Monday, March 23, 2009

Crocheting With Grocery Bags

Dad's Aunt Orpha (98 years old and going strong) has been crocheting items using plastic grocery bags for some time now. I've seen hats she's crocheted, and last December she sent me some neat little coasters she'd made. Our local newspaper even wrote an article about her craftiness a year or so ago. She's really something.

When she sent me the coasters it prodded me to wonder how she prepared the bags in order to get a ball of plastic to crochet. So, a-Googling I went and found that there are actually two schools of thought on how to do it: 1) by cutting the bags spirally in a long continuous strip, and 2) by cutting the bags straight across, forming loops that you then connect together in a chain. Because it seemed quicker (and required less ability to cut in a continuous line while keeping the width of the strip pretty even....*LOL*) I chose the loop method.After I had a ball of "plarn" (plastic yarn) larger than a softball, but smaller than a volleyball (probably 40 bags or so), I started crocheting with a plastic "Q" hook, using a patttern I'd Googled for the tote bag pictured here. It's about 2 feet long and 1 foot wide. The handle is crocheted using a slightly smaller hook to make it nice and sturdy. The day after I finished it, I was talking with Mom on the phone and told her it was all done. She said, "What's it look like?" I answered, "It looks like a tote bag crocheted from grocery bags." *LOL*

Gorgeous? No, not particularly. Functional? Absolutely. It's sturdy, and I'm sure it's going to be a very handy item. I think I'll wind up crocheting several to use while camping. They're roomy, lightweight, and would be very easy to crush down into your purse to take along on shopping trips.

My next grocery bag project is a granny-square rug for the floor of my tent. It's nearly finished; I'll post a photo when it's done.

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