Thursday, 4 March 2010
Since my tutorial on weaving baskets from plastic bags went global last year I've been meaning to follow it up with other ways that plastic bags can be re-fashioned. Weaving baskets is a lot of fun, but for most people it requires learning a whole new set of skills, which I know can be a bit daunting. If you already knit or crochet then plastic bags can become another material to use, and with great effect.
To turn plastic bags into yarn I highly recommend the tutorial by gooseflesh. Other guides suggest complicated methods of cutting the bags to make a continuous thread, but the gooseflesh tutorial offers a simpler approach - cut the bags to create rings and then loop the rings together. using this method I was able to mix and match a selection of plastic bags and make a brightly-coloured variegated yarn.
A couple of days later I'd created a nice big ball of yarn, and it was time to get knitting! I found my set of 10mm needles, always perfect for knitting with chunky yarn, cast on 30 sts and knitted for 48 rows to create the body of the bag.
To create the handle I cast off 24 sts and then continued to knit with the remaining 6 sts for 36 rows. Folding the bag in half I joined it along the sides and then attached the loose end of the handle to the opposite side of the bag. It was very simple and only took a few days to complete.
Luckily in my collection of spare plastic bags I also came across some inspiration for some embellishment. One of the sturdier carrier bags had a beautiful pattern of blue and white stars. Inspired by the design I put together a pretty matryoshka doll (or Russian doll) design and sewed it into place on the front of the bag. The pretty carrier bag also had a logo which read 'RETAIN REUSE RECYCLE', so I carefully cut this out and sewed it onto the back of the bag. Perfect!
If you like the look of this bag I've decided to offer it for sale on my etsy shop. Thank you very much for looking,
Lots of love and luck! x