6 of the most bizarre yarns you can crochet with

One of the joys of crocheting is the tactile pleasure of working with yarn. Worsted weights and DKs are wonderfully reliable but sometimes they can seem ten a penny, so let's look at the most unusual and exclusive yarns out there.
If you've always wanted to try impossibly fluffy yarn, or yarn made out of recycled materials, you'll love our guide to the oddest fibers out there - and how to use them.
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1. Sugarcane yarn
You don't need a sweet tooth to fall for sugarcane yarn. It's a type of viscose, made by extracting cellulose from the body of the plants and then spinning the fibers. The great thing about sugarcane yarn is that it is using up a byproduct of sugar production which would otherwise be wasted. Fans say it makes a superior quality yarn, with a lovely sheen and drape. Sadly it's not edible, though the colors can be as tempting as any candy shop.
2. Pet hair yarn
Yes, it's true - you can have the hair shed by your beloved pet spun into yarn. There are various companies that specialise in processing the hair of cats and dogs, either from the living pet as you groom it, like Chiengora, or even clipped from the pet once it has passed to make a memorial item, a service offered by Ninelivestwice.
Pet hair yarn hat:
3. Possum fibers
If you thought cat and dog yarn was out there, how about crocheting a possum poncho? Possum hair is too short on its own to make a usable fiber, but mixed with cashmere and mulberry silk it makes a dreamily soft yarn which is a lot more cuddly than an actual wild brushtail possum, an invasive species from New Zealand. Be warned, it is not cheap, retailing at around $50 for a 50g ball, but people say it's like crocheting with a cloud.
4. Japanese paper yarns
The Japanese have a long tradition of using paper yarn in their textiles. It is said to be very similar to silk thread, warm in winter but cooling in summer. Added to viscose thread, it becomes a resilient fiber that even stands up to being laundered. Try this ITO Washi yarn, which comes in 19 shades and is hand washable.
5. T shirt yarn
Run out of chunky yarn? Think again. If you've got an old T shirt tucked in a cupboard somewhere, you've got the means to crochet. Just cut it up according to this guide and off you go with a recycled material that costs you nothing, saves waste and makes great accessories like scarves, bags and hats.
6. Plarn
If you've loved the idea of upcycling T shirts into crochet, then plarn will be right up your street. It is, in fact, plastic bags made into yarn. Although the resulting fiber can be a little inflexible, it's great to make simple items like sturdy bowls, pen tidies and market bags. Best of all it's washable and hardwearing. See this tutorial for tips on how to make it.
7. Seaweed
Seaweed has long been credited with healing properties and the ability to boost the immune system and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Imagine all those benefits, right next to your skin. Well, seaweed is now being added to yarns - as yet, in small quantities, with rayon or silk. While no studies have been done on the health benefits this might convey, it's certainly likely to bring out your inner mermaid.
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