Thursday, July 28, 2011

Plarn Crocheted Bags




Good morning, ya'll. Come on in and have a cup of coffee and I will explain why I have a pictures of "pocket books". This is what we called purses or bags back in the olden days before they became known as bags or totes.

As you know, I like to crochet, knit, loom knit, and just generally play with thread and yarns to make stuff. I also like for it to be quick and easy and if I can recycle, it's even better. In a library book about bags to make, I found the instructions for crocheting strips made from plastic bags. I was fascinated by the idea and began a hobby which I enjoy and saves hundreds of plastic bags from the landfills.

I found several good websites about this idea and discovered it is called "plarn" or plastic yarn. Rather than bore you with details, I am attaching several websites you can look at and see how I make these bags.Each one is different for I have to change the directions on each one to make it mine. I like to add buttons, shells, yarn and string to decorate them.

This is my favorite website about plarn, www.myrecycledbags.com/, for she does a fantastic job with designing and explaining the process. Planet M Files has great pictures and instructions for making the plarn and you can find them at http://planetmfiles.com/2008/09/06/how-to-make-plarn/. These 2 sites will show you how and what some creative people are doing with this hobby.

These are the instructions for my basic bag but I design new patterns with each one for I let my imagination go and see what happens.

Basic Plarn Tote Pattern

Materials: Several large balls of plarn (plastic bag yarn)
Crochet Hook: Metal J or K

chain 25

Rnd 1
Sc in 2nd ch from hook in each chain.
Continue to the corner end st, work 2 Sc in end st. Continue around and down the back side of chain by working a Sc in every stitch of chain, work 2 Sc in end st.

Rnd 2
Sc in each st down to first end. Work 2 Sc in the two end sts, and then SC in ea st down to other end. Work 2 Sc in ea of the two end sts. Do not connect at end of rounds, just continue working Sc in each st to create a seamless bag bottom.

Rnd 3 – Same as row 2 but 2 Sc in the 3 end sts.
Rnd 4 – Same as row 3 but 2 Sc in the 4 end sts.

Rnd 5 - Change to Hdc
Hdc in each st around entire bag continuing until you have it as deep as you like. I like mine to be about 14 inches deep.

Top Edging:
Row 1 – Sc around in each stitch around the bag. Join to the first Sc.
Row 2-4
Ch 2- Hdc in each Sc around the bag and join with Sl St in top of Ch 2.
Row 5
Ch1 , Sc in each stitch around the bag and join with sl st to the Ch1 and end off by leaving a length of yarn to weave in (to secure the end), cut the yarn. Pull the cut end of the yarn through the final loop that is left on the hook.

Straps (Make two)
I like to make my straps and attach them to the sides with yarn or plarn.

Chain 5 stitches.
Turn and SC in each of the 5 stitches

Continue until desired lengths are reached. I usually make mine about 18 inches long. You can make it shorter or longer and finish off.

To attach the straps I thread a needle used to make seams in crochet. Place one end of the strap about 2 inches from the side of the front or back of the bag and about 1 ½ inches down the bag on the inside. Sew the strap to the bag using an X pattern. Do the same for the other side and the back piece of the bag. If you use a contrasting yarn or heavy twine, it adds a decorative X to the bag. You can also attach them to the front of the bag and sew a button on each end of the strap for embellishment.

Abbreviations:
Ch - Chain
Hdc - Half Double Crochet
Plarn - Plastic Bag Yarn
Rnd - Round
Sc - Single Crochet
Sl St - Slip Stitch
St – Stitch
If you have any questions about these instructions, please email me at fprobson@yahoo.com
This pattern is copyrighted by Frances Robson and may only be used for private individual use. No commercial sales or use is permitted. Links to this pattern are acceptable. ©2010

This is my first tutorial so forgive me if it is not correct. I tend to free crochet but I usually begin with chain 25 for a medium size tote and will chain 35 for a large one.

You can check my Etsy site for some pictures of my bags. http://www.etsy.com/shop/francesrobson?ref=si_shop

Ya'll be careful going home and come back to see me sometimes.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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