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11  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / Re: ACTIVE: I showed you mine, let's see yours!! on: November 30, 2010 06:20:56 PM
SpookShowBaby - the only words that come to mind right now is ...  Grin'you had me at hello'

You have made me proud ...  I luv what you've accomplished thus far!!!

thank you for sharing it with me ...  I am so looking forward to seeing your pics for the remainder of this effort ....
12  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / Re: ACTIVE: I showed you mine, let's see yours!! on: November 30, 2010 07:44:10 AM
You won't need the F hook until we start on the wraparound band and flower

OMG ... thank you for pointing on a flaw in my pattern ...  Even my pattern testors did catch that LOL ....

I'll go back and add that piece of info ...

thank you

13  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / ACTIVE: I showed you mine, let's see yours!! on: November 30, 2010 02:42:44 AM
Why so quiet???  I'm the only one doing the talking............

Just touching base to see how everyone is doing ...

Does anyone have questions for me or having any issues with the pattern??

I would luv to see your wip.....
14  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / Re: ACTIVE: 1st set of Pattern Instructions have been posted (pic heavy) on: November 29, 2010 05:58:45 AM
I wanted to share the excellent feedback received from a few plarn crocheters - RecycleCindy and KristyRecycles ....

1) Both used a ch base of 28 w/hdc in 2nd chain from hook instead of the ch 22 I used.  RecycleCindy is using newspaper sleeve plastic yarn which would have a completely different texture/thickness than the Dollar General or Lowe's plastic yarn I have used. 

Both ladies proven from experience that the factors to consider when using plarn -
a) the type of plastic bag - textures/thickness differs
b) tension - loose or tight crochet stitch
c) width of plastic strip - determines gauge

2) Ch 2 at row end was used as an alternative for a more taylored edge.

Keep the feedback coming ...  luv it!!!
15  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / Re: Count Down Begins: 2 days left before 1st pattern instructions are posted!!! on: November 26, 2010 08:19:17 AM
Excellent question and it's funny you should ask because I recently did a blog post and addressed that on my write-up ..  if you do happen to read my blog, it's the 2nd write-up

To answer your question, if you and I are thinking of the same type of bags, these are what I refer to as retail bags.  If you are new to using plastic yarn, I would not recommend using retail plastic bags (shiny, thicker, tougher texture).   Retail bags have a tendency more than not to resist the hook. 

Let me do a think out loud scenario - you are going to make this project in white w/red specks plastic bags.  Your supply consists of both t-shirt (easy to work with) grocery bags that are white w/red 'Thank You' words and/or another type of white w/red stuff on it as well as white w/red retail plastic bags like Target, JCPenny, etc..    My recommendation would be as you are making your plastic yarn, mix the retail bags in w/the t-shirt plastic bags ...t-shirt bag, retail bag, t-shirt bag, retail bag, etc..  (And of course this mixing up suggestion is dependent on the ratio of retail vs. t-shirt grocery bags in your stash.) 

This mixes the different textures up so it's not so obvious on the finished item.   

What do you do if you're working with a bag (regardless of what it is) that fights/resists?  Easy fix - a small bar of soap.  It is a temporary fix but it works.  Keep a small bar nearby and rub the hook against the soap.  The plastic glides right along.  If you're using a darker plastic and you notice soap particulars on the plarn, no worries, the soap doesn't stick or stain.  Just blow on it and it flies off. 

Above all - don't let the type of plastic regardless of the bag keep you from having fun with this project.....

I hope I answered your question...
16  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / ORGANIZING: 2 days left before the 1st set of instructions are posted!!!! on: November 25, 2010 03:22:26 PM
Hi All - Just touching base to see if anyone has any questions about picking/choosing their plastic bags and making it into plastic yarn. 

I will post the 1st set of pattern instructions the early morning of Sunday, Nov 28 and will ck in through out the day to answer any questions ...I don't want to hold up anyone's progress.  Can't wait to see progress pics... 

17  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / Re: ORGANIZING: Added Prep Tips for the Crochet-Plarn Along on: November 21, 2010 02:05:11 PM
Don't worry, take your time gathering the bags bcuz the pattern will be posted here along with pics, feedback and other good info ...  As far as I'm concerned, there really is no end date to this C-PAL.

