Since I posted my crochet Sea Creatures on Flickr in November, 2006, many people have asked me how I make the plastic bag yarn. So here is a How to lesson. There are many different techniques, but I found this one worked best for me. Be warned..... it's very time consuming, but strangely cathartic.
** I have added an alternative technique tutorial at the end. This makes a continuous strip without knots.* *
1. The bags I use are thin shopping bags with handles. They come mostly in white, greys, blues and greens. Occassionally I find a pink, red or orange bag but these are very rare. Make sure the bags are clean. Wash and dry if necessary.
2. Flatten the seams and smooth the wrinkles.
3. Fold the bag longitudinally into a 2.5 - 3cm wide strip. Handles at one end and bottom seam at the other.
4. Cut off handles and bottom seam. These can be used for other embellishments. See Cunjevoi Garden.
5. Cut remaining folded strip into 'biscuits' to whatever width you prefer. A good width is approximately 2cm. I use a 2.5mm - 3mm steel crochet hook for this width.
6. Unfold biscuits (loops). Knot loops together into one long piece of double-stranded yarn.
7. Tighten the knot.
8. Resulting double-stranded yarn.
9. Wind the yarn up into balls.
This technique has been around for decades. I have been told by friends, their mothers and grandmothers made sun hats from plastic bread bags. The covered coathanger was given to me by my friend, Susan, who found it in an Opshop on the south coast (thanks). I especially love the colours of this piece.
Mmmmmm....... I have been toying with the idea of making a raincoat!