I took a break from my latest blanket project to try out an idea that my grandmother-in-law, J, suggested. She was in a soaps-and-lotions-and-other-smelly-stuff store, and saw some crocheted cotton face scrubbies. They were soft, she said, and replaced the disposable cotton that people use to wash their faces so often. It saved waste, they were beautiful, and they looked like they would work up quickly!
I was right: I found a beautiful pattern at The Stitchin’ Mommy, and some lightweight wool (had no cotton handy, but I will order some!), and in 30 minutes, I had this lovely little circle! I had to learn the puff stitch for the first time, but even Husband commented that it looks even, professional, and quite functional. Success!
The ladies on my Christmas list are definitely getting some of these, especially since I can make one faster than I can watch most tv show episodes! I’m on a quest to make homemade gifts that my friends and family will actually use, rather than finding precious and then getting rid of them, and this seems like a wonderful first find!
No matter how a cute a doormat is when I get it, the years of dirt, salt, snow, rain, and who knows what else always tend to wear them about the same – a greyish-blackish blob meant only to be scuffled by boots. That’s why I’m turning the ever-piling-up bounty of grocery plastic bags in my house into doormats.
Obviously, the ideal would be to use the 4 or 5 reusable grocery bags I have lying around the house, but a couple times a month I forget those, and a few other times I get more groceries than they can hold. Over time, that’s become a very packed pile of grocery bags, and because I knew you could make yarn out of them, I chose to try that for my latest crochet project. I have some detail work left to do on two projects for my in-laws, but this is a nice break because it’s mindless for the most part.
- I start by flattening out the bag and cutting the bottom and the handles off, so I have a uniform rectangle shape, but it’s actually a circle of plastic.
- With it flattened, I cut “strips” that are actually rings of plastic. I try to keep them between 1/2 an inch and an inch, but the final yarn is variable and it all kind of stretches, so don’t stress about width. Just make sure it isn’t less than 1/2 an inch because it’s liable to break.
- I loop the rings of plastic through each other and pull tight, to create a “chain” and then add more and more rings to it. Each plastic bag can add 12, 20, even 24 feet of yarn if you make it uniform and thin.
- Then I roll it up into a ball and use it just like regular yarn. The more you can make ahead of time, the faster the projects themselves go.
It’s not ideal for us to turn plastic bags into doormats instead of just reducing our use of grocery bags, but it makes me happy to see something useful come out of all this – I save the handles and the bottoms of the bags to stuff in the middle of two layers of doormat to make an extra-thick mat that also uses every single part of the buffalo, I mean every part of the bag. I’ll post a picture when I get one completely done!