A Plarn (Plastic Yarn) Story

by jennifer

Check out my Grand Rapids Press craft column today for the full story of Betty White and her plarn (plastic yarn) creations. Betty gives a second wind to plastic shopping bags, expertly transforming them into dresses, hats, handbags and totes. Her most recent design is a one-piece swimsuit and matching hat. I probably wouldn’t ever sport a plastic swim suit myself, but I give Betty credit for putting her crochet skills to interesting and sustainable use.

Here’s a preview of my Grand Rapids Press column to get you started…

Paper or plastic?

Well, that depends.

Betty White usually chooses plastic — unless the bag is particularly unsightly. In that case, White uses a recycled bag from home.

So what does the look of the bag have to do with it? Everything, White says.

As a fiber artist who crochets hats, totes, dresses and more from strips cut from plastic shopping bags, White has no use for ugly or uncooperative bags.
White doesn’t just collect primo plastic bags, she covets them — especially if they’re neon green.

She has been known to shop in stores because they have cool bags.

By day, White, 62, of Caledonia, leads a seemingly normal life teaching English as a second language courses at Forest Hill’s Thornapple and Pine Ridge elementary schools.

After work, she retreats to the farmhouse that has been in her family for four generations to experiment with plastic “yarn.”

I hope you read the rest of Betty’s story and get inspired you to raid your recycle bin for some free yarn!

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