Friday, May 10, 2019

Crocheted Market Bag

Recently I heard on the news that some grocery stores in our area are going to phase out the use of single use plastic bags .  People will have to bring their own bags.  They may offer paper, but I'm not sure about that.  It's a good idea because plastic bags can take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose, and every year 100 billion of them end up in landfills around the country.  Aldi has always had a no bag policy.  If you don't use one of their boxes or bring your own bag, you have to buy their bags.  We just take it for granted that all other stores provide bags.  I try to remember to use reusable bags if I do big shopping, but we all manage to accumulate more plastic bags than we need.  They can't be recycled by our local waste management people and have to be put in the regular garbage which really clogs up the landfills.  Many stores have bins to bring the bags to, but it's hard to remember.  I used to bring my bags to a local store, but they went out of business.  Most people don't want to go to the trouble so they just throw them in the trash.

Recently I was packing up my extra bags and saw this written on one of them.

"Please reuse or recycle this bag" sparked a memory of a blog I wrote a few years ago.  I made things out of plastic bags, but somehow I got out of the habit.   Here is the blog from 2013.  It has the step by step instructions for cutting the bags and making the "plarn" so you can knit or crochet it just like yarn.  If you want the instructions, just click on this link.

I thought this would be a good time to make a more permanent shopping bag out of the flimsy plastic bags I have accumulated.  I organized my bags into colors.  I had a few gray bags from Walmart, green from a local grocery store, yellow from Dollar General and Festival foods, orange from Fleet Farm and a lot of white bags with different colored writings.  I hope my instructions are understandable.  I'm not a pattern writer and make most things on the fly.

Crocheted Market Bag

Chain 51 stitches from your prepared "Plarn".  Single crochet, with a size "H" hook, in the second stitch from the hook and in each stitch until the end.  Turn and crochet two stitches in the first and last stitch of the chain.  Then single crochet on the other side of the chain crocheting two stitches in the first and last stitch.  You now have 52 stitches on each side making 104 stitches in total.  Place a marker and single crochet on these 104 stitches around and around changing colors as you see fit.  You can make this bag as long as you want.  Mine is about 15 inches long.

When you get to the top, it's time to make handles.  I chose short handles but you can make them any length.  I crocheted in 16 stitches, chained 32 for the handle, skipped 20 stitches, and continued in single crochet on the next 32 stitches, chain 32 again and crochet in the last 16 to the marker.  The next row single crochet around including the 32 handle chains.  There is no sewing together.  This bag is all one piece and very sturdy.  It took about 60 plastic bags to make this one bag.  I may put a zipper in the top or some large snaps, but it isn't necessary.

The finished Market Bag 
Close up on the single crochet stitch

Here are a few more I have made.  I have learned to make the handles at least 4 rows to make them sturdier.  I have even used a strand of yarn with the plastic to make them more colorful. 

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