18  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / Re: ORGANIZING: Would anyone like to participate in a Crochet-Plarn Along on: November 19, 2010 05:03:01 AM
Thank you to both of you for acknowledging your interest... I'm sure that there are others that have viewed and not responded that are probably interested as well ...

I have received numerous requests telling me they aren't quite sure how/where to begin and how to make the plastic bag into yarn for the C-PAL.  So here's a few tips/hints:

1)  Where to find plastic bags:  Plastic Bag Recycle Containers typically found at the front entrance of majority of the grocery stores.  The containers are not just regular card board boxes (w/ and w/o lids) anymore as some are now in hard plastic containers like a trash container with a slot for depositing on the front.  However, most of that type do have a key turn on one side.  I just turn the key, open it in front and sift thru what's in there.   Some containers I have found are located in the checkout area of the grocery store.  For those, I just go to the Services counter and tell them what I do and what I need and have never been told 'No'.   Just be prepared for the stares and questions. 

2) Finding what you want:  If you don't want to take the time to sift thru the box while everyone comes and goes because undoubtedly you know their watching you, just grab a bunch, take home, sift thru to pick & choose, then take back what you don't want.

3) RECOMMENDED:  Whether you choose to sift/pick through the recycle containers at the actual store or wait until you get home - I strongly urge, recommend, suggest you wear some form of hand protection - (e.g. playtex gloves, etc.).  Over the years, I have discovered that people also use plastic bags for various other things (to be specific, dog poop) and they'll put those nasty plastic bags in with the other plastic bags.  And believe me I have come across much worst than dog poop ..

4)  Once you've picked the plastic bags you want - the one question I continually get is NOW WHAT DO I DO WITH IT??  Fair question.  It's time to make plastic yarn ..  I have 2 tutorials on my blog (see my signature for blog url) on how to make plastic yarn using the double-strand method (creating strips & looping the strips together) or continuous strand method (making 1 long strand)
I did a search here in craftsters and did find this post that contained a link to myrecycled bags site that also offers the double-strand tutorial: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=342668.msg3979756#msg3979756.  You will find several tutorials on youtube as well.

I'll give everyone some time to have fun beginning their preparation of the plastic yarn for the C-PAL.  Let me know if you have any questions either in this post or send me a private message.

I am really getting excited ...I hope you are too

19  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / DORMANT: Part 3: The Final (w/pattern) on: November 17, 2010 09:45:10 AM

Would anyone be interested in joining me as I host a crochet-plarn along (C-PAL for short)?

For those unfamiliar with what plarn is?  It is a creative way to reuse plastic bags by turning it into yarn.  [Plastic (pla) + Yarn (arn) = Plarn]

This C-PAL is being offered to give any yarncrafter who has always wanted to crochet with plastic yarn, but didn't know where to start, the opportunity.

The project is one of my original designs - Wrap & Go Plarn Wallet/Checkbook Organizer.  Here are few pics using different plarn:

Taco Bell plastic bags (inside view)

Home Depot plastic bags

If there is enough interest, I will post the pattern in 3 installments.  I chose 3 installments because there are multiple components to making the organizer.  And, it'll be fun to see the pics of everyone's progress for each installment.  We will still get done in time for you to make these for Christmas presents.  This pattern is pretty addicting. 

Here are some pattern details:
Important thing to remember about using plastic yarn: Not all plastic is made the same.  When using plarn, achieving the desired size or gauge is dependent on the texture, thickness and strip width of the plastic yarn. 

Materials Needed:
Plastic Yarn - 20 standard size plastic bags for both main and contrasting color.  This really is more than enough.  Everyone crochets differently (i.e. tight, loose) so this is to ensure you don't run short.   However, feel free to make the entire organizer in one color or better yet, mix and match.

Crochet Hook:  size F & H
Craft Needle

Other Details:
FINISHED SIZE: Width-7 1/2"; Height-5" Gauge Info:  Typically, I don't worry much about the gauge.  However, I do recommend it for this project if you want to ensure the Organizer is a specific width/height that you want it to be. 

