I've discovered plarn, yarn made from plastic bags. I was teaching myself to crochet, from videos and pages on the internet. First I made some square dishcloths, practicing my single, double and half-double crochet with cotton yarn.
My Recycled Bags
It's a very cool site, with every kind of recycled-plastic item you could imagine. She has tutorials showing you how to cut the plastic bags into loops, and chain them together, and the sidebar is full of free crochet patterns. First I started on a totebag, made with khaki colored Kroger bags. I added white and blue stripes made from Walmart bags and newspaper delivery plastic sleeves. Then saw a messenger bag with flap and liked that one better. And I wanted a thick strap that I could put on my shoulder, so I ended up with this:
Then since I'd also been collecting white bags from Walmart and Walgreens and Family Dollar, I had enough cut and rolled up to start this bag, trimmed in pink yarn leftover from a previous project. I plan to put a huge pink and white yarn flower on the side:
It's been fun, and a very low cost craft to get into. People have been happy to donate their plastic bags to me—and I was shocked when I learned that some of these plastic bags take a thousand years to biodegrade. Wow. I've started working on another bag using mainly the blue newspaper plastic sleeves, and have been very pleased with the feel of the softer plastic they're made of. And I really like the color too!