Not Your Granny’s Yarn: A Whole New World Of Yarn Alternatives

Posted on | March 9, 2011 | No Comments

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knitting-granny-mdReady to shake things up a little?  Take your  next project to a whole new level by experimenting with fun alternatives to store bought yarn. Each of the fibers I list can be used  for both knit and crochet projects, and as an accent or for the entire piece.

Here are some of my fav­or­ites

1. Plarn – Popular for the last few years, Plarn is an acronym for plastic yarn. Grocery bags and trash bags are recycled into placemats, tote bags and wash clothes.

2. Pet Hair Yarn – Spin yarn from cat hair, dog hair and even rabbit fur. The resulting fiber makes sweaters and hats with a novel story to tell.

3. Recycled Newspaper Yarn -  At 20 yards of yarn from a single sheet, newspaper yarn enables you to do a lot, with little. Turn recycled newspapers into floor mats, wall hangings and other decorative objects.

4. T-Shirt Yarn – Since t-shirt yarn is both durable and bulky, it makes great trivets, rugs, washcloths. If “country” is not your style you may want to dye the t-shirts before using them.

5. Wire – Working with wire is not too different than working with yarn….just a bit harder on your hands. Combine the wire with beads for some seriously wonderful jewelry designs.

6. Raffia –  These fibers will all be a lot more difficult to use than yarn, but the interesting texture will make the extra effort worthwhile.

7. Denim – Denim is extremely hardy, so it’s perfect for rug making, shopping bags, trivets and pot holders.

8. VCR VHF Tapes – When I first heard about crafters using VCR VHF tapes for knitting and crocheting, I thought the results would appear juvenile  and unattractive. Not any more. You’ll be surprised at how nice tape projects turn out.

9. Polymer Clay - Create amazingly beautiful jewelry using an easy- to- master faux knitting technique…Not real yarn, but so wonderful, it was impossible to resist! Tutorial is located here.

10. Repurposed Sweaters – With today’s emphasis on economy and reuse, it’s not surprising if we look back to our frugal ancestors for some “new” ways of recycling. Unravel your own out-of-style garments or thrift store garments when your yarn collection gets low.

Other ideas?

How about string, thread, ribbon, discarded silk clothes, sheets, narrow rope, curtains and pantyhose. Virtually anything goes.

Just remember the saying. If you can think it, you can do it!

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