Sometimes you don’t have to shop. Sometimes you Can do it yourself.


A simple repair done at home or by a tailor can save an expensive garment. Before each winter, it’s a good idea to check out the buttons and zipper closures on your outerwear. Many people opt to update thrifted, vintage pieces instead of buying new, for better prices, one of a kind pieces, and reduced environmental impact. Sometimes a DIY project takes little time and can be rather rewarding.


Sometimes, however, it’s an arduous and soul-crushing endeavor that you work furiously on only to abandon later with bitter rage. My first plarn project was like this. After holding onto it needlessly for 4 years, I gave up and recycled what was supposed to be a long rectangular runner rug but in reality was an aspiring avant-garde rug. All hope was not lost though! I actually enthusiastically binned my failure because I was fixing to embark on another project! This time, Having not learned my lesson where I couldn’t make a rectangle, I decided to follow a pattern intended for t-shirt yarn. (Speaking of which, we’ll definitely attempt a t-shirt yarn undertaking in the future, so stay tuned!)


it began like this: why is it wavy??
it began like this: why is it wavy??


Yikes, I could already tell it wasn’t going well.

nope, it's getting worse, not better
nope, it’s getting worse, not better


I continued to struggle through this atrocity
I continued to struggle through this atrociousness


To prevent myself from quitting and shoving this disgrace in my closet and laying waste to the hours (and hours, and hours) already devoted, I verbally committed it as a gift to my mom. A gift she said was ugly but still accepted as a token of my daughterly affection.


I'm ashamed to say it lived in this stage for about a month
I’m ashamed to say it lived in this stage for about a month


I was “trying to figure out how to add handles”. Okay, in the end I just winged it. Yes, at this point I’ve long stopped following the pattern I found and decided it should be a bag instead of a basket. It can be more useful this way, I reasoned bitterly.


at long last! ta-da?
at long last! ta-da? (also, bag-ception)


Just as an aside, this is how long it took me:


we began on 04/06
we began on 04/06


This day’s pictures also include the dog acting as moral support/receiving belly rubs, and a graffitied cat that she found alarming on our walk.

40 days later
… 40 days later


I’ve just mailed it to my mom last week for $34. I could only laugh at that point. I spent hours crocheting trash and then I spent $34 to mail it across the world. I can’t wait for her to tell me what she thinks once she sees it.


The good thing is, plarn is extraordinarily green. Plarn Reduces (waste in landfills), Reuses (plastic bags), and Recycles (plastic waste into a useful basket-bag!) Some people call that last step Up-cycle (when you turn waste material into something useful instead), but that’s not a real word and you know how I feel about made up words. Anyway I think my dad would have been proud at least. In fact, he hasn’t seen the basket-bag yet, so I’m sure he’s proud of me just more generally.


Plarn is easy to make; here is a video tutorial (it was the shortest one I could find, but someone should really make a 30 second version, it’s That EASY!). If you know how to crochet, you can make anything with plarn that you would with yarn. I would advise against beanies and scarves, but bags, coasters and rugs seem particularly popular. Finally, they can make some very pretty bags. There’s a lady on Etsy that makes cute clutches from plarn (and she’s from Tucson!). I wonder if she teaches classes…


But anyway, that’s it for me, until next week then!


Dagne Dover Sample Sale
click the image to shop!


DIYs: The Basket-Bag I Crocheted with Plarn
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