Am I Doomed To Trash This Project?

crocheted plastic bagsI forgot my shopping bags when I went on my shopping spree to “BigLots!” They spell it with that exclamation at the end, but don’t get excited if you have never been there. As my Papaw would say, “It ain’t much.” My mission had been to buy washcloths so I could be a Green Goddess and have a paperless kitchen. When I got home to unwrap everything I was chagrined at the amount of plastic bags I was about to throw in the garbage. I know the environmental dangers of plastic bags. I just forgot, OK? So, sue me.

However, all was not lost. It so happens that a bit later I was on the computer and decided to hit StumbleUpon (that free browsing tool that helps you share interesting websites) and see what I might find. The first thing that popped on the screen was a page about using plastic bags to crochet. What serendipity! I got that “wild hair” again. I decided it would be delicious irony to create a shopping bag with all the plastic bags I’ve saved.

Not being the kind of person to actually plan a project, I simply gathered all my white plastic bags with their colorful logos (because I thought they would make an interesting variegated pattern in the yarn), a pair of scissors, a crochet hook and dove right into the process. This, my friends, was a big mistake.

What I thought was an enormous amount of plastic bags turned out to be piddly when it is cut and made into “yarn.” Sure, I still have brown plastic bags, but we use them for scooping cat poop from the litter boxes each day. I do not intend to run out of those. I need white ones! I’ve used everything I had, and haven’t finished one side of the bag.

What to do next?

  • Do I drive a sixty mile round trip to my sister’s house to get the plastic bags she has so that I can create an environmentally-friendly masterpiece?
  • Must I go door-to-door begging people for their white plastic bags?
  • Should I do some dumpster diving … or clean the trash bags off of the “bob-wahr” fences? [Note: “bob-wahr” is Texan for “barbed wired”… just so you know.]
  • Or, shall I go on a shopping spree (to stores that package in white plastic bags) and conveniently forget to take my cloth bags?

Somebody give me suggestions here so I don’t have to trash this project!

  14 comments for “Am I Doomed To Trash This Project?

  1. February 22, 2010 at 8:05 am

    You could raid a local grocery store’s box/container for plastic bag recycling. They are usually near the doors & labeled “Plastic Bag Recyling – Drop off your plastic bags here”.
    I have tons of white plastic shopping bags so I might give this project a try myself one day.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Project 365 Update =-.

    • February 22, 2010 at 8:50 am

      Now THAT’S what I was needing! A suggestion from a woman who knows what it’s about. Two things I’ll tell you, if you decide to crochet with plastic:

      • It’s hard on your hands!
      • Cut the stips pretty wide, because they will tear otherwise.

      You can see how to make a “beach bag” here, and I think they have a link to pictures of how to cut the bag into “rings” and string them together.
      It’s not difficult to do, but my mind is already going through the possibilities of actually getting out my spinning wheel to spin the plastic (using smaller strips). We shall see if I get that far with it.

      Thanks for the suggestion … I’m headed to the grocery store.

  2. February 22, 2010 at 8:06 am

    A shopping spree sounds like the funnest plan. It sounds like it better be a BIG shopping spree.
    .-= Sheila´s last blog ..The Best Web Browser Is A Free Browser =-.

    • February 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

      😆 The shopping spree sounds the best to me, too, but then my wallet won’t be very green, will it? I’m going to try Elizabeth’s suggestion first and see if I can dig up some white bags. Then I may just leave word at my coffee house and see what happens. I don’t think I want to ask y’all to mail me any! Wouldn’t that be a mess?

  3. February 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I’m not into the “Green Movement”…. so my suggestions is to “Bag The Whole Thing.”
    .-= Kathy – Insightful Nana´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Mr. President — George Washington Of Course =-.

    • February 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      Bwahaha! You have been talking to my husband behind my back. He makes puns & plays on words all the time. I’m not going to bag it, though. I’m going to finish it!

  4. February 23, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Those little shopping bags all get put to very good use here -first to use when cleaning the litter box (and with as many cats as we have, it gets a heavy workout) and second, for the garbage can in the bathroom for the icky, used disposable diapers from the kids. I knew of a lady near here who made rugs using the plastic bags -crocheted them together -and man, they made great entrance-way rugs too because of the texture, plus being plastic, they were great for scraping the mud/muck off one’s shoes.
    .-= Jeni Hill Ertmer´s last blog ..Beautiful Day! =-.

    • February 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      Well, I can’t even find enough of the darned bags to make a bag! I wouldn’t be able to make a rug without raiding the recycle center 🙂

  5. February 23, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Well I had a million of them but I threw them out…ooppss(-: I got tired of looking at them. I think you should have your sister send them to you(-: They wouldn’t cost much to mail(-: And have her cut them first so they are ready to use(-:
    .-= cindee´s last blog ..Ghost Sighting? =-.

    • February 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      You were thinking of saving me like you did with the cotton bolls, weren’t you (you sweet kid). Actually, sis has a doctor’s appointment in town, and she is bringing me a boatload of bags when she comes, so I might get enough of them yet.

  6. Joy
    February 24, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Thank you for this inspiring set of green posts. I’m working on one myself. Oh, the irony in contemplating driving 60 miles to pick up a boatload of them. It shows your commitment to thinking through the problem while retaining your sense of humor. Go, Shelly, go!

    I’m glad that it takes lots of bags to make a tote. The goal is to reuse as many as possible; there’s certainly no shortage of the damned things. I’m proud of your commitment to this project, even if it’s only one bag for your use. Don’t overlook the gift-giving possibilities – holidays just ten months away, birthdays – especially for those who would never make one themselves. What better way to look out for the environment & for each other? Standing in long lines at the grocery store? Excellent way to pass the time, fostering patience & letting the world know the possibilities. Expect people to ask what you’re making. Share the wealth of knowledge.

    My 2 cents worth: Take items of clothing that are no longer wearable but unsuitable for Goodwill (socks, cotton underwear, t-shirts, old dishrags & towels), cut into small cloths & use to clean up cat puke, oven spills & other messy things. Then just throw them away. If it’s cotton, the cloth & the mess will eventually break down in the landfill. I’m single & I have a stack of them under my kitchen sink for just such opportunities; families can accumulate eve more. Ditto old sponges: don’t throw them in the trash without taking some smelly, household gunk with them. Even paper napkins, after dinner, can be used to wipe kitchen floors & stove mishaps. The plastic containing rolls of pt & tp? Use them as trash can liners, in place of buying bags to throw away. Green is a state of mind. Develop it & pass it on!
    .-= Joy´s last blog ..OUCH! IT HAPPENS =-.

    • March 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      Excellent suggestions for the cloths. I use the old socks — you know, the ones that lose their mates in the dryer (just white ones, though) and keep them for cleaning the filthy stuff. I refuse to use a sponge! It’s just a breeding ground for bacteria.

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