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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Lift the end of the thread to move the buttons and beads down farther so you can start spinning the thread end. Gather the ends of your singles, the beaded thread, and any other threads you want to spin in, and start spinning in the opposite direction as the singles to ply everything together.


All these fun little objects spun into the yarn will turn it into something special!

Leave the buttons/beads all hanging down on the thread, and as you ply, whenever you want one, just move the next one up on the thread and spin it right in. You can anchor it in place by spinning thread or one of the singles' extra around the top and bottom of the bead/button, but it's not necessary. You can check out an art yarn spinning book (like Intertwined) or Insubordiknit's fabulous art yarn how-to DVD if you want to get fancy, but when working with recycled yarn like this, you don't have to really know what you're doing.


I anchored that button in place by wrapping the thread around it.

I like to change the tension in my singles (pull one out at an angle or hold one looser) to make for cool wrapped effects or little beehive-like features. You can just play around and have fun with the plying and see what happens!


I wrapped the light blue around the white by holding it out while spinning, and I wrapped the thread around the green bead the same way.

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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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