A close-up of a plarn rug by Carol Schriver, made from plastic Juneau Empire delivery bags. Below, more of Schriver's rugs.
Step Three: Open the 1" pieces and you will have several long loops. To create a length of plarn weave two loops together, as shown above.
Story last updated at 10/7/2009 - 11:41 am
Have you heard? We're in a recession. Yes, crafters worldwide are buckling down and cinching it in. Every day, scarves are getting shorter, quilts are becoming thinner, and a little less glitter graces the pages of scrapbooked memories. What is a crafter to do in tight times like these? Easy: make do as makers do. In true crafty style, creatives everywhere are turning discards into art. And the favorite these days takes plastic grocery sacks and whips it into yarn, fittingly named PLARN!
Locally the queen of plarn is Carol Schriver, owner of Rags-to-Rugs and weaver of 15 years. Carol creates magically woven rugs from all kinds of recycled goods, like rags and plarn and sells them full-time through her local crafting business. She joined me on a plarn-creating adventure to bring you an easy guide to create your own.
Step One: Gather some bags - but no need to grab fresh ones. Try the recycle bin at the local grocer or under your kitchen sink.
Step Two: Fold the bag in half lengthwise twice over. Cut the bag into 1" chunks (this creates about a worsted weight size plarn - go wider for a chunkier knit).
Step Three: Open the 1" pieces and you will have several long loops. To create a length of plarn weave two loops together. Check out the illustration for this step.
Step Four: Wind your freshy fresh plarn into a lovely ball. To create a smaller weight plarn twist the plastic as you wind it.
Step Five: Create a masterpiece from your new plarn skein.
As a weaver, Carol creates her plarn rugs on one of three looms she owns. These tightly woven masterpieces are woven on her floor loom, which takes six hours to thread. She uses cotton thread as the warp (or lengthwise weaving material) to her weft of plarn. Producing 10 rugs from one threading of the loom means it's slow-going for Carol, but worth it to be the master of her crafty domain.
Of course, not everyone has a loom or the room to weave rugs, but there are many crafty ways to use this plunder. Cindy at www.myrecycledbags.com creates endless patterns for plarn wonders, and they're all free! Her ribbon-sling bag is especially adorable. Create can cozies, dish scrubbies, doilies, grocery sacks (teehee) and purses all from plastic.
Get adventurous and create a plarn doily. I created an intarsia inlaid can cozy and have plans for matching coasters. Create any crochet or knit project - even a 70s throwback to macramé would look wild! Have fun with this free recycled craft and soon you will be the new local plarn expert.
Tanna Peters is a crafter and designer from wonderful, rainy Southeast Alaska. View her latest creations at suiteliving.blogspot.com and her shared crafting sitecraftaddicts.blogspot.com. Send local craft inquiries and info to firstname.lastname@example.org.