Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Before you Throw It Away - You need to Read This

It seems as though the holidays take so long to get here and then before you know it, we're left with pleasant memories of smiles, thank you's and full bellies. 

But what isn't pleasant are the visible remains of empty boxes, bags, cards and wrapping paper left to throw away.  And yes, throwing all of these things and more away is the easy thing to do.  Especially, when we're so anxious to get back to normalcy once again. 

But this year, let's try something alittle different ... 

I came across The E-Advisor Blog and they posted a list of 

40 Awesome Upcycling Ideas for Your Post-Holiday Garbage




Leave a comment on how many of the 40 ideas they listed you will do ...

or

leave a comment if you have better ideas ....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pop Tab Plarn Bracelet Crochet-Plarn Along / Part 2 of 2

Sorry for the delay in posting Part 2 of 2 pattern instructions.  Life just has a way of taking over your life. 

Posted below are the final set of pattern instructions for the Pop Tab Front Post Plarn Bracelet Crochet-Plarn Along. 

In Part 2, you will be using a unique stitch - it's what I call the Pop Tab HdcFP st (Half Double Crochet Front Post Stitch): 
·          Pop Tab hdcfp: Yo, insert hook through the front of the pop tab back around and through the back of the next pop tab, yo, pull back through front of 1st pop tab, yo and pull through all 3 sts on hook to complete hdc st.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Pattern Instructions

Round 2:  Sc in same st and in next st, *hdcfp around same pop tab & in next pop tab (pop tab hdcfp: Yo, insert hook through the front of hole  of same pop tab back around to front of next pop tab, yo, pull back through 1st pop tab, yo and pull through all 3 sts on hook to complete hdc st.).  




*Sc in last 2 sts of next pop tab, pop tab hdcfp.  *Repeat around to last pop tab.  Join with a sl st to 1st sc.  Fasten off, weave in ends.


Repeat Round 1 and 2 pattern on the opposite side of the pop tab.


(Optional) Last Stretch - With hands on opposite side of bracelet band, gently pull in opposite direction. Repeat this around. This will align the pop tabs more uniformly giving the bracelet a tailored-neat appearance.



ENJOY YOUR NEW FASHION ACCESSORY or GIFT IT PROUDLY!!!


Don't forget about the Show Off Contest:


Contest Rules:
On Dec 16th, a winner will be randomly selected to receive a prize


If you have any questions about the pattern or any other questions or inquiries, feel free to leave a comment or email me at plastiquerecreations@yahoo.com.


Have a very Merry Christmas but more importantly a Happy and Safe New Year!!



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pop Tab Plarn Bracelet Crochet-Plarn Along / Part 1

Pop Tab Bracelets are the newest fashion trend!!!

This Crochet-Plarn Along is for anyone seeking a 'last minute gift idea' or have a 'hard to buy for person' on their gift list.

See below for detailed Pattern Instructions and Show Off Contest 

Pattern Details:

SKILL LEVEL: Easy



MATERIALS:
Crochet Hook – Size F
Plastic Yarn: Approximately 2 standard size plastic grocery bags
                  If using 2 different colors , 1 plastic bag for each color
14 pop tabs (consistent in size)


Important Note: Not all plastic is made the same. When using plarn, achieving the desired size or gauge is dependent on the texture, thickness and strip width of the plastic yarn.


SIZE: Diameter – 10.25” around, 3” across


CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Hand wash, air dry


ABBREVIATIONS

ch(s) = chain(s)
hdc = half double crochet
hdcfp = half double crochet front post
sc = single crochet
sl = slip
sp = space
st(s) = stitch(es)
yo = yarn over

Helpful Tips:

Read through pattern instructions before beginning.

  • Tutorial:  Pop Tab hdcfp: Yo, insert hook through front of same pop tab back around to front of next pop tab, yo, pull back through front of 1st pop tab, yo and pull through all 3 sts on hook to complete hdc st.
  • When using plarn, stretching your work after every couple of rows is important. This will give you a more realistic view of what you have completed up to that point.    
  • Plastic in general is susceptible to ripping/tearing due to its very nature.   When 'weaving in ends' - it is best to maneuver your craft needle in between stitches and not through a stitch to avoid splitting the plastic yarn.

Part 1 / Linking Pop Tabs

Pattern Instructions:


Round 1: Join with a sl st in a hole of the pop tab, 2 sc in same hole. 



