Project fail: Lucet knitting with Phil Techno Plastic Yarn

The reality of crafting a lot, and trying out new things, is that it doesn't always work out as planned. Take for instance one of my recent projects which I was quite excited about but which ended in disappointment. I was with crochet designer and blogger Sarah Shrimpton recently. The conversation had turned to unusual yarns and she mentioned Phildar's 'Phil Techno', a 100% plastic yarn. Of course I had to try some! 

Sarah told me the yarn was very rubbery, but I was still surprised at quite how stretchy it felt, I couldn't resist giving the end a tug and it snapped fairly easily - about the same as regular animal-fibre yarn that has been lightly spun. As there are only 15m and it's relatively expensive per meter, I realised it would need some careful handling.

I wanted to try knitting with it, but it is very 'sticky' and stretches a lot so it was quickly evident that wasn't going to work out for me - I'm too heavy-handed. I decided to make a finger-knit necklace instead (tutorial here)...

It was looking great, but unfortunately I didn't get far before the feeling in my fingers went and they started looking blue - it's hard to keep an even tension on something so stretchy when you're afraid to snap it. I'm quite attached to my fingers, and didn't want to deprive them of blood for the 5 minutes it would take to make the necklace. Onto plan C, then... 

Using a lucet (tutorial here) made it much easier to work with but it was still hard to keep an even tension. I decided to make the whole ball into an icord and to fashion it into a necklace. It looked ok, and I wore it out. Unfortunately, by the time I got home and photographed it, it started to look a bit messy, as though the stitches had started shifting. Pretty disappointing, really. 

Overall, it was fun to try a completely different yarn and I will still wear the finished necklace. Due to the cost (£8.45 + shipping for 15 m) and the relative difficulty of knitting with this yarn, and the relative ease of snapping, it's not something I would rush to use again. But it has me thinking about other things which might be fun to try knitting with. I'm seeing the jumble of cables in D's computer drawer in a whole new light!

What's the most unusual yarn you've used? Have you ever used something unconventional as yarn? Did it work out for you, or was it a 'fail'?


  1. It looks great it I think I would be hesitant given e issues you've raised.
    I've made plarn from carrier bags and then crocheted them into a set of three bathroom caddy baskets. They have a lovely rigidity to them but still pliable enough to squeeze in that extra bottle! I love the way the printing on the bags gives unusual colour changes. Sticking to one brand of bag for a project gives a uniformity with pleasing variations.

    1. I think it may be ok for knitters who aren't as heavy-handed, and Sarah had used it for crochet, but it just didn't suit me.

      I have an interview coming up which you will find probably really interesting if you've made plarn from carrier bags - it's scheduled for December 5th and features one of the most interesting projects I've seen this year. Don't miss it!!!!


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