What to do with this weird yarn…

I picked up a couple of skeins of mystery yarn at Big Lots a couple of years ago. It’s Gala yarn, which seems to be a hodgepodge of (maybe) big name brand yarn that is slightly irregular, or discontinued..or something like that. Sometimes Gala yarn is weird and sometimes it is gross and sometimes it is nice. I’ll classify this as weird.  🙂

mystery yarn 1

It’s a light yellowish color (or maybe a very pale lime green) and it looks like cotton crochet thread with caterpillar-like clumps of sparkly fluff. Does that sound weird? It might be a little weird. The thready part does not feel like cotton. It feels like acrylic to me. The fluffy parts feel like polyester, and I suppose the sparkly bits are nylon.

I’ve played with it a bit and decided to crochet a big double crochet rectangle.  Very complex, I know! And then I’ll turn the rectangle into a shrug or something. My daughter is into shrugs right now because her school does not allow tank tops. With a shrug, she can wear her tank top but have herself technically covered. It’s a bit of a dance because we live in North Carolina and it gets hot long before the schools are allowed to turn on the air conditioning. So she needs to stay cool, but covered.

mystery yarn 2

I’ll keep working on this as a just-before-bed project. So far, I’m having trouble deciding if this is fun and artsy, or if it looks like a cat mauled it and then rolled it in lint. Maybe a little of both.

More of those crochet basket bowls, DIY fabric yarn tutorial


I have been knocking together a few more of those baskets.  Sometimes I make them into bowls.  It’s a great way to use up my knit fabric stash, and they make nice gifts.

I found the pattern that got me started.  It’s here on Ravelry.

I make my own yarn out of knit fabric.  I don’t remember how I learned to make it, so I’ll just show you what I do.

First I dig out a piece of knit fabric.  I sometimes use funny-looking polyester knits from way back when.  This light blue is a great example of that.


Sometimes I get lucky and have a piece of fabric that’s in a tube.  Other times I sew it together.  I sewed this one.  It has a sort of basketweave patchwork pattern knit right into the fabric.  Somehow I got a little goofy about that, and I felt like I needed to match the pattern when I sewed it.  Of course the fabric was cut crooked when I got it.  I would have evened that out anyway, but I went a bit overboard with the matching because of the pattern.  That’s just me though.

Instead of a regular seam, I overlapped the fabric to sew it.  It just seemed (seamed, get it?  Get it?) smoother to me for when I crocheted later.  That’s probably not important.  It is important to use a stitch for knits, because a plain straight stitch could come unraveled when you cut through the seam.  And then your yarn comes undone, which is a pain.


Then I laid the fabric on the mat and used my 2 inch ruler to cut it into strips.  The seam I made is along the left edge.  I know it looks funny.  I turned the photo so that it was consistent with the photo above so you could figure out what I was doing.


I cut strips across the fabric, leaving about 2 or 3 inches uncut on that left edge near the seam.

Did it bother me that the pattern in the fabric was just a little under 2 inches?  No silly, of course not.  Not much.  Just a little bit.  But I got over it because I am a grownup.


Then I turned it and sort of opened it up.  This is what it looked like.  Like a monster with lots of arms. Arms that are loops.  It looked weird, but that’s normal.


Then I started cutting.  I made diagonals from the top of the strip on the right to the bottom of the strip on the left.  I did that all the way up the fabric.



See?  Like this.


It got to be a massive amount!


If I use more cottony fabrics, when I stretch the strips, they roll into that nice t-shirt yarn you see all over the place.  Not so with this polyester.  That’s OK.  It just makes bulky yarn.  I rolled it into a giant ball.  Sorry, I don’t have a photo of that.



I got out my enormous crochet hook.  I bought it at a thrift store and it doesn’t have a size on it.  It’s about as thick as one of my fingers.

And then I crocheted this bowl.  Fun, huh?

As soon as I finished the bowl, I spilled my coffee all over it.  I tossed it in the washing machine and dryer, and it came out great.  Ahhhh, polyester!


Here’s one in a very soft pink.  I used a thin cottony knit fabric like a thin t-shirt.  I cut 1 inch strips instead of the thicker ones for the blue bowl above.

Some people make their yarn without a seam even if they don’t start with a tube.  They cut the fabric differently.  I’m lazy, so I do it the lazy way.

You can use almost any kind of fabric to make yarn like this.  Knits are nice because the edges don’t come unraveled like most woven fabrics do.  If you’ve got one of those knit bed sheets and someone’s giant scraggly toenails poked a hole in it, you can cut it up and make yarn.  Wash it first, for pity’s sake!  Lots of people make yarn like this out of old t-shirts too.

Thanks for looking!