Recently I've been thinking that there are way too many so called disposable plastic shopping bags being used every day. Every week I get at least 20 bags with my groceries. I never throw them away. I usually use them as trash bags. I have a kitchen trash can that works very well with the bags, but even as I use them up, they seem to multiply by themselves. There has to be a better way to use them and eventually stop needing them.
Here's my idea. Make yarn out of the bags and knit them into sturdy shopping bags that can be reused. I collected about 40 bags. To make the bags into yarn it was easy. Flatten out the bag cutting off the bottom and the handles. You now have a cylinder with two open ends. Fold it so that you can cut the bags into 1" rings. Then slip knot the rings together into a long chain. This is basically the "Calamari Knitting" technique that was decribed by Kay in the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I ended up with a ball of plastic yarn that looked like this:
Now for the pattern. I love Maia's felted bag. Basically I used her pattern with a couple of modifications and ended up with a nice large sturdy shopping bag:
Actually I had to cut 20 more bags to finish it off. Didn't use all I cut, but I think 50 bags would probably be the magic number. It really holds a lot of stuff as you can see in this picture...there is even more room to put more in the bag, but it would probably be too heavy.
My family absolutely thinks I'm crazy. Don't know how ambitious I will be to knit too many of these bags. It's not that it's hard to knit, but I enjoy knitting with real yarn better. Now the true test will be to take it to the grocery store and see if it's as sturdy as I think it will be. Then if it works out I definitely think I'll try to make more. Wouldn't it be nice to help our planet by knitting? No cost except time and it would help to keep all those bags from filling up our landfills.
happy knitting :)