Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grocery-Bag Bag

So this is not a specific pattern, but more-or-less a really cool concept. I was reading somewhere on how to turn non-conventional materials into workable "yarn". The easiest materials are obviously fabric or natural based, but the concept of turning old plastic shopping bags into yarn appealed to me. I always have tons of them lying around the house because I refuse to throw them away, but I haven't found many uses for them other than trash bags and the occasional lunch-sack.

So here is how it goes:
Take the plastic grocery bag by the handles and pull the bottom part so that its stretched out long. If you bunch up and grab the entire bottom in one hand this works well. Cut off the bottom of the bag, trying to get high enough that you cut off all the bottom seams. Throw that section away (hey, there had to be some waste). Now move up the bag, cutting off 1"-2" chunks. If you un-wad the chunk it turns out to be a loop of plastic. Work up the bag and stop just below the handles. You can throw the handles away too. Now take the loops and slip-knot them into one another to create a really long strand of slip-knotted plastic loops. That will serve as your "yarn".

Making the bag:
I used an 11.5mm hook, and I don't recommend anything smaller. I started with a ch14 and worked in a spiral upward to build the body of the bag. The stripes resulted because I ran out of bags and had to acquire more from friends. Total I think the project took about 35 bags: 9 for the bottom, 12 for the white stripe, and another 14 or so for the top.

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