Crafty by Nature

Crafty by Nature

How to Make Recycled Cotton Art Yarn

comments (9) March 31st, 2009     

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leethal Lee Meredith, contributor
Love it! 72 users recommend
All-natural cotton makes for a soft and pretty spun yarn.
You can use recycled wools if you prefer, as I did with this skein.
I love my finished one-of-a-kind recycled cotton art yarn!
All-natural cotton makes for a soft and pretty spun yarn.

All-natural cotton makes for a soft and pretty spun yarn.

Photo: Lee Meredith
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Repeat the yarn joins every time you finish a ball and keep spinning until your first single is done. Then repeat for your second single if you're doing two, making sure to spin in the same direction. You could even go crazy and spin three singles, for a three-ply yarn! If you are using a drop spindle, you'll need to carefully wind the first single into a ball before moving on to the next single (or the plying).

Once you have your singles spun up, you can ply them together with buttons and beads!

Now you need to get your buttons and beads strung onto the thick thread—make sure you're using a durable thread, as a thin thread may break if buttons are pulled. If you are using a wheel, you'll need to make sure the objects you choose fit through the orifice. I have a pretty large orifice in my Louet wheel, but most wheels will only fit small buttons. If you want to use objects that won't fit, you could spin the last step on a drop spindle, freeing you up to use any size buttons/beads. (If you're an experienced art yarn spinner, you probably have special equipment to allow you to use any size objects.)

I picked out an assortment of buttons and beads, with lots of color.

String your buttons and beads onto the thread. I use a floss threader for this, which is a fantastic craft tool and can be purchased in bulk for a few dollars at most drugstores (I think I found mine at Target) by the dental floss. You can thread several buttons/beads onto the threader, then slide them onto the thread. The order in which you thread the objects will be the order they'll be placed on your yarn (but reversed), so pay attention to placement.

A floss threader is an excellent tool for beading!

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posted in: beads, thread, yarn, recycle, buttons, cotton, handspun, spinning

Comments (9)

zoozi writes: Amazingly beautiful and so creative. A friend just lent me one of her ashfords for a while and this is a great project to start off with.
Thanks for sharing this!
Posted: 11:50 am on October 6th
creddy writes: Ok...that CD case trick is INGENIOUS!!
Thanks for posting this!!
Posted: 11:38 pm on August 31st
Jen1964 writes: I'm not sure my hands would welcome the spinning (due to repetitive strain injuries from over the years); but they are much prettier the way you've done them, than any of the original counterparts.
I had not thought of dissecting cotton sweaters. You see them all the time in tag sales. I don't usually care for them "as is" but admire the yarn. NOW I have IDEAS!
I mean the dog only needs just so many "sweater-sleeve jackets" for herself.
Posted: 2:27 pm on June 15th
ojosdelaluna writes: this yarn is soooo pretty!
Posted: 6:28 pm on May 30th
PamHarris writes: I am very excited to put your fabulous ideas to use to make a weaving stash! Thank you!
Posted: 2:42 pm on April 3rd
croqzine writes: LEEEEE, you're my hero. I love all your work, and this is no exception. Also, I love the CD spindle tip!
Posted: 9:45 pm on March 31st
Jen_W writes: I love this. You really made spinning yarn seem doable and I love how you merged our button theme with the crafting green theme.
Posted: 2:52 pm on March 31st
janetdawson writes: Another fabulous recycled yarn tute! Love them all so far. :)
Posted: 12:30 pm on March 31st
Joannie_N writes: This is so neat. My FIL brings me thrift store finds all the time. This is definitely worth a try. Love the beads and buttons!
Posted: 9:27 am on March 31st
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