Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crocheted bag from grocery bags - part 1

I found a really sweet crocheted bag while surfing the net, on this website.  I love it's shape, but something just didn't quite do it for me, but I bookmarked it.  You just never know when inspiration will strike.

 Then I found a really cool crocheted bag, made from recycled grocery bags on etsy, but I didnt' care for it's handles - plus I didn't want to buy one, I wanted to make one. 

I was working on Christmas gifts, and inspiration struck me one day as I was gathering up all of my plastic grocery bags to take them to the recycling center.  Note: in Podunk, they don't pick up any recycling curbside, you must take it to them.  Inconvenient.

Back to the inspiration... I decided to take the best of both worlds and see what happened.  Since the recycled bag didn't come with any instructions (they wanted to sell it, not give me instructions) I had to make some guesses.  Turns out, I guess pretty well!

I am going to make this post from here into 2 parts.  This part is the prep, and the second part will be the actual creation part.  If you feel the need to jump ahead, the website where I found the first bag has complete bag instructions. 

First, you will need to gather approximately 50 plastic grocery bags.  They need to be clean, so either wash the ones with the "stuff" stuck to the insides, or sort them until you have about 50.  I chose to only use one variety of bag, the one from our local grocery store.  I like the colors.  You can mix and match if you like.

Once you have your grocery bags, you need to cut them up.  For me this is the hardest part - not because it's actually hard, but because it takes a long time, and I am not a patient person.  I am using a cutting mat with a rotary cutter.  This is not essential, but it certainly makes it easier!

I found that I can cut about 5 bags at a time with the rotary cutter, so I lay them out flat, and then fold them once and line up on my cutting mat and trim off the bottom.

Then cut the rest of the bag, up to the handle portion into about 1" width strips.

Discard the handles and trimmed bottom.  Add them to your recycling. 

Put all the strips in a bag or a box, or in some way contain them.  You are going to have a bunch, so you will want containment!  Mine tended to have static cling, so I just threw a dryer sheet in with them and shook the bag a little.

Once you have them all cut, you need to string them together to make you "ball of yarn" that you will crochet with. This takes a while too... hang in there, the fun is just around the corner.

 First open up one loop.

Then take a second loop and make a slip knot with it through the first loop.

And pull until snug... not too tight or you will break one of the loops, but you also want your knot to be small, or that will cause you challenges when you start to crochet.

Continue looping together until all your strips are one LONG string.  You will want to either roll it into a ball or have some sort of containment.  Daughter #1 uses a paper grocery bag, but you can use whatever you have handy.

 Once you get finished, kick back and relax.  The hard part is done.  See you again in Part 2.

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