Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Latest creations

This is a tote bag with cosmetics case. The tote is made from St. Patrick's day grocery bags and unusual green newspaper bags. The cosmetics case is mostly produce bags and a few clear newspaper bags. I got a bunch of old buttons from Donna - how awesome! The buttons match on this set. I mailed it to someone I admire and I'm not sure she received it. I hope I'll find out some day.

This is a purse made from newspaper bags. I trimmed it with leftover magenta yarn to keep the strap from stretching too much.

This is a tote bag made entirely from bread bags and other bags that food came in. I crocheted it single ply because this material is thicker than grocery bags.

This is another purse made from newspaper bags. It is 2/3 the size of the purse pattern because it is a gift for my daughter, Elizabeth, on her 9th birthday. :) I have 8 unique colors of newspaper bags. I made balls of plarn with the same sequence of colors. I had to mix them up every now and then to prevent common repeating patterns in the rows.

The Art of Plarn-making

I finally wrote my plarn-making directions! I hope you pardon my messy closet. I have a wonderful workshop set up in the garage but the closet is in the living room. I can keep an eye on the kids or TV while cutting up bags.

Step One: Prepare the bags

Flatten bag and fold in half vertically.

Cut off handles and bottom and cut bag in half horizontally.

When I’m cutting up a lots of bags for a project, I prefer to cut them all up at this step before moving on to next step. It goes faster for me to have a pile of bag slices.

Step two: Cut into plarn

I use a bungee cord in my closet to hang a piece of the bag horizontally. A paper towel holder also works very well. If you try to cut a whole bag at once, it doesn’t spin as well.

Then I cut it like this:

Make 1 snip, then pull strip with hand while holding scissors steady. The bag will spin on the bungee cord. Depending on quality and condition of plastic, you will have to adjust the speed and scissors position. It takes a little practice. The strip width is usually about ¾ inch (2cm).

Step three: Roll it into balls of plarn.

Usually I double the plarn when I crochet a bag, so I roll it that way after cutting it.