Posts Tagged ‘bag’

Keep plastic out of food chain

If you follow this blog you might have seen the Running the Numbers posting that uses plastic bags as the basis for art /social commentary, or the even more frightening Quest to the Plastic Bag Island. It’s sobering. I have been using reusable grocery bags most of the time for quite a while now, but those crinklies still seem to pile up in my “bag” bag, when members of my family forget. I reuse them as much as possible, (usually to put over vegetables in the fridge,) but they are only intended for single use and don’t make very good garbage bags. Recycling them is doable in some places, but it is neither easy, convenient, nor particularly cost effective. I recently discovered that when you recycle your plastic bags at our local Fred Meyer, sometimes a truck comes and actually recycles them, but if the bin gets too full, our friends at Freddie’s just throw all those carefully recycled bags away anyway. What’s more, a lot of people know it. It does nothing to encourage the public to recycle those bags.

Last June I stumbled on a blog called MyRecycledBags. Normally I am not a huge fan of crafts unless they are made from native materials and don’t leave a big carbon footprint. But we are surrounded by plastic deritus, so for the time being it definitely qualifies as a “native material.”

I know this is a drop in the bucket but I went out and spun some plastic yarn AKA “plarn” as per their directions. They have tons of projects you can make out of plarn, such as the dishcloth pictured here.

recycled scrubbie

I hope they don’t mind me nicking the picture. I’m not a crocheter myself (yet!), but I have been known to knit in the distant past, so when I got a big enough ball of tan plarn (about 60 bags’ worth) I just started playing around with it. I ended up with this very flexible and serviceable shopping bag. I’m hoping that it will become a collector’s item when the USA finally bans these dreadful things.
My Plarn Bag!!

Here are the directions to make one of your own:

  • Make about 50-60 bags worth of plarn. If you don’t want a ball that big you can make smaller balls and add them as you go.
  • Cast on 40 st using large bamboo needles size 14.
  • K10, p 1, K29, then P29, K1, P10. (basically stockinette stitch with one rib.).
  • Repeat these two rows until you have a piece as tall as you want your bag to be. Then, on a K row
  • cast off 10 and purl the remainder of the row. Now on the return resume purl 1 row knit 1 row until the 30 st wide part is about the same length as 10 st.
  • On a Knit row, purl it, then cast on 10 st at the end of it (on the other side as those you cast off). Continue in st. st. making a rib between the side and the main front/back. When the back is the same height as the front, cast off.

Your main piece should be shaped like the diagram below:

When you are finished with the main piece, stitch up and join the edges together as per the arrows.  For the handle, pick up about 8 st. in the middle of one side, and knit a strip to the desired length and cast off.    Join it to the middle of the opposite side.  Voila!

Your plarn bag piece should be shaped like this

Your plarn bag piece should be shaped like this