PBT: Wrap-Up

PBTCover

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt โ€“ to read more about this series visit theย Intro page.

Maybe it’s just because I worked on the tutorial for this so much, but this newest pixie pocket belt may be my favorite ever. To be fair though, I do say that almost every time I make a new one of these.

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That’s because every one of them turns out to be totally unique – I start out with a pile of scrap materials, and then let it be what it becomes along the way. This one became “Maple” named of course after the tree. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial series – I certainly did – and I’d love to see what is being made from this guide!

Maple10

 

This pattern tutorial series is now listed on Ravelry – hook up your projects so I can see what you made, or look through other projects for inspirationย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

And now for more pictures and ramblings.

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I especially love these to dance in, since the fabric fringe catches movement so well!

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Fun side story – the flower headpiece I am wearing in this photo is one I made years ago, a long strand of curlicues (just like the ones talked about earlier in the tutorial series) with scrap yarn flowers that made as I was traveling across the U.S.

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Of course, the utility belt function of this project is super handy if you are the festival-going type, since these pixie belts are not only cute and go over anything, but also hold your necessaries!

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I’m pretty happy with how the faux-bustle back came out – its not something I’d ever really tried before. That’s another thing I love about these projects – pure experimentation is necessary, not just encouraged.

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I’m a little sad to be closing out the pixie belt tutorial actually, so I’ve had a thought – perhaps more pocket patterns in the future? What do you think?

As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or leave any comments! I love hearing from you โค

Maple13

-MF

 

 

 

I Sing a Song of Plastic Bag Yarn

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Out of all the materials I have ever crocheted with, I would have to say one of the most fun and rewarding is Plarn. For those of you who don’t know, “plarn” is the common terminology for “yarn” or cordage made from repurposed plastic grocery bags (plastic + yarn = plarn).

Despite the name, plarn actually contains no yarn and is made up entirely of strips from these grocery bags. Many countries have put initiatives in place to stop the enormous amount of plastic grocery bags from entering landfills and polluting the environment – but in America, we are mostly still woefully wasteful when it comes to these things.

That’s why it’s so satisfying to turn them into art instead! ย Also it’s like SOOOOOO FREEEEE.

Did I mention how durable this stuff is? You may not think that plarn would be strong, since grocery bags are relatively weak, but once you combine and stitch them, they are astonishingly durable. The first plastic bag yarn bag I ever made was in 2010, a nice simple drawstring mesh bag. For 6 years I have crammed my shower supplies and towels in that thing and dragged it from camping trips to festivals to cross-country journeysย and it’s still holding up. Mind you, I have not treated the poor thing gently at all. That’s how strong this stuff can be!

I won’t show you a picture of that bag, since it is pretty dingy after all that back woods hippie behavior, but I do have a few others to show. Here’s one from 2012…

Plarntree

I used tapestry crochet for the trunk on the flap of this messenger bag and then slip stitched the green plarn on the surface to make a swirling leaf design.

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If you’re friends are nice enough, they will save you special colored plastic bags and you can make something like this mandala messenger style bag out of colorful plarn!

There’s lots of different ways to make plastic bag yarn, so I’ve collected a few links to tutorials I find most helpful to narrow down the search:

This HubPage article by Moira Durano-Abesmo demonstrates both the double-strand and the single-strand method for creating plarn (I use the double strand method)…

…while this Hubpage article by the same author talks about ways to make plarn softer by spinning it or working it.

Look At What I Made has a great post about making plastic bag “thread” for use in smaller plastic bag projects. Also, she mentions that plastic bags in the UK are mostly biodegradable now and therefore not good for use in projects you want to last! Again, here in wasteful America this isn’t a consideration, but something to keep in mind for readers from other countries.

Another great video on making plarn and then spinning it can be found on Youtube in a video from Wind Rose Fiber Studio.

Of course, there’s a million billion awesome creative uses for this plastic bag yarn once you’ve made it. I tend to make bags (I call them Bag Bags), but one simple Pinterest search will overwhelm you with other ideas – like this awesome Hammock project from Too Many Hobbies, Too Little Time.

One thing I searched for but couldn’t find was a tutorial for the “whole bag method” that was taught to me by someone who used it to make recycled plastic rope. It’s stunningly simple AND you don’t have to worry about throwing away those pesky handles!

The theory is similar to the double strand method, only you use entire bags to make the loops instead of strips of a single bag. To start, you need some plastic bags (duh) and scissors.

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Take the scissors and cut down the side of the bag, from the bottom of the handle opening down to the seam at the bottom. Repeat for the other side.

