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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If you used the same two-ply method as I did, with the two singles of long color sections, you'll have subtly blending stripes in your finished yarn, as one single changes at a time.


On the bobbin, you can see a little of the subtle stripes created by the two-ply color changes.

The last step is to set the twist. Wind your finished yarn into a hank (see my recycled yarn tutorial for how to do this with chairs), and soak the yarn in water with a little soap for at least a half hour. Then squeeze the water out in a towel, shake it out a bit, and hang it to dry. My 162 yards of bulky two-ply cotton took a long time to dry—you can turn it to help speed the drying process if it's going slowly.


I love my finished one-of-a-kind recycled cotton art yarn!

I also made an art yarn like this with a few different wool/wool blend recycled yarns, adding some fabric scraps into the mix!


The natural, undyed wool is brightened up with colorful threads, buttons, beads, and fabric scraps.

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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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