*Grab another pop tab and 3 sc in hole.  (Important Note:  2 sc sts in each hole will work just as well if your plarn is too thick.  You be the judge.)



*Repeat for a total of 14 pop tabs or desired length to fit wrist. (Tip: If you’re making the bracelet for yourself, this is a good stopping point to measure around your wrist.)




To finish Round 1, bring the ends together to form a circle making one more sc in the beginning pop tab.  Join with sl st to 1st sc in same hole. 

 
  This completes Round 1. 



Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about Part 1 pattern instructions.  

Round 2/The final set of pattern instructions will be posted on Sunday, 12/12


  Show Off Contest: 

Contest Rules:
  1. Become a Friend in Facebook
  2. Starting today, Dec 7th thru Wed, Dec 15th post progress pictures to show off your pop tab beauties.  
  3. On Dec 16th, a winner will be randomly selected to receive a prize 
(FYI - for those of you inquired about why I chose to start this C-PAL on Dec 7th, it's a special day for me - my son's 26th birthday)




 
Have fun!!!

 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wrap&Go Checkbook/Wallet Organizer Crochet-Plarn Along / Part 3: The Finale

Part 3/The Finale:


The Wraparound Band and Flower


Wraparound Band:


Row 1: Working on top of flap in the middle, with F hook attach contrasting color with a sl st in on top of a st, sc in same st and in next st, ch 1, turn. (Note: the flower will be placed over this spot hiding the area.)

Row 2 – 16 (or desired length of band): Hdc in each st across, ch 1, turn. Before fastening off, test the length making sure it is long enough by wrapping band around pouch and position end at beginning of band. Even though plarn does stretch, you want the band a little loose so it isn’t so tight when you fill the pouch. Fasten off leaving long enough tail to st end of band to top of flap. Stitch end of band to front of flap.




Flower:

Round 1: With Contrasting color and H hook, using the adjustable ring method, make 7 sc in ring, join with a sl st in 1st sc.


Adjustable Ring method: Make a loop as if to form a knot giving yourself about 4” to 6” of tail. Insert hook through middle of loop (front to back), plarn over, and pull hook back through (back to front). You now should have 1 loop on your hook. Ch 1 as this will count as your first sc. (The standard is ch 1=sc; ch 2=hdc; ch 3=dc). Make the # of sts in the loop making sure to crochet around both the plastic yarn and tail. I suggest making the stitches a little loose so it will be easier to pull the plarn tail. If you start running out of tail, pull the tail to give you more slack, however, you will notice that the loop will get smaller. Now for the fun part – grab the tail and gently pull the stitches together. As you do this, the inner circle gets smaller.


Round 2: 2 sc in each st around. Fasten off.


Round 3: With Main Color, 2 sc in same st, 1 sc in next 2 sts.Repeat around. Do not fasten off but pull out a big enough loop so the stitch doesn’t come out as you will be coming back to it.


Round 4a: With F hook and contrasting color, join with sl st in front loop of a st from Round 3 and following petal pattern: in same st-sc, hdc, sc, sl st in next petal.Repeat around. After completion of last petal, sl st behind a st of 1st petal made. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Round 4b: Insert hook back into loop of round 3, follow petal pattern around: in same st - hdc, dc, 2tr, dc, hdc, sl st in next petal. Repeat around. After completion of last petal, sl st behind a st of 1st petal made. Fasten off, weave in ends.




- OR -


Pop Tab Flower:


Round 1: With contrasting color and F hook, join with sl st in pop tab and make 18 sc around pop tab. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Round 2: With main color and H hook, join with a sl st and sc in same st, *ch 4, sk 2 sts, sc in next st. *Repeat around.


Round 3: In each ch 4 sp, follow petal pattern: sc, hdc, dc, 2tr, dc, hdc, sc. After completion of last petal, sl st behind a st of 1st petal made.


Round 4: Still working behind petal, sl st to 1st tr, *ch 4, sl st in tr of next petal. *Repeat around. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Round 5: With contrasting color, follow petal pattern in each ch 4 sp: *sc, hdc, dc, 3tr, dc, hdc, sc, sl st in sl st of Round 4. *Repeat around. Sl st in 1st sl made of Round 4. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Join main color in front loop of a st in Round 5, sl st in each st around. Fasten off, weave in ends.








Assembly:
Position middle of flower over band ends on top of flap, sew flower to flap.
Final touch, with matching plarn and craft needle, sew remainder of I.D. pocket to flap.



 
Let me know if you have any