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Topic: Crocheting with unconventional materials  (Read 3437 times)
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« on: July 08, 2010 06:45:11 PM »

Hi! I have two questions that I thought might make for interesting discussion:

1. I want to crochet a translucent ball for an amigurumi project, and I'm having trouble figuring out a good material to use. I tried fishing line and it was way too difficult to work with. I also tried cutting a clear plastic produce bags into strips -- it was much easier to work with, but it loses its transparency when squished up and stitched. Has anyone here ever crocheted with clear elastic-y jewelry/beading cord? Or something like this?

I would consider something that gives a feeling of translucency, like a very sheer, shiny ribbon if you think that might work well. I'm also open to any other suggestions anyone has!

2. What's the weirdest, non-yarn material you've ever crocheted with? I've heard of "plarn" made from plastic grocery bags, or making jewelry by crocheting wire... but I'm curious to know about what other unconventional things are crochetable.  Grin

As I mentioned, I've tried fishing line and plastic bag strips... Also: wire, pipe cleaners, Xmas garlands, various kinds of cording and string, fabric strips, plant stems... Sometimes I'm trying to get a particular effect, and sometimes I just want to see if it can be done.  Wink
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010 07:40:55 PM »

I don't have any ideas for how to make a translucent ball other than fishing line.  If you figure something out, please share, I've been wishing I could crochet something at least semi-transparent for ages.

I have yet to crochet with anything other than yarn.  There's lots of things I've contemplated, but I don't have a lot of patience for joining small pieces together and weaving in ends, so I haven't tried anything unusual yet.
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010 11:12:14 PM »

Try this: http://www.jellyyarns.com/yarns.html

It may be a wee bit pricey, but it's jelly yarn! You can get it in all the colors of the rainbow, and translucent as well, just like you want.
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010 12:31:31 AM »

Did you try experimenting with different weights of fishing line? Some types/weights work better than others for crafts.
Ive worked with tanned hide and string liqourice (not together!). I love trying different things to see the result.

I would love to see the end result of your project- I hope you post when you figure it out  Wink
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010 02:12:25 AM »

I think I will try another kind of fishing line -- I know nothing about fishing, and may have inadvertently picked an especially stiff kind.  Tongue

If that doesn't work, and I can't come up with anything else that is relatively inexpensive, I think I'll just go for the jelly yarn because it looks perfect! Thanks for the link, Meowyinn.  Wink

And if/when I figure this out, I will definitely share the result.

You say you've crocheted with licorice, Kiewiet? That's definitely something I've never heard of before!  Cheesy Now I'm really curious: what did you make with it, if you don't mind my asking?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010 04:17:59 AM »

What about clingfilm yarn? We have clingfilm in the UK, but perhaps you call it sandwich wrap? The clear sheeting that stick to itself and you use to cover food. It would certainly be a challenge!

I love experimenting with yarn. I made a newspaper tree (hidden in the challenge archies Wink, and I've just finished a bag made of t-shirts. I've used the multi-coloured wires taken from the inside of electric cables (not live ones!), normal jewellery wire, and I'm going to try jeans or jute twine next. I like a challenge, so if I can get it over my hook, I'll try it!  Grin

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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010 04:53:45 PM »

Clingfilm -- That sounds like what we know as plastic wrap (or saran wrap, a brand name) here in the US. It was actually one of the first materials I considered, but I turned to the clear plastic bag instead because I thought it would be easier to cut and work with -- you know, because it doesn't stick to itself. Wink I'm wondering if it would have the same problem as the bag, with losing transparency when it bunches up as it's stitched... I might just have to give in to my curiosity and try it anyway.

I'm going to have to look up your newspaper tree, Scribble.. I can imagine that crocheting with paper was a challenge, but I really like the idea of sort-of recycling the newspaper back to where it came from -- at least in spirit.  Smiley

Using the little colored wires is a very cool idea too! I might have to try that sometime. I'm really enjoying this thread so far (no pun intended  Grin).
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010 08:55:56 PM »

I made a sweets- bowl from the liqourice! Cheesy I was very  bored and made it to pass the time then filled it with smarties! It didn't last long though Cheesy
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010 02:07:27 AM »

For the first question I can not think of anything.

