Friday, 6 February 2009

Hate plastic, love plarn

We recently had our first rubbish weigh-in. I suppose, compared to some, it wasn't a great deal of rubbish (mainly plastic) heading for landfill, but given the objectives of this experiment we need to do better. We have since discovered that we can recycle some of the plastics at the local waste and recycling centre (or "tip" as they used to be called), but that's a journey we don't make very often. In anycase "re-use" is better than recycling. So in my new found creative thriftyness I am going to make the plastic into something fabulous. Well, that's the plan.

I've discovered "plarn", plastic yarn or plastic bags turned into something that can easily be woven, knitted or used to crochet.

The only problem is...

although I used to knit as a child, it turns out I can only do the middle bit (knit one, purl one etc). My aunt, gran or mum would cast on and off for me (or for those of you not knitting minded, that means start and finish, what was usually, a scarf). So my first step is to learn how to knit, properly this time. Thank goodness for the web, the library books were way too advanced. I'll follow the instructions on learn 2 knit and see how I get on. I think I'll practice with some old wool first though.

Charity shops are always great

I popped into a nearby St Elizabeth Hospice shop and picked up three pairs of knitting needles for just 30 pence!! Plus a load of advice about what size needle would be best to learn with. Fab. They had an entire draw full of knitting needles, so I know where to go for more.

Now to rescue that plastic from the bin ...


  1. I'll be interested to see what you knit.

  2. Me too! There wasn't enough suitable plastic in the bin to create a ball of plarn, so I've found some fluffy blue wool to practice on. Not the easiest thing to start knitting with, I can't see where I've dropped or created stitches!

  3. Never mind, it should hide any holes as well. I haven't picked up my needles in a long while. I feel I should when I eventually find the time.

  4. Hi Karin,

    I made a bag with the wool. I figured a scarf is just a bag that hasn't been folded. You are right, the fluffy wool has hidden a multitude of errors, but I'm quite pleased with it. I'll add some photos soon.

  5. I have a friend who knitted a shopping bag from Sainsbury's plastic bags. Itr came out huge but fairly tough - and bright orange. It took her a long time but it seemed to work well enough!

  6. Hi Greenflame.

    Thanks for the comment. I hope your friend likes orange!! I suppose too I'll have to check to see that the bags aren't biodegradable...


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