tarn or plarn?

mjowestJune 21, 2011

Has anyone worked with tarn? or I think it's called Plarn?

Tarn is taking old t shirts and cutting them into one long strip and then using it like yarn, and plarn is using plastic shopping bags.

I recently tried the tarn, and found out the hard way you must have a certain kind of t shirt to correctly make it.

I got frustrated and quit, but maybe will try it again some day...

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I made a plarn shopping bag, crocheted. I wish I'd put more thought into it ahead of time, the colors are just jumbled and I've seen others that look so pretty in stripes or what ever. The other thing I wish I'd thought out is how stretchy the plastic is. I made a pattern that is for yarn, and the strap in particular stretched almost to the ground once I loaded the bag up!
Just things to think about. I did use up a huge stash of plastic bags to make just one bag, so that is cool.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:31PM
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I started a tote using plastic bags cut so they are all in 1 strip. Can't remember exactly how you do that right now. i think you flatten the bag & then cut off the very bottom of bag & after that cut all the way from 1 side to about 1 in. from other side & turn bag around & cut across to far side leaving 1 in again. GF made several rugs of old colored T shirts from thrift shop. She had to bleach some & use vinegar, soda etc to get smell out of some but big bags were 99 cents-$1.98 I'll ask her if she had any trouble using any, I don't think so. If you tried golf type shirts or something like that I could see a problem but the colored cotton or cotton polyster stretch some & are easy to work with. Oh, she ran them through large holes in a rug backing, she didn't crochet them. Short memory these days- she made them last fall. Used a latch hook & made a very nice soft washable rug. She loved the feel on her feet getting up in morning. Several ladies made plastic bag holders for their water bottles some had a strap. I would think it would be best to crochet over a piece of heavy nylon twine or clothes line rope etc, attaching the rope or weaving it under the bag & coming up the other side of bag to give bottom more support also for each of the 2 handles spaced about 12 in apart if making a tote. You could knot it inside the bottom of bag so wouldn't show from outside. Jan

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 2:33AM
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I love using plarn and tarn..this site has lot's of great patterns for both :0)

Here is a link that might be useful: My recycled Bags

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 1:05AM
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Hi to all,

I hope there's somebody out there with experience. I want to make a plarn laundry basket, using my used oxygen tubing instead of clothesline. The tubing is 3/8 inch green clear plastic. I have a LOT of tan Fred Meyer grocery bags and a collection of various colored shopping bags.

I'm debating whether a crochet or coiled basket is the better technique. Has anyone tried both and would like to comment? What are the pros and cons? Experience at basket or rug-making with rag or T-shirt yarn would be equally applicable.

For coiling, the part about wrapping the cord (tubing) seems kind of tedious.

My mind goes faster than my fingers, so please go ahead and answer even if you don't see this query right away. I haven't cut the bags up yet.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:01PM
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: ) tarn is best made of out shirts with no side seams...I cut mine into loops about an inch wide, and chain them together... the mistakes and leftovers I make big pom poms out of, they make pretty cool cat toys.

for Kalmiopsis - you're talking about using the plarn to crochet 'around' the tubing, yes? Coiling goes pretty fast once you've got the knack, but I think it would be harder to get the 'woven' or 'open' effect with the coiling - it will be a laundry bucket, not a basket, nu?

coiling relies less on hand strength than I have found crochet to (I've torqued my wrists badly doing rag-rugs in crochet)

you might, in fact, want to look at 'toothbrush' rug construction, which is similar to both tatting and macrame, but on a much larger scale, and can be done around a 'core' like the coiling.

if I had tubing? I would at least try the coiling, and see how it worked out...but I spend a lot of time frogging stuff that didn't turn out as cool as I anticipated ;)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 12:25AM
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Thanks for answering. I still haven't started my basket. Yes, I was talking about crocheting around the tubing -- like when you make a clothesline rug or basket. I like to crochet. But I hadn't thought about what you said about your hands and wrists, and I have arthritis. So that may be a problem for me. Maybe I'll try the coiling after all. I'm thinking to use the plastic yarn for the basket, as I can get lots of bags, at least for a while.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:28PM
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