Making the most of your eyelash – no mascara involved!

What to do with one ball of eyelash yarn? There it sat in its glorious pinkness, all alone in a basket of oddments. “Rescue me” it cried “I am too special to stay here amongst balls of DK acrylic and baby 4ply”. How could I refuse this plea for help?

But just one ball….hmm, too little for a scarf on its own, but maybe a stripe with other yarn textures? Definite possibility – but do I have any other colours that go with it ….. uh uh. Then I had my little eureka moment – what about the cuffs and trim of some fingerless mitts (which I love both wearing and making). Bingo!
Eyelash cuff fingerless mitts
I went for a rather sophisticated pink and black combo but I have enough eyelash for another pair so I’m thinking pink and lime green (or maybe orange).

Dead easy to make if you don’t mind knitting in the round. For an average hand I cast on 36 sts using 4mm DPNs, ribbed 18-20 rows, switched to black and increased 8 sts evenly across the needles. I worked about 20 rows then made the thumb hole thus: For left hand K13, K7 on a piece of scrap yarn, return 7 sts to left needle, K7 across the waste yarn, then K24 (reverse for right hand i.e. begin K24). Work about 12 rows depending on the length of your fingers, cast off.

To make the thumb, pick up the waste yarn sts and pull out the waste yarn. Spread the sts over three DPNs, picking up a stitch in each corner to prevent a hole. Work about 8 rows (depending on the length of your thumb) and cast off.

I chose to finish the top edge off with two rows of DC (US SC) in the eyelash.


Making ‘plarn’

Recently, the fabulous UK Crochet Patterns¬†posted a tutorial on making ‘plarn’ (that’s plastic yarn for the uninitiated). I commented that I made it in a slightly different way and they kindly encouraged me to post my method… here is my tutorial (my that sounds very school-marmish, quiet that girl in the back!) ;-).

The ‘plarn’ I make works out slightly thicker and won’t go as far, so really you need to decide on the best method for your project.

1) Start by smoothing the bag out – getting it nice and flat makes life so much easier.
Smooth the bag flat
2) Fold it in half, then half again, keeping the bottom edge in line. Cut off the handles, leaving yourself a straight edge.

3) Fold it in half again and cut the sealed end off. Make sure you completely cut the sealing or it will present problems when you try to open it out – this is why a bit of time spent lining up the edges saves time later.

4) Now cut into strips between 1.5cms (half an inch) and 2.5cms (1 inch) depending on how flimsy the bag is (if its very thin, cut strips a bit wider, if it’s really thick, cut them narrower). For the standard supermarket bag, the 1.5cms has plenty of strength.

5) Open up one strip to form a loop (A) and thread another loop (B) through it.

6) Now, holding on to loop B with your right hand, pass the left end of B back over A and through the loop in your right hand (if you are left handed hold on to loop B with your left hand, pass the right end of B back over A and through the loop in your left hand).

7) Pull the two loops gently to form a knot in the middle. Try and make it as small and tight as possible without tearing the loops (but don’t panic if you do, just knot them together and carry on regardless – that’s the beauty of plarn)

8) You can either make a big ball of plarn by joining many loops together and winding them into a ball, or simply join a new loop as in 6) as you near the end of a loop. I find joining them as you go particularly good if you are changing colours. To get started, simply make a knot near the end of a loop and stick your crochet hook through. Using the loop as a single thread, crochet as normal.

Will follow up with instructions for a simple ‘bag of bags’ soon, but anything you can make with yarn you can make with plarn!

PS: Thanks to No.2 son for the photography, even if the camera was playing up and some are a bit blurred!