GAUGE: 5 hdc = 1”; 3 rows = 1 ¼”

There is no 'official' end date to this so novice crocheters who want to participate can crochet at their leisure and not feel rushed.  The pattern will continue to be accessible here on Craftster as well as on my blog and in Ravelry.     Feel free to read more about the C-PAL on my blog.

We've been spreading the word ...  the time has finally arrived for us to get crazy.

The pattern instructions for the Wrap & Go Checkbook/Wallet Organizer will be offered in the following 3 increments:
Part 1 Instructions:  Pouch
Part 2 Instructions:  Flap
Part 3/Finale:  Wraparoundband & Flower

Here are hints/tips I offer on all my patterns:
Read through the pattern instructions before beginning.
• When using plarn, it’s a good idea to stretch your work after every couple of rows. This will give you a more realistic view of what you have completed up to that point.
• Ch 1 at beginning of each row is not counted as the 1st stitch.
• Plastic in general is susceptible to ripping/tearing due to its very nature.
   o Weaving in ends - it is best to maneuver your craft needle in between the stitch or stitches to avoid splitting the plastic yarn.

Practice Swatch:
I typically don’t suggest making a practice swatch because achieving a certain height/width is an individual preference. However, it is suggested to ensure the Organizer is the wide enough for what you propose to put in it.

Ch 22, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and each st across. Row 2-4: Hdc in each st across. Lay piece on flat surface and place the widest item that you will put in the Organizer once it is completed on top. The piece should be slightly (not much) wider than the item. If more width is needed, try again with additional # of ch sts until desired width is achieved.

blo = back loop only
ch(s) = chain(s)
dc = double crochet
flo – front loop only
hdc = half double crochet
rev sc = reverse single crochet
sc = single crochet
sl = slip
sp = space
st(s) = stitch(es)
tog = together
tr (treble or triple)

MATERIALS:• Crochet Hook – Size F & H
• Plastic Yarn (NOTE: 12 – 1” strips per standard size plastic bag = 6 yards):
   o Main Color – Approximately 20 plastic bags
   o Contrasting Color – Approximately 10 plastic bags
• Craft needle

Pattern Instructions:

With H hook and Main Color, ch 22 or # determined with practice swatch.
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across.  Ch1, turn.
Row 2 – 22 (or desired height): Hdc in each st across.  Finish with right side.

 (Tip: Depth determines Height. To ensure an accurate height is achieved, fold the piece in half and place whatever you will be using the Organizer (e.g. checkbook, calculator, cell phone, etc.) for inside. This gives a more accurate way of determining if additional rows will need to be added for height. 

Photo 1

Photo 2
Ch 1, sc in end st (1st corner) and in end st of each row to corner, 3 sc in corner, across edge to corner, 3 sc in corner, sc in end st of each row matching up with opposite side (Important:  evenly match up sts on both sides or the rows will not have a straight line appearance when stitching up the sides, refer to photo 6), 3 sc in corner, across edge back to corner, 2 sc in corner (back at 1st corner), join with a sl st in beginning sc.  Fasten off, weave in ends.

Photo 3
Sides (repeat on both sides):
With contrasting color and wrong side facing you, join with a sl st at the corner and sc in each st across, ch 1 turn. Sc in each st across. Fasten off leaving about 6” tail for sewing sides together.

Photo 4
Fold piece in half lengthwise with right sides together (wrong side out), st sides together with tail. (Stitch Suggestion whip st the blo of one side and flo of other side [the 2 sts back to back]).  Fasten off; weave in all loose plarn ends.

Photo 5
Turn pouch inside out and push out bottom corners. Just give the pouch a good stretch, tug and pull on both the front and sides.   a sl st in 1st sc st.

Photo 6

Photo 7
Please feel free to post your comments, questions and progress pictures because I am really excited to see the different colors everyone is using ....

Above all, just have fun with this and ..................

Part 2: Making the fold over flap with inside I.D. Pocket and Pen Holder

We will be using the rev sc (aka Crab St) in Part 2.  If you are familiar with how to make the rev sc, feel free to skip this part and jump down to 'Pattern Instructions'. 

