Plarn, or yarn made out of plastic bags, has been on my to-do list for a fair while now, ever since I read an article on it in Simply Knitting. The problem was that around that time the plastic bags that I got regularly all went bio-degradable, great for the planet but not so good for making things with.
After several times of emptying out the bottom of my post box of handfuls of charity bags I suddenly realised that these would make great Plarn. After a thorough read to see if they mentioned bio-degradable (they didn’t) I started saving. Then, last week when I was looking for a project to take away with me on holiday I decided to investigate my stash. I had 21 bags (or maybe sacks would be a better term as they are bigger than your average ‘bag’.).
So how do you make Plarn? I had no idea and so turned to Google and came up with this page which I found easy to follow. As I had no handles on my bags I simply had to cut the bottom off, cut the bags into strips and then join the ‘circles’ together. It is not at all hard and I quickly made a large ball which I thought would surely be enough. (There are plenty of YouTube videos to watch if that is your preferred method of learning.)
I knew that I wanted to make a bag and again went to google for a pattern. I found an amazing website called MyRecycledBags.com that had two bags that I liked the look of:
A reusable Plarn Produce Bag Recycled Net Market Bag
Of the two I prefered the second of the two and so this is the one I started!
Over the last couple of days I have been using it and have got several comments on it. It seems that I am not the only one who has it on my to-do list. Some wanted to touch it and are, like me, surprised with the finish. I am not sure if you can see from this picture but I ran out of ‘red’ bags (bags with red writing on) and for the top and handles used ‘green’ ones. I like this effect and would definitely use this as a design feature in future projects.
Plarn is the ideal material to work with on a beach as it doesn’t matter what happens to it. The plarn cannot get damaged. I found it quite hard on the hands and it is not a project to do in a quiet room as it rustles!! Having said that I am really impressed with the way it finishes. I really wasn’t sure if I would like it at all but it works into something I was really surprised about. It looses that rustle texture and becomes quite smooth. I actually quite like it. I also think that it will be fairly strong which I was also not expecting.
The future with Plarn?
I will be doing more work with plarn. I have been very impressed with it and will experiment with different hook sizes (I used 10mm) and maybe thinner strips. I have already mentioned the colour variation. I am thinking that a smaller bag for phone and keys with a long handle would be useful ….
Anyway I have already had bags handed to me so I doubt that it will be very long before I have enough for a new project! :) (I used about 16 in this project.)
I am now going to link up with Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour and catch up with what everyone else has been up to this week. Do join me.