy your shop.I like it very much,few years ago I have been crocheting plastic yarn,now I'm making jewelry from wire.So I added your shop in my favorites.Also,I have blog too,so come and