Here's how to make a rev sc stitch (aka crab st):  It may feel a little odd because you’re make a sc just going in the opposite direction (i.e. left to right).  Insert hook, plarn over and pull through  (2 loops on hook), plarn over and draw through both loops.  Continue in each st. 

Pattern Instructions:

Fold over Flap -
Decide which side of pouch will be the back, with back side facing you still using the H hook, attach contrasting color with a sl st in corner st.

Row 1 & 2: Sc in same st and in each st across, ch 1, turn. (Fast Forward moment:  the 2nd row will be placement of the pen holder.)
Row 3: In blo, hdc in each st across, ch 2, turn.
Row 4 -7: Hdc in each st across, ch 2, turn. 

Photo 8 

Row 8: (This row will be the width of your I.D. or other card that will be used.) Hdc in each st across only for the desired width of the card, ch2 , turn.

Photo 9

Row 9 – 15: Hdc in each st across, ch 2, turn. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Photo 10 / Outisde Back View

Photo 11 / Inside View

ID Pocket:
(Note:  The Pocket is made separately then attached to the inside flap with a rev sc through both layers of the pocket & flap when edging around the flap.)

Row 1: Ch the same # of sts to match Row 8 plus 2.  Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.
Row 2: Hdc in each st across. Turn.
Row 3: Hdc in next 2 sts. Turn.
Row 4: Repeat row 3. Turn. Remove st off hook (DO NOT FASTEN OFF, you'll be coming back to it.

With wrong side of pocket facing you, join sl st in 1st st on opposite side of Row 3, hdc in same st and in next st. Turn, Repeat row 3 & 4.  Fasten off, weave in ends.

Photo 12

Row 5: Place hook back on st, hdc in next 2 sts, ch 9 or the the # of skipped stitches on Row 3,  hdc in the last 2 sts.  Turn.
Row 6 – 8 (or desired height of I.D. card): Hdc in each st across. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Photo 13

Lay pocket on inside flap to determine what row to rev sc through both layers of the pocket and flap.  (Tip:  I found it works best to have the ID opening lined up with the 2nd row from the top of the flap, see Photo 16.  This avoids any hang-over) 

With contrasting color and back of pouch facing you, join with a sl st in lower left corner. Rev sc up the side attaching I.D. pocket along the way, 

Photo 14

Photo 15

2 rev sc in corner, rev sc across top (in flap only), 2 rev sc in corner, back down opposite side (including I.D. pocket) of flap (if you want a dab more height to pouch opening, continue around to 1st rev sc made). Fasten off, weave in ends.  The remainder of I.D. pocket will be attached with craft needle.

 Smiley :)FYI - RecycleCindy raised a valid concern so I wanted to share this with you.  She didn't like the way her rev sc was turning out so she chose to do a regular sc st around.  If this is your choice, then here are the directions for doing a sc st edging:

assuming your right handed, (referring to photo 10) join with a sl st at the bottom right corner of the flap, up the side to the corner, now going left across the edge of skipped sts, to the corner that would start the first joining of the I.D. pocket to the flap, up the side to the top right corner, the sc’s from the corner to the corner is a single layer in just the flap. You’re now at the opposite corner, sc thru both layers now attaching the other side of I.D. pocket, going back down the left side then arriving at the bottom corner parallel from where you started. Fasten off

Photo 16

Pen Holder:

Determine the width and placement of the holder.  (Tip: I prefer 8 sts evenly centered on the flap.  There is no right or wrong, it's a personal preference.) With inside flap facing you, join with a sl st in the 1st st of the pen holder, sc in same st and in each desire # across.  Turn,


Photo 17

Sc in each st across for 4 total rows or # of rows needed for pen.  (Tip: Plarn has some stretch to it.   You want it to fit snug.) 

Attaching - sl st in each st across to attach holder to flap.  Finish off, weave in ends. 

Photo 18

Wooo Hooo - You now have a Checkbook/Wallet Organizer ...  but we're not done yet...
Just 1 more set of instructions left.  Please continue to provide the fantastic feedback.   

