Monday, August 5, 2013

Coaster Doily made from Plarn

Here I go with the old sayings again, but "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".  Although I didn't invent this process, I had a necessity.  I wanted a large coaster to put on a table outside.  It couldn't be made of fabric because it would get damp and moldy.  It had to breath and dry quickly.  I had seen rugs and tote bags made out of plastic grocery bags.  I know we are all supposed to bring our own bags into stores to "Be Green",  but all of us have run into the store without our bags.  We did have some plastic bags on hand, so I googled it and found an easy technique for making Plarn (plastic yarn).

The first thing I did was to choose complimentary colors from the bags I had on hand.  I had a Dollar General light yellow, Gray from WalMart and a darker yellow from Festival Foods.

Lay a plastic bag flat.
Fold it in half.
Fold in half again.
Cut off the handles and the bottom.
Then cut across every inch or so.
Unfold to expose circular strips. 

I didn't know how to describe connecting the strips so this drawing shows the whole process.

Finally I rolled them into balls resembling yarn.
Start to crochet in a circle just like with yarn or thread.

Any pattern that works with yarn or thread will work with the plastic.  I used a "J" hook but a "K" or "L" will work fine.

The coaster is worked in a spiral; do not join at the end of rounds. It is helpful to use a stitch marker to keep rack of rounds. With B, ch 4, join to form a ring.
Round 1 (B): Ch 1, work 6 sc in ring — 6 sts.
Round 2 (R): 2 sc in each st around — 12 sts.
Round 3 (R): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next, rep from * around — 18 sts.
Round 4 (W): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of the next 2 sts, rep from * around — 24 sts.
Round 5 (R): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, rep from * around — 30 sts.
Round 6 (B): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of the next 4 sts, rep from * around — 36 sts.

Work around increasing as necessary to keep the work flat.  Then just make it as big as you want.  The last row I put an edge on.  I used a single crochet, *skip next stitch, 5 single crochet in next stitch, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch* and repeat around.

The final plastic coaster doily made from plastic shoppiing bags.   

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