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Topic: alternatives to yarn???  (Read 15437 times)
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crafty mama
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« on: May 20, 2004 09:12:09 AM »

Hey. I was just wondering if anybody else out there has experimented with knitting things out of stuff other than yarn? I'm currently working on a handbag made from strips of plastic grocery bags and it's a lot of fun. A little less stretchy than regular, but interesting in it's own way. And I've read that you can knit with video or audio tape, as well. (Maybe a belt, or something?) I'm just wondering if anybody out there has experimented with this. Especially with the expense of real yarn, using alternatives can be refreshingly cheap or free.
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2004 10:28:32 AM »

I've knit with plastic lanyard material (that stuff camps love). I'm working on making a bag. It's a bit difficult to work with- the plastic is stiff & the stitches come out kind of weird.  But it should end up being fun & stretchy.
Jewelry wire is also fun to use. I've seen several patterns for beaded napkin rings and small knit boxes.
Rag rugs can be made out of long strips of scrap fabric.
Hope this helps! Smiley
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AnjanaSofia
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2004 05:28:34 PM »

I'm currently working on a bag made out of some fine hemp twine - you know that stuff that everybody used to make necklaces out of a few years ago - and it's working pretty well. The only problem is that the twine is thicker in some spots than others, so some stitches are fatter than others. I've also made a lacey necklace out of regular old thin satiny ribbon, the kind you buy at Joann's in those little cardboard spools for like 50 cents. It works well. I've also seen a pair of slippers knit out of satin ribbon.

I'd love to see pics of what the grocery bag and lanyard bags look like, or what the fabric looks like so far - I can't really picture it. So pics would be great! Smiley
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puffy_jacket
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2004 11:46:35 PM »

Anjana, would you mind telling us a little more about how you knit the necklace out of the ribbon? It sounds cute, and heaven knows I have enough of those spools. Smiley
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knitcrazy
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2004 08:37:53 AM »

I'm working on a rug made out of long strips I cut from some old sheets. But there are lots of things you can use. And when you get away from yarn, you can make things that are really pretty sturdy, like baskets and box-shapes. Things like old telephone cords where the connector part if broken, any other kind of cords or cables for electrical equipment....sometimes thrift stores have boxes of these for cheap. Old shoelaces, thin belts, denim material, twine, old t-shirts, copper wire, clothesline rope, or towels ripped up into strips. I'll post my rug when it's done, but until then....
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SecretCristina
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2004 03:00:04 PM »

A buddy of mine did an art project where she weaved audio tape into clothing.  She had a difficult time working with the stuff, which thinned or broke if pulled too tightly, was too wide and flat for good weaving, and couldn't be recycled if there was a mess up (it stayed too kinky). Oh, and the tape colors would vary, so she'd get some subtle (or sometimes not-so-subtle) striping. After several weeks of practice and do-overs she came out with a really awesome dress that crinkled slightly when she moved and was "made out of noise". I don't know if it survived past a single wear, tho ...

Good luck with your yarn-alternative knitting!
Cristina
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butterflymary
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2004 08:01:44 PM »

Dog hair. If you can spin it or find someone who can, I've heard a lot of great thngs about dog hair.

I've been saving the denim from my husbeast's jeans for YEARS and will cut it into very thin strips and tie them (?) and then knit it up. Might look kinda cool.

Find a few old wool sweaters at a garage sale or the local thrift, un ravel them and kit it into something YOU would like to wear.
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crafty mama
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004 08:06:22 PM »

Instead of tying the jean strips together, I would sew them together as the knots will show through the knitting. I used knots for my shredded grocery bags, and am now cutting the bags into rings and looping them together and it works much better. Actually, cutting them into rings would work for the jean legs, too. But they'd be very short rings. It just depends on what you're feeling like. But the denim would make a good rug or something. And thanks everybody for all these great ideas!!! rock on!!!
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Under my mattress
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And late at night
When no ones in sight
They come out and whisper to me - J,LC
femiknit
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2004 01:39:46 PM »

I"ve seen the kits for making purses out of old grocery bags, but I'd rather just use a pattern I already have and save the money.  Anyone know of some stores that have different colored plastic bags?  All I have at home are white bags and I'd like to make something in a different color.
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2004 04:42:36 PM »

regarding dog hair -- i've never seen/smelled it for myself, but i have heard awful stories about people spinning and knitting lovely sweaters from their beloved pooches only to smell less-than-delightful when it rains or they get the item wet.
of course, with three cats i've definitely thought of doing something with the tufts and piles that accumulate everywhere...and thought better of it just the same.  Wink

xo,
girlniteowl
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