Long ago, yarn crafts weren’t just something to do while watching TV, and the materials certainly didn’t come from the craft emporium around the corner. Rather, yarn crafts were an integral part of a home – they were a way to make clothing, as well as a few fancier embellishments to spruce up the place. In addition, a person was just as likely to make the yarn or string they used to create something as they were to make a sweater itself. Today, quite a few people are again starting to think seriously about what they use when they crochet. While they may choose to make yarn from old jeans instead of by purchasing a sheep, and while they may have completely different reasons for making this change, there are certainly many convincing reasons to become more completely involved in the crocheting process. Here are just a few:
It’s Good for the Planet. While crafting might not be the first course of action that comes to mind when you think of ways to take care of our planet, you’ll be surprised at the impact that recycled crochet can make. Not only will you be keeping materials out of the landfill, but also lessening the demand for the manufacturing of new materials. Sadly, whether you buy yarn made from natural or man-made fibers, current manufacturing practices often leave a lot to be desired when it comes to using environmentally friendly methods.
It’s Cost Effective. Have you ever gone to your local craft store and drooled over expensive specialty yarns that you know you can’t afford? This is a way to still have similar materials. You’ll be amazed at the bargains you can find at your local thrift store once you start to use a bit of imagination. This guide will show you how to turn what may be a fashion nightmare into something truly beautiful.
It’s Fun! If you’re the sort of person who enjoys shopping at sales, digging through clearance bins, or clipping coupons, this is another way to experience the excitement of the hunt. You not only get new yarn to work with and an eventual end project, you also get the satisfaction of telling friends and family just how you made your beautiful projects.
It’s Easy. No need to buy a fancy spinning wheel or learn complicated new procedures. To make recycled yarns, you’ll usually only need a pair of scissors and a seam ripper.
You’ll Become More in Touch with Your Materials. By the time you’re ready to start using the yarn you’ve created, you’ll be intimately aware of its weight, texture, stretch, and strength. You’ll know just what to make with it, instead of throwing it in a closet for years and forgetting that you purchased it in the first place!
So now that you’re convinced, you’re probably wondering what your options are. Here’s a quick tour of the world of recycled crochet:
“Plarn”: This is a term for a crochet-able strand cut from materials like plastic grocery bags, bread bags, or other similar things that would normally end up in the trash.
Scrap Fabric Yarn: Just about any old piece of clothing or other worn out fabric item can be cut into strips and then used for crocheting. Old t-shirts, jeans, sheets, and even old boxers are all fair game!
Recycled Sweater Yarn: If you’re more comfortable sticking with more traditional fibers, that doesn’t mean that you should discount the idea of using recycled materials. Instead of going to the craft store and buying new yarn, why not get some that looks identical at a thrift store? To do so, all you need to do is peruse the sweater aisle and look for something to unravel and give new life to.
No matter what type of fiber you decide to work with, you won’t be sorry that you decided to get to know your materials on a deeper level. Times change, but some things never do.
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