*Part 3 - The Finale !!!** Wraparound Band:
Row 1: Working on top of flap in the middle, with F hook attach contrasting color with a sl st in on top of a st, sc in same st and in next st, ch 1, turn. (Note: the flower will be placed over this spot hiding the area.)

Row 2 – 16 (or desired length of band): Hdc in each st across, ch 1, turn. Before fastening off, test the length making sure it is long enough by wrapping band around pouch and position end at beginning of band. Even though plarn does stretch, you want the band a little loose so it isn’t so tight when you fill the pouch. Fasten off leaving long enough tail to st end of band to top of flap. Stitch end of band to front of flap.

Round 1: With Contrasting color and H hook, using the adjustable ring method, make 7 sc in ring, join with a sl st in 1st sc.
Adjustable Ring method: Make a loop as if to form a knot giving yourself about 4” to 6” of tail. Insert hook through middle of loop (front to back), plarn over, and pull hook back through (back to front). You now should have 1 loop on your hook. Ch 1 as this will count as your first sc. (The standard is ch 1=sc; ch 2=hdc; ch 3=dc). Make the # of sts in the loop making sure to crochet around both the plastic yarn and tail. I suggest making the stitches a little loose so it will be easier to pull the plarn tail. If you start running out of tail, pull the tail to give you more slack, however, you will notice that the loop will get smaller. Now for the fun part – grab the tail and gently pull the stitches together. As you do this, the inner circle gets smaller.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around. Fasten off.
Round 3: With Main Color, 2 sc in same st, 1 sc in next 2 sts.Repeat around. Do not fasten off but pull out a big enough loop so the stitch doesn’t come out as you will be coming back to it.
Round 4a: With F hook and contrasting color, join with sl st in front loop of a st from Round 3 and following petal pattern: in same st-sc, hdc, sc, sl st in next petal.Repeat around. After completion of last petal, sl st behind a st of 1st petal made. Fasten off, weave in ends.
Round 4b: Insert hook back into loop of round 3, follow petal pattern around: in same st - hdc, dc, 2tr, dc, hdc, sl st in next petal. Repeat around. After completion of last petal, sl st behind a st of 1st petal made. Fasten off, weave in ends.

- OR -
Pop Tab Flower:
Round 1:  With contrasting color and F  hook, join with sl st in pop tab and make 18 sc around pop tab.  Fasten off, weave in ends.
Round 2:  With main color and H hook, join with a sl st and sc in same st, *ch 4, sk 2 sts, sc in next st.  *Repeat around. 
Round 3:  In each ch 4 sp, follow petal pattern:  sc, hdc, dc, 2tr, dc, hdc, sc.  After completion of last petal, sl st behind a st of 1st petal made.
Round 4:  Still working behind petal, sl st to 1st tr, *ch 4, sl st in tr of next petal.  *Repeat around.  Fasten off, weave in ends.
Round 5:  With contrasting color, follow petal pattern in each ch 4 sp:  *sc, hdc, dc, 3tr, dc, hdc, sc, sl st in sl st of Round 4.  *Repeat around.  Sl st in 1st sl made of Round 4.  Fasten off, weave in ends.
Join main color in front loop of a st in Round 5, sl st in each st around.  Fasten off, weave in ends.

Position middle of flower over band ends on top of flap, sew flower to flap.
Final touch, with matching plarn and craft needle, sew remainder of I.D. pocket to flap.*

Let me know if you have any questions ....

It was pleasure to offer this pattern to you and I hope you enjoyed participating in my first of many to come Crochet-Plarn Alongs. 

If you're ready for more fun, I start another quickie C-PAL which we will make a pop tab plarn bracelet.  Here is the link thread for it:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=366337.0

Thanks,  Teresa
20  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: My new wallet/checkbook organizer w/built in pocket for driver's license & pen on: July 10, 2010 04:25:47 PM
I am really sorry that you get sore hands from working with plarn - I've heard others say the same thing but I'll be honest, I don't. 

I have found certain plastic bags challenging for example the shiny plastic bags, the kind that get handed out to you at fairs and the bags that have a paper plastic texture like Barnes & Nobles and Lowe's, but I've never experienced sore hands. 

Also, thank you for the kind words.

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