Plarn….

My latest crochet project is a bag.

But not just any bag.

When I met up with Karen Cannard, my Rubbish idol, of The Rubbish Diet fame, at the Trashed screening, I was very taken with her bag made from ring pull tab things.

It looked a bit like this

I found this picture on Pinterest from Brucleshop.com

I found this picture on Pinterest from Brucleshop.com

This obviously isn’t Karen’s exact bag-I would have felt slightly strange and stalker-esque asking her if I could take a picture of her bag…but it gives you the idea.

When I complemented Karen on it, she explained that it actually makes a really good talking point and is a good way of getting people re-thinking rubbish.

So I decided I would like a bag that would do just that too!

BUT I think it would take me about 18 years to save up enough ring pulls, and even then, it would probably look a bit pants, so I have gone with a crochet option, and am trying to use ‘alternative’ materials to make it from.

So far, the bottom is done-from a combination of some jute string I had lying around, and some scraps of ribbon.

But now I have run out of string and need ‘alternative alternatives’…

So I have made some “plarn”. This is yARN from PLastic bags for those of you who don’t know!

And this is how you do it:

Cut the bottom off your bag to level it out

Cut the bottom off your bag to level it out

Fold your bag not quite in half, so that one folded edge is about 5cm away from the other one

Fold your bag not quite in half, so that one folded edge is about 5cm away from the other one

Use a rule and a rotart cutter/craft knife, or failing that draw lines and use scissors, to cut lines along the folded bag up to and including the first folded edge

Use a rule and a rotart cutter/craft knife, or failing that draw lines and use scissors, to cut lines along the folded bag up to and including the first folded edge

Cut away the top part with the handles

Cut away the top part with the handles

Then you unfold it along the uncut bit, and cut diagonally from one strip to the next, to make one long continuous strip of Plarn

plarn5

If none of that makes any sense, then check out this video from rigidheddleweaving on You Tube here:

So far, I have cut up three bags, and have started to use them to add to my crocheted bag

The pink is a thicker plastic bag, which is a bit harder to crochet with, but I think it looks pretty cool..!

The pink is a thicker plastic bag, which is a bit harder to crochet with, but I think it looks pretty cool..!

What do you think?

Next I am going to try t-shirt yarn, and I also have some old cassette tapes and VHS tapes that I am planning to butcher to use the tape/ribbon bit.

If it works, it will certainly be a talking point…

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43 thoughts on “Plarn….

  1. Fabulous! Never thought of using old music or video tapes and Ive got loads in boxes in the shed, now I know what to do with them 🙂 Thank you x

    • Your grandmother’s bag sounds fab! If you can find someone to teach you, or some lessons locally, then I would definitely recommend crocheting 🙂

  2. I’ve knitted with plarn too, in fact sorting through my stash the other day I found some balls of it I’d made ages ago.
    You can either use it as it is or with a strand of yarn too. Use fairly big needles or it’s a real pain 🙂

  3. Hi Jen, plarn is fun! If you have a thicker bag try cutting the strips a bit narrower or, with a steady hand, try stretching the strips a bit before you crochet. One thing to check is that you are using normal plastic bags and not the ones that turn to snowflakes after a year or so, although it looks like the supermarkets have stopped doing them now: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7422006/Biodegradable-plastic-bags-may-not-be-as-eco-friendly-as-thought.html – you don’t want to have all your hard work bio-degrade in front of your eyes! Another version you can make is with plastic/foil packaging and a sewing machine. Alison Harper is a Bath-based textile artist who does a lot of work with crisp packet yarn: http://www.alisonharper.net/crisp-art/ 🙂

    • Great, thanks for that link-I will check it out and give it a go!
      Someone else mentioned the biodegradable bag issue too, which hadn’t occurred to me…oops! *rushes off to check*

  4. oh, lovely! It reminds me of some knitting I saw recently where the lady was using fine strips of crisp packets which made the end result both colourful and shimmery – really eye catching.(Perhaps it was the lady mentioned above… just seen it) Good luck with all your makes, I’ll be following closely x

  5. I actually have a mound of plastic bags I wanted to use to make something. i’d heard of “plarn” and was meaning to do a search for doing that, but you just saved me the trouble. I do know how to crocet, but finding the needles in my craft cabinet and the time to do it is another thing altogether. 🙂

    • Yay! Give it a try. The thing I like about crochet is I can do it sat on the sofa with the TV on! I am not yet good enough to be able to concentrate on the TV rather than the crocheting, but at least hubby and I are in the same room..!

  6. Pingback: T-shirt yarn | My Make Do and Mend Year

  7. This is so cool! All I need now is my Mum to teach me how to crochet. I saw the same bag for sale at the Eden Project but it was just too dear and not waterproof so I decided against it. Plarn on other hand looks like it might be hard wearing and gets rid of my ‘giant bag of bags’ hurray!

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    • You get one long strip which you can roll into a ball, and then when you have used it all up, you introduce a new piece of plan/tarn/string etc as you would if you were changing colours in ‘normal’ crocheting. Does that make any sense?

  9. Pingback: #makedoandmendhour 12th June | My Make Do and Mend Year

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