Two friends visited recently and both became recipients of a crocheted bag. Giving away these bags never disappoints, which is a great feeling.
The Grass Roots magazine has included this letter about making these plastic bags in the Feedback section of their latest issue:-
I enjoyed reading Marjorie Bligh’s article in GR 185 about using plastic bags to make a garden hat. When some bags accumulated in my cupboard, I decided to test the theory. After successfully crocheting an 8-row granny square followed by 13 similar squares, I sewed them together and crocheted two handles to form a handbag.
How I made the handbags slowly evolved. Google brought up a number of cutting techniques and I adapted one of these for my use. It didn't take me long to change from crocheting and sewing together four small squares for the front and back panels to making larger 16 row squares. When family members wanted solid handles, I was relieved to find some at my local Spotlight store.
It’s great fun playing with coloured plastic bags. My family and friends have been very helpful in passing through coloured bags they receive, with two beige bags matching perfectly with others put aside waiting for companions. Combining pink, purple, blue and green bags is always a popular choice as they are available in local stores.
It helps to take a little care when acquiring and cutting the plastic bags. Avoid any bags with the word ‘degradable’ printed on them as it is likely the handbags will do just that over time. While the large bags from department stores might look appealing with their pretty colours, these bags are too thick for crocheting. The smaller, softer bags from greengrocers and supermarkets are perfect for the job. Depending on the thickness of the plastic, you might need to cut wider strips to produce a more robust handbag.
This has become a satisfying pastime. After two years I am still making these handbags, spending only an hour or two on them most evenings. It is easy to apply some stitches to a square while watching TV or on the phone to family or friends. Cutting the plastic strips might take some time but is worth the effort, particularly when I give my latest creation to someone close to me.
Feel free to check out my first blog post about these handbags along with a link to the instructions at http://simplifyingyourlife.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/ultimate-plastic-bag.html
It was a very merry Christmas Day when my latest creations were delivered safely to family members. Three of the bags sported my latest innovation - a pretty little flower. Instructions for crocheting the flower can be found under the Flower tab.
Just to prove how busy I have been, here are 4 new bags that have made their way to my friends. The pink, purple, blue and green bags are becoming a favourite of mine... probably because plastic bags with these colours are easy to find. Red and beige plastic bags are harder to find which is why the red bags below and the beige one in the heading might just become collectors' items, if they don't break down in the meantime!
Here are two new bags that I have just finished. It's a pity that I have now run out of red bags as I'm sure I could have made some other pretty combinations.
This time around I have been cutting thicker plastic strips. When crocheting the squares, I used 2.5 cm strips and found there is less stretch in the finished work. The white handles were made using 4 cm strips which felt a bit cumbersome to work with but have provided what feels like very substantive and strong handles. The crocheted handles on previous bags have stretched when holding a significant weight. I'm hoping these new handles will stay intact regardless of the weight in the bag.
Someone suggested that it would be helpful to see the process of making these bags in a video and I have put up 4 videos under the "How to" tab. I'll provide videos to cover the remaining steps over the next couple of weeks.
I am still a newbie at making these videos so if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment.
Sometimes I buy handles to attach to one of my bags because crocheted handles can stretch when a significant weight is carried.
Spotlight in Brisbane carries a great range of handles including the black ones shown in this photograph.
I have included instructions on how to attach these handles under the "How to" tab.
These swish looking numbers will complement any day-time wear with their shiny veneer and practical trim size. Made from strips cut from plastic bags, these bags are not just functional. They help the environment as well!
I have always had a crafty project on the go. Two unfinished tapestries have spanned decades but I will get back to them. I really will!
My latest craze involves the plastic bags that make their way into my home. I read an article in Grass Roots (Issue 185 Feb/Mar 2008) that described making garden hats by knitting strips from plastic bags. When I noticed a small stash of plastic bags accumulating in my cupboard I decided to test out the theory.
What started out as an experiment has become a passion. I enjoy trying out new colour combinations to see how well they work together. Especially gratifying are the positive comments that I receive when I'm out and about with one of my bags.
After receiving several hints about preparing some instructions I have done just that under the "How to" tab. I hope these instructions will be helpful for you, but please comment or provide feedback if you have any questions.