plarn betta

A trib­ute to Sushi the bet­ta fish.



I had a pet bet­ta fish named Sushi. I guess that’s not the best name for a pet fish. But he was white and orange, so I thought Sushi would be a cute name. We spent sev­er­al hap­py months togeth­er. I would watch him swim hap­pi­ly up and down the fish bowl and eat hearti­ly the food pel­lets I drop into the water. It was so delight­ful to watch his long flowy tail trailed behind him as he swam, and sud­den­ly the hun­dred-page spread sheet that I had to parse through did­n’t seem so dread­ful. Then he start­ed eat­ing less and less, and mov­ing less and less. And then one day, he passed away. I’m not sure what went wrong. He was a good fish.

I had been want­i­ng to try mak­ing things with plarn for a while (plarn = plas­tic bag yarn). But gro­cery stores here in Toron­to no longer offer free bags so we always try to bring our own reusable ones. So I don’t have lots of plas­tic bags on hand; the only bags I have are those flim­sy ones that come in rolls in the pro­duce sec­tion. But then I thought the translu­cent qual­i­ty of the pro­duce bags might trans­late nice­ly into wings or fins — and Sushi the bet­ta fish came to mind.

So then I set out to work, first spend­ing one night mak­ing plarn while watch­ing TV. It was lots of fun, strings of plas­tic sprawl­ing everywhere…

If you’re inter­est­ed, here’s a handy instruc­tion on how to turn plas­tic bags into knit­table or cro­chetable plarn. And here is my ball of plarn. I for­got to count how many bags I used, but I think there were around 10… and some I could only use half of the bag because they had green writ­ing print­ed on them.

I stuffed the fish with a bit of an orange plas­tic bag, because Sushi the bet­ta fish was orange and white. And I added bits of plarn with some white glue for the tail and fins. The plarn did­n’t turn out as translu­cent as I thought after it was cro­cheted, but I liked that it has a pearly sheen to it. I then cut out a tiny cir­cle from a sil­ver Won­der Bread bag and drew on it with a Sharpie for the eye.


So it’s a fish made entire­ly out of plas­tic bags! :D


I’m hav­ing a bit of a busy week this week, but per­haps next week I will do some test cro­chet­ing and write up a how-to for the plarn bet­ta. I also have plans to make a back­ground piece for it so it can be part of a wall-hang­ing / art piece, will keep you post­ed :D

Thank you for the inspi­ra­tion, Sushi. You will always be remem­bered fondly.

Have a won­der­ful day, everyone!

17 thoughts on “plarn betta

  1. At first I thought: What??? When was this? Then I remembered…you had a fish at your old office…
    A fit­ting trib­ute, Lud, a fit­ting tribute! :)

  2. Its amaz­ing how a need turns into some­thing inter­est­ing, espe­cial­ly when you did­n’t have plas­tic bags.

  3. That is a good idea!!! At my church we cro­chet milk bags to make mats for Coun­try’s that need a bed (those of you who don’t live in Cana­da our milk comes in bags. Do you know how to make more ani­mals with plas­tic bags??

  4. hiya! my beta was named sushi too lol but my son felt bad and called him fishy! lol love the pat­tern xx

  5. Very cute! I have a white/red male and white iri­des­cent pur­ple female myself. 

    Your plarn fish looks a bit more like a gold­fish than a bet­ta though. Still great!

  6. At first i thought it was a real fish I was like-
    FREAKO!!!!! FREAKIN SICKO Then I read the descrip­tion Your a nice per­son xD

  7. Can you please share the pat­tern? I’m not great at fig­ur­ing it out just by look­ing. Thanks!!

  8. I would love to make this!! I see that this post is from 2011. Was the pat­tern ever post­ed or could you make one now? Thank you!

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