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Grasp the bottom seam in one hand and the top handles in the other, and smoosh the entire bag into one big loop.

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Grab another bag and repeat, making other big loop.

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Overlay the loops and pull one back through itself, creating a knot.

Continue making whole bag loops and looping them together. The cordage that this makes is really thick and stronger than normal plarn, especially if you twist or braid whole strands of this stuff together into rope!

It’s so thick that I haven’t tried to crochet plarn (plope?) made from this method, although I am sure there are intrepid bulky crocheters or knitters out there that have done so or will do. What about you? Have you worked with plarn, and if so, what do you like to make with it?

-MF

 

Simple Stylish Market Bag

For the grocery store, farmer’s market, or even beach – these cotton mesh bags are incredibly useful, expandable, and durable. Plus they take up virtually no space when empty.

AND they’re super easy to crochet.

Crochet Market Bag

I posted this bagย not long ago, and due to it’s popularity decided to publish the pattern. In the original post I mentioned that it’s made with cotton yarn upcycled from an old sweater – and so is this one!

Market Bag Teal

For more information on getting your hands on recycled sweater yarn, see my definitive tutorial Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn. You don’t need recycled yarn to make this bag, though – any cotton yarn will do.

Like Vickie Howell Cotton-ish for Bernat. Color shown is

Like Vickie Howell Cotton-ish for Bernat. Color shown is “Cotton Gin.”

Simple Stylish Market Bag pattern

Notes: The chain lengths at the beginning of rounds 1-7 DO NOT count as the first dc.

Gauge is not critical

3.75 crochet hook.

150 yards #3 weight cotton yarn – recycled yarn or store bought, like Bernat “Cotton-ish” pictured above.

Rnd 1: Ch 4. Dc 12 into the 4th ch from the hook, join with a sl st in the first dc. – 12 sts made

Rnd 2: Ch 3. 2 dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl stitch to first dc. – 24 sts made

Rnd 3: Chย  3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl st to first dc. – 36 sts made.

Rnd 4: Ch 3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 1 dc in the next stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 48 sts made

Rnd 5: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 60 sts made

Rnd 6: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 72 sts made.

Rnd 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 84 sts made.

Rnd 8: Sc in the same st as sl stitch join.ย  (Ch 4, skip 2 sts. Sc in the next st) rpt 27 times around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-4 sized space.

Rnd 9: Sc in the same space. (Ch 4, sc in the next ch-4 space) rpt 27 times around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round.

Rnds 10-23: Rpt Rnd 9.

Rnd 24: 2 Sc in the same ch-4 sized space. 3 sc in ea of the next 27 ch-4 spaces. 1 sc in the next ch-4 space, join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

Rnds 25 & 26: Sc in the same st as sl st join. 1 sc in each sc around, join with a slip stitch in the 1st sc of the round โ€“ 84 stitches.

Rnd 27: Ch 2 to begin a double chain (tutorial here), double chain 50 (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip ย 22 sts of Round 26, sc in the next stitch (this creates a 22-stitch long gap between Rnd 26 and the double chain of Rnd 27, which will become your handle). 1 sc in each of the next 19 sts. Ch 2 to begin a double chain, make 50 double chain stitches (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip 22 stitches of Rnd 26, sc in the next stitch. 1 sc in each of the next 18 sts. Sl st into the base of the handle chain (your first double chain). You should have 2 evenly placed 50-stitch long chain arcs.

Rnds 28 & 29: 1 sc in each st around, stitching into the double chains as a normal part of your round to form an unbroken, continuous stitch sequence between the bag and handle.

Cut yarn and weave in the ends using a tapestry needle.

Crochet Market Bags

Got questions or comments? Leave ’em!

-MF

Update 12/28/15 – I finally converted this baby to PDF! Download this (still free) pattern via Ravelry.

Upcycled Market Bag

DIY Lazy Kate and Niddy Noddy

Remember these guys from my Lazy Luna project? The bright red yarn wrapped around my spindle and niddy noddy is a 100% cotton fiber that I had unraveled from one of my copious amounts of thrift store sweaters and then re-spun to tighten the plies. But once that was finished, I had a sturdy, screamingly-red cordage to play with. Time to crochet up a market bag!

Crochet Market Bag

Everything on this beauty is recycled – both the red and the teal yarn come from 100% cotton sweaters, and the plastic beads above the tassels were rescued from an old unwanted bracelet. The netted pattern was a meditative dream to stitch up. I can’t wait to make more of these – maybe with some barefoot sandals to match.

Crochet Market Bag 2

-MF