Friday Open Discussion: Alternative Material Crochet

About Discussion Posts

I value what my readers have to say and think that your voice can contribute a lot of knowledge to this blog. Each Friday I’ll post a thought or question that I believe is pertinent to crocheters today. It’s a chance for you to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. You can just say what’s on your mind about it or you can respond to other people’s comments and thoughts. Always feel comfortable sharing your thoughts but also use common sense in making it clean, respectful and nice to everyone in the group.

Today’s Topic: Non-Yarn, Non-Thread Crochet

I’ve mentioned crocheting with alternative materials many times on this blog as well as on Twitter and G+ but we haven’t had a full discussion about it. I want to get your honest thoughts about the pros and cons of crocheting with anything other than yarn or thread. Have you done it? Like it? Hate it? Have an interest in it? Think it’s ridiculous? Tell the truth!

You can say anything you want here about your experience with alternative material but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • What materials have you crocheted with? (Some I know of are newspaper, plastic bags, wire, rags, hosiery, food, cassette and VHS tape and rope.)
  • When you hear of a new material people are crocheting with, do you roll your eyes or immediately want to try it?
  • What have been your best and worst experiences crocheting with non-yarn?
  • When you’ve tried this, has it been a once-only thing or something you’d do again?
  • What positive or negative impact do you think these things have on how the craft of crochet is viewed?
  • Do you consider this type of crochet as part of your craft or is it something separate (more green crafting than crochet for example?)
  • Share links to photos of what you’ve crocheted with alternative materials!

Discuss in the comments below! (I’ll be adding in my two cents in response as the day goes on.)

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Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

13 Comments:

  1. I have made rugs from t-shirts and bags from string, both worked very well and are not only strong and practical but much appreciated by anyone I have given them too :)

  2. I’ve never used anything other than yarn really, but I would like to try using plastic bags. I always use the recyclable bags when I go to buy groceries so I think it would be cool to use plastic bags to make some. I just need to find someone who knows how to make the yarn because I have no clue how to do that. I think there are some sites that tell you how to do it. I I imagine it takes a lot of cutting and twisting though, if only I had the time! Some other things I would like to try are wire, and jersey. You can make some cool jewelry crocheting with wires. And I’ve seen people make crochet things from old tshirts too.

    • @craftopoly craftopoly I’d like to eventually try doing wire crochet to make jewelry. I agree that you can do some cool stuff with that. I’m always seeing great stuff on Etsy. Plus there’s a few crochet books about it that just look so beautiful.

      I’ve done the plastic bag crochet. I used a YouTube video to learn how to make the plastic but I also know that there are written/photo tutorials on sites like RecycledN2Yarn. I was actually just thinking the other day that there’s probably a market for someone interested in cutting the bags and making balls of plastic yarn. I know there are companies selling t-shirt yarn now, all cut into nice uniform strips and dyed the same color, so I would imagine people might be interested in buying plastic bag yarn that’s already cut and twisted together and separated into similar colors. What do you think?

      I didn’t find making the plarn too terribly time consuming but I did find that I didn’t particularly enjoy crocheting it. Glad I tried it, though.

  3. I have always wanted to try using old jersey shirts, but have so much else queued to go. I can walk through a store and see something in a string form and say “I could crochet something with that”. However, I’ve never had the urge for plarn. What I love most about crocheting is the softness of the materials used.

    I feel that using unusal materials helps expand crocheting as a craft and as art. Experimenting is fun!

    • @rj1ofakind I love that last thought of yours! (“I feel that using unusual materials helps expand crocheting as a craft and as art. Experimenting is fun!”) So right on!

      I think a lot of people agree that the soft texture of the yarn is what they love about crochet so the appeal is there primarily to work with other soft materials (like jersey). Makes perfect sense to me.

  4. YAY for experimenting is FUN!!!!! I tried plarn, alot of work is involved. I too view life as I could crochet with”that”. I never roll my eyes. I am always amazed at what people can and will do with a hook, It gives me pleasure to be part of such a diverse talented group of people and sometimes it just plain makes me smile. That is a very good thing indeed…….

  5. OK I am spoiled by a skein/hank of yarny fiber that i can buy,:)

  6. I haven’t experimented much – I’ve done the plarn thing a few times, always said I’d do it again but haven’t. I’ve always wanted to try using tee shirt material… but so time consuming to actually turn tees into yarn…

  7. Pingback: 2012 in Crochet: Inspiration and Patterns — Crochet Concupiscence

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