But for the second question, I haven't done this but I have seen people crochet the "ribbon" that is in a old cassette tape.

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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010 04:23:43 PM »

I've crocheted with plastic lanyard lacing, which is fairly cheap and comes in a large variety of colors, and it will maintain its transparency but it's really difficult to work with if you're not using a large hook. (The smallest hook I used was an I/5.5mm.) If you don't mind using a bigger hook though then it works fine.

I've crocheted with plarn, wire, t-shirt yarn (an old t-shirt cut into strips), sewing thread, ribbon (both the kind made from fabric and the kind made for wrapping gifts), embroidery floss, and elastic. Though for the most part I like to stick to plain old yarn, it's so much easier to work with. Tongue

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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2010 04:29:41 AM »

I have no idea what you could create a translucent ball with. I guess the jelly yarn would be the closest you could get to it. I would like to see how that turns out!

I've tried crocheting with string... ouch. I really admire projects made out of anything other than yarn. I haven't got the patience for other materials, but it's very interesting (and funny  Wink) to read what people use.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2010 07:41:19 AM »

For the first question I can not think of anything.

But for the second question, I haven't done this but I have seen people crochet the "ribbon" that is in a old cassette tape.

I've seen people do this too! Also with using the ribbon from old videos Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010 04:51:56 AM »

Maybe you could try the clear elastic that you use to make swimming costumes?

I have knitted and crocheted with video tapes and ribbons. A few weeks ago I got tipsy at a party and tried to knit and crochet with electrical wire (It was plastic coated wire from inside a cat5 cable if you must know). That really hurt my hands, I don't recommend it.
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010 03:39:14 PM »

I've crocheted with hemp, and something hemp-ish. it was pretty easy too! Though, wold try to come apart if you didn't fasten it off good enough.

Also, cut up t-shirt rugs are fun and look great Smiley

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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2010 12:39:28 AM »

I think I will try another kind of fishing line -- I know nothing about fishing, and may have inadvertently picked an especially stiff kind.  Tongue

Fishing line comes in weights so there are definitely thicker, stiffer types and thinner, more pliable types.

Have you tried cutting strips of cellophane or something similar like that?
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2010 12:59:17 AM »

You say you've crocheted with licorice, Kiewiet? That's definitely something I've never heard of before!  Cheesy Now I'm really curious: what did you make with it, if you don't mind my asking?

I am sure there are a number of creative ways to use it. But this made me think of this Knitty pattern
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010 11:39:38 AM »

I read an article about people spinning newspaper and then knitting or crocheting with it. And no, nothing is done to the newspaper, they cut it up and spin it and that's it. Apparently uou get 20m from 1 sheet of newspaper. Could be cool as long as you don't get it wet.

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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2010 11:11:26 AM »

You could try crocheting with the clear stuffing cellophane stuff for easter baskets.
Here is a link for the closest thing I could find in 2 minutes.


Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about. I also crochet with audio tape, they make great evening bags because they sparkle. I would imagine crocheting with this stuff would be about the same. I have to wear a glove on my left hand so that the plastic "slips" through my fingers easier.

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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2010 12:48:44 PM »

have you considered nylon lanyard thread like this?


the strangest thing I have crocheted is guitar strings.... didn't work very well!
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2010 10:35:38 AM »

Back in January of 2007, there was a crochet challenge here to make something using a non-traditional material.

I remember the newspaper tree - it was absolutely amazing. I do admit a bit of partiality to my friend Penny the Paper Panda. Yes, I crocheted with paper and it will forever be the first, last and only time I ever crochet with paper. lol.

I wish I had put the URL for the challenge in my post but now with two entries and the time-frame, if anyone's interested they'll hopefully be able to find it.

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