Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me And a Surprise Gift

A while back I posted my first original pattern using plarn [plastic bag yarn]. The pattern was for a Plarn Grocery Bag made of recycled plastic grocery sacks into a reusable bag that looks like a paper bag. My inspiration was just trying to make something practical for myself. I wanted to start using my own bags when I found out about that big plastic bag island that is floating around the ocean and killing animals. I looked at some other patterns on line but they didn't look to me that they would hold much for a full grocery trip. [no offense to anyone's pattern] I wanted something the size of a normal paper bag so I made one.

I don't know exactly how many bags it took. I didn't count because I used up my whole stash and then started raiding other peoples. If I had to guess I'd say maybe close to 100. It took a real lot and I had to cut out sections where bags got ripped and work with what I had left. It also is a much bigger bag than others I've seen. As you can see by the picture I put it next to a regular paper bag so you can see it really is that size.

Finished bag size is about 14"wide X 7 ½"deep X 15 ½"high

The handles are adjustable to carry short/doubled or long for over the shoulder carry. I cut a piece of stiff cardboard to put in the bottom of my bag and I found that was enough to reinforce it. The plastic itself is pretty thick and sturdy once it's crocheted but the cardboard helps with any sagging if you carry any heavy items like juice bottles and so on.

The response to the bag was amazing. Definitely more than I expected. To me it had become a big plastic rectangle as it took some time to get the pattern right and the occasional back track. I guess I was not the only one looking for a bigger sized plarn bag. I had over 50 requests for the pattern and even now that blows me away. I want to thank everyone at Ravelry and Crochetville that was so kind with their comments and that was interested in my bag. However, being sort of new to some of this on line stuff I had no idea how to get the pattern on line and linkable so I mailed them out and my dial up connection groaned incessantly.

However I know there are folks out there that just don't want to give out their e-mail so for all you lurkers out there that are needing some Plarn Grocery Bag luv too I think I have an answer. After some rooting around on how to do this stuff I think I have figured out how to get a link situated. The PDF file is 5+MB and instructions for making Plarn are also included in the tutorial. Anyone that just wants to make a comment on the project is welcome to do that and a comment is appreciated if you are going to download the pattern.

I have to say I had a bad experience before with someone trying to pass off one of my patterns as theirs so this is a little leap of faith for me. We're using the honor system here so please be kind and follow the disclaimer.

Standard Rabbit9 Disclaimer for pattern use:
  • My pattern is free for personal use.
  • Do not sell my pattern.
  • Do not sell bags made with my pattern.
  • Do not pass my pattern off as your own.
  • Do not post my pattern on your page.
  • Do not post my pattern on any group pages.
  • Do not direct link to the PDF file.
  • Please DO Post a link back to Twisted Fibers Burrow or my Ravelry page if you want to share the pattern.
  • All patterns posted here are © Rabbit9.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for, except for those that read the back of the book first, ;-) [crosses paws and hopes the link works]

Rabbit9's Plarn Grocery Bag Tutorial


RusticOkie said...

Okay you are awesome. I love this bag and its great that its a bigger size so that things will actually fit in it and you don't have to carry a zillion little bags just to do your grocery shopping. That is wonderful. I will definitely be trying to make this one soon! I'll let you know how it turns out.

melissa said...

I am trying to get the pattern, but I can't seem to get the link to work. :( The bag looks AWESOME! I'd hate to have to go back to using plastic to get enough plarn to make it, though.

Rabbit9 said...

Thank you so much for the compliment and also for taking the time to leave a comment. I've been using the bag a while now and I'm happy with it.
The link seems to work for me so perhaps the server was down before temporarily. Please try it again and if that doesn't work let me know and we can try to work out something. If you run out of bags in your stash then just do what I did. Raid your friends, neighbors and family's supply. Basically accost anyone you can get a bag from. ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome bag! Thank you for sharing. I have seen some of the reuseable bags at the local grocery stores and have wanted to buy them but they are so small. This looks nice sized and can be adjusted easily to make bigger or smaller. Thanks again.

Marie said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful pattern. I am looking at my plastic stash now. I might just have to resort to regular plastic bags to make up enough. I see you live near Bothell I live out by Echo Lake.

Thanks again

Rabbit9 said...

Thank you Anonymous & Marie. I appreciate the compliments and also you both taking the time to leave a comment. Actually I'm in Seattle right now. I'm not exactly sure where Echo Lake is but I'm glad to meet you.

Marie said...

This Echo Lake is between Monroe and Woodinville. :)

I am cutting the plarn today. Hopefully my first bag will be done this weekend.

Rabbit9 said...

Oh I know where that is Marie. Bit north of me but still neighbors. ;-) You know I think cutting, joining and rolling all those bags took me longer than the actual crocheting. Good luck this weekend and I hope your bag comes out great. I'd love to see it if you take any pictures.

Anonymous said...

This is just what I've been looking my dh can quit complaining about the bags falling out of the cabinet every time he opens it!

Rabbit9 said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment Anonymous, I appreciate it. I hope the bag works out for you. Please let me know if you have any trouble with it.

Marie Anne said...

I absolutely love this!

I've tried playing with plarn a bit and it kept breaking on me. I need to get another hook and try this again. I have GOT to have this bag!

Debbie said...

I really like this bag! Only problem is I've been saying no to plastic bags for a while now and only have 2 or 3 bags left. If I come across a supply, though, I'll know what to do with them. Thanks for sharing.

Rabbit9 said...

Thank you Marie Anne & Debbie. Deb, try family and friends. Most people have a stash they don't know what to do with they would be happy to donate. Even co-workers if you are friendly with some of them. Marie Anne, I suggest first to be careful to check the bags when you cut them first. Some get holes from then they were used to carry groceries. That can make the bags rip while you are crocheting and don't hold the plarn to hard. I don't wrap the plarn around the pinkie finger like I do with yarn. With my palm facing down I go over the top of the pinkie, under the next two fingers and over the index finger. I find that's easier on my hands but I still have good control. Just experiment with different ways of holding until you find what works best for you.

knottykitty said...

Very clever bag! Nice job! :)

Amy said...

I've been hoarding plastice bags looking for just such a pattern - thank you for posting it for us! Can't wait to try it. :)

Anonymous said...

Love this, love this - thanks so much!

Rabbit9 said...

Thank you knottykitty, Amy & wintermaide. I hope you all enjoy trying the pattern. If you have any trouble at all feel free to contact me and I'll be glad to try to sort it out.

Bunny said...

Cool, I'm really interested in how you recycled all those terrible plastic grocery bags that we all collect and have around the house. TY for the tutorial. :D

Rabbit9 said...

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment Bunny. I really appreciate it. You're welcome for the tutorial and I hope it goes well for you. If you have any trouble with it please let me know and I'll be happy to help.