Michelle Ryan © 2005 For personal use only
Crocheting with plastic bags
Hints and tips
This is very important - What have you used the plastic bag for in the past? What did it contain? Was it just dry goods like newspapers or wet goods like food i.e. meats, fish.
If it was foods, than you will need to wash the bag (soapy warm water is fine), rinse in a mild disinfectant, leave to dry by hanging up, outside in the air if possible. Using a hairdryer to dry the bag faster can result in melting or sinking the bag and yes I have done both : )
Do not use bags that have contained a chemical or poison (garden feed bags, weed killer etc.) even after washing a small amount of chemical can reside in the plastic.
Smell the bag before use. Does it have a nasty smell? Again wash it. If it still smells nasty after washing (unless you are making something like a mat for outside) I would recommend not using that bag.
If a bag has holes or tears? Use the loop method to make your plastic yarn ball avoiding the holes.
Tell friends and family you are recycling plastic bags, it can take a lot of bags (12+) to make a crochet bag many more for a rug!
If you are cutting your bags using the loop method you can use a rotary cutter, steel ruler and mat (or thick cardboard) to cut, it is much faster.
There are lots of sources of bags not just shopping/ carrier bags. Dry cleaning bags/ covers, packet wrapping bags, frozen food bags can be fun, bubble wrap can even be used.
I sometimes use a large unused bin bag (trash can liner/ gargage bag), so I have not really recycled it : ( but they are the only source of black plastic and it is sometimes good to have one colour you can mix all the others with and they are very large.
Donít be afraid to experiment cutting the bags into different widths to find what size you prefer to use.
I like to use a large chunky smooth plastic hook when crocheting the plastic bag yarn. I find it does not tear the plastic and is light. Wooden and bamboo hooks are also good but can sometimes stick to the plastic. Metal hooks can tear the plastic and the larger ones are heavy, but I know lots of people prefer using them. Try and use different hooks and find the one you like to use.
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