In my recent instructable I highlighted my experiments on fusing plastic vegetable mesh bags into sheets of plastic and at the end, I promissed to show another way of recycling those bags by turning them into rugs. This is what this i-ble is about.
These vegetable bags are widely used for packaging vegetables and fruits, and after I noticed that they starting to accumulate in the house in some ammount, I decided to find a way to make some use out of them.
As I sayd in my previous instructable, you can just reuse the bags/ that are in good condition, so, you can sort them out and use bad ones for a project/ like this.
The first thing you'll need to make is plarn, which is plastic yarn, which is a yarn made out of plastig bags. I'm using rather small bags, so it makes sense to do it this way, but there's another ways of making plarn, like, for example, in this video, so choose, what suits you best.
What I do here is straightening the bags, cutting off the bottom, and then cutting the bag across to make closed loops. Then I'm intelocking the loops in the way, shown on the photos. And if it's not very clear from the pictures, use this video as a guide.
Create ~1m lenght sections. I discovered that it's much easyer to work with rather short lenghts of plarn, by twisting them on the go, rather then trying to twist long sections (plarn performs better, if at least slightelly twisted). You can connect new sections in the process.
To prepare the bag, take one by diagonal corners and pull it to stretch. This way, you'll get two tapering ends.
Twist a bag a bit until it gets somewhat tight.
After some time I naturally developped the hand motion for twisting the bag during crochrting. I'm doing a couple of winds every now and then to keep the bag in shape. I use the same same motion to twis the plarn (which is why shorter pieces work better).
For a bunch of reasons I didn't document the cricheting process, so I can only suggest you to watch this video. I'm using exactly the same tchnique here, and if you feel intemidated by cricheting, you shouldn't. Making this rug was first knitting experience, after I tryed once when I was a kid. It's really easy to get the grip and it's rather pleasant process in general.
When you crochetting, keep twisting the bag and the plarn with your left hand (if you're righthanded) the way I'm suggesting (or in your way). When the bag ends, prepare the next one and splice it with the tapered end of the previous bag by twisting. This way you'll get smooth transition of both: the shape and the color.
Speaking of color. Those bags are usually go in pretty vibrant colors, so you can get really nice combinations.
Keep crochrting untill you'll get the rug of desired size.
In the result, you'll get rather puffy and soft rug that is warm to sit on. You can also make bowls with this technique.
I also tryed to make a similar rug using this plastic cordage instead of mesh bags (it consists of multiple strands of plastic; I don't know, how common it is). Since the cardage itself is plane white, I decided to add color with the plarn, so I sorted plastic bags by color and tryed to make some nice color gradient, but most of of them were white and I run out of them pretty quickly, so the rug turned out rather pale and small.
In general it was rather unpleasant to work with this cordage and it's something I won't try to do again. But the message here is that you can reuse all kinds of stuff in this way if you really want to.
There's one more WIP (for a looong time) project on recycling vegetable mesh bags, and I have a couple more ideas, so if you're interested, stay tooned, and I'll bring it to you sooner or later.
But, in any way, this is it for now, thanks for your attention and have nice rugs.