Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alternative Yarn: Plarn

I love to find new and different ways to spice up my knitting, one of those ways is to use alternative yarns.  Today's alternative yarn is Plarn: plastic yarn.  Using plarn is a great way to use up all those plastic shopping bags you get.

How to make Plarn:
1. Start with one bag, make sure there aren't any tears.
2. Fold the bag in half, then fold it in half again.
3. Cute off the top part with the handles and cut off the bottom part.
4. Cut the bag into strips.  I cut one inch strips when I'm knitting on U.S. size 8 needles and I cut three inch strips when I'm knitting on U.S. size 13 needles.

To link the strips together follow the pictorial above.
*Be sure not to cut your strips too thin so they don't break when you tighten the knot (pic #8).
*Don't knit with aluminum knitting needles if you want to preserve their color.  I tried knitting with aluminum knitting needles and the plarn rubbed off some of the color.
*I found that knitting plarn on wooden needles is much easier.  Be sure to wax your needles it makes the whole project much smoother.  I just use a piece of Reynolds wrap wax paper.

Different plarns:
1. Rose scented plastic bags.  I found these bags at a dollar store and I love them, they smell like roses!  I knit them into a coin pouch.
2. Garbage bags.  The garbage bags create a slight vinyl look, I made some into wristlets.
3. And of course, shopping bags.  I knit some into a wristlet.
4. In this pic you can see the difference between the one inch strips and the three inch strips.  The purse was done with three inch strips on U.S. size 13 needles.  The coin purse was done with one inch strips on U.S. size 8 needles. 

Happy knitting!


  1. Ooo! This is so creative and fantastic! You should make larger versions that people can use and use again when getting groceries (or just to tote around)! I want one :D

  2. Thank you!! I have one more thats a little bigger than this one but I want to make a real big one next. :)

  3. Great! Can't wait to see :D Ooo, maybe you could take a bag collection, get neato bags from all over the world. Save the world one strand of plarn at a time :P~~

  4. This is really cool! I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight:

  5. Thanks! I submited it, cool site! :)