Saturday, April 18, 2009

Handspun Plarn

I just had to see what it would be like to spin a 2ply Plarn. Part of me just liked saying "2ply plarn", (come on, try it, it's fun) but I was interested in how it would behave and what the finished product would feel like.

I used four bags to make the plarn pictured here, two in each color. Of course I had to spin the singles first. The plastic kind of squeaked as it went through my fingers, a new sound effect. My finished 2ply was right about 8 WPI. I was curious about how I'd set the twist. The answer is, you almost don't have to. I found that if I gave the plarn a light tug, the plastic stretched a little and clung together, no back spin. That's all there was to it. The final length was right about 7 yards. Pretty good yardage for a little recycling!

The feel of the 2ply plarn is very cord like. In fact, I may never buy commercial cording again. This is so strong and there is almost always a bag or two in the house in need of recycling. Cord is great for making drawstrings and other types of closures. I think the two ply I made is a little bulky to crochet or knit with, but I watched a you tube clip where someone had made a cell phone case from a single, so my guess is that a single will hold it's twist just like the plied does and be better for project making.

I'll probably try spinning a single too. When I do, I'll cut the bags so they form one long continuous strip rather than the interlocking loops. It will make a smooth spun light weight cord. If I cut them thin enough, I could still ply the singles to make a less bulky cord. I think this could be fun for jewelry making too. Sometimes my favorite bracelets are just a nice collection of beads strung onto a thin leather cord with a simple closure. Why not make the same kind of thing using plarn cord?

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