Thursday, December 19, 2013

Free Pattern and Tutorial: "Fmelted Plarn" coasters






No, its not totally mumbo-jumbo or a typo, but I did make it up. So what is it?...





  When you crochet or knit with certain fabrics, it can be felted. How do you do that with a plarn project?... Melt it! Using an iron on low temperature, some wax paper, and your finished project, you can turn ordinary plarn into solid plastic. Let's get started!


See How to make Plarn
Now with matching Basket


Notes on "Fmelting":

  • If you have ever worked with fusing perler beads, this works (and smells) the same way. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation. You will be melting plastic, and its a really bad idea to inhale a bunch of fumes.
  • You will be using a hot iron. Use the usual and necessary precautions.
  • I'm providing a free, simple pattern for this tutorial, but feel free to try this with any of your own projects. First, practice the "fmelting" on a small piece to test the temperature of your iron. Appliance temperatures may vary.

First, for the pattern details:




Finished size:
4 1/4" (10.8 cm) diameter


Skill Level:
Easy


Materials:
Crochet hook size G/6 - 4.25mm or size needed to obtain gauge
Plarn cut 3" (about 7.5 cm) thick - about 4 bags per coaster
Cork and/or felt stickers


Gauge:
First round measures 1 1/4" (3.2 cm) across


Directions:

Round 1:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (12 dc)

Round 2:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in same st. 2 dc in each of next 11 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 dc)

Round 3:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in next st, ch 1. {1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 dc, 12 ch)

Round 4:
Turn. Sl st into nearest ch-1 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, ch 1. {3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (36 dc, 12 ch)

  Stop! At this point, you have a perfectly good, usable, crocheted coaster. You don't have to continue if you don't want to. If so, bind off and weave in your ends now. Call it done and don't look back. But...if you want to have some fun, follow along...

Round 5:
Sl st in each st around. Bind off, weave in ends.

Because this round has no increases, your piece will begin to curl. That's okay, it will come out flat when you "fmelt" it.


Mainly to make it easier to attach the cork, I blocked the pieces overnight under a heavy jar.


Preparing the coaster for "fmelting":
If you are using cork on your coaster, cut it to the desired shape and size:


Center it on the side of the coaster you want it on. I used cork with adhesive so it would stay put while "fmelting". If you don't have adhesive cork, its okay, it will bond when the plastic melts.


If you are using felt stickers for "feet", don't put those on yet.

Directions for "fmelting plarn":

Materials:
Coaster or other object crocheted with plarn
Iron
Wax paper
Ironing board or other heatproof surface for ironing on

Preparations:
Preheat you iron on the synthetic (lowest) setting.

On your heatproof surface, sandwich your plarn object between two layers of waxed paper.

Remember: Ventilation!

Get ready to "fmelt":
Once your iron is ready, gently set it on the waxed paper. Do not push or add pressure. It is best to slowly move the iron in small circles:


I started by melting each side for 30 seconds. I want mine really melted, so this won't do. However, its looks and feels cool:


You can melt it a little, and it will still be flexible, sort of crispy, and your stitches will show. It takes about  1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side to get to this stage:


Or you can melt it a lot, and it will be solid plastic, with not much showing of the stitches. It takes almost 4 minutes per side to become this way:


This last one is one I was just practicing on. After about 5-6 minutes per side, the end result is this:


Although I didn't think about it while making these, I really recommend putting some non-skid felt stickers on the bottom, because the plastic slides easily across a tabletop. You can put a glass on the plastic side and use the cork as the bottom side, or just use felt stickers and no cork, but I worry the plastic could damage finished surfaces without something to cushion it.




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7 comments:

  1. Looks fun and easy! It's on my to-make list.Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you linked up Jenny! This is so great! I am going to Pin this for testing out your "Fmelted" plarn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kimberly! I've been applying the "fmelting" method to some jewelry lately - It's so much cooler when you come across a pretty colored bag!

      Delete
  3. I love these. The fact that they are recycled is even more fun.

    So glad you linked them to Simple Saturdays.

    Hugs from Oklahoma,

    Valerie
    Cottage Making Mommy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Valerie! I found so many interesting things on the link up that I can't wait for more!

      Delete
  4. How is it possible to work 3" cut plarn with a 4.25 mm hook? Mine is coming out way to tight to even get through the first round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry you're having trouble, Louise! Go ahead and try a bigger hook size. The 3" plarn is a tight squeeze in the smaller hook, but it squishes in there. It sounds like your tension might be too tight, so go up a hook size. Also, some bag material is thicker than others! If your bags are thicker than the ones I used, then you might need to cut your material just a little thinner.

      Plarn has a tendency to stretch and often causes me to work with tight tension. (I think it might actually stretch as you work the stitch, then shrink back some after it's made.) Make sure you pull your loops up nice and high, check your gauge, and experiment! The downfall of recycled material is that not all is created equal. Hope this helps, and good luck!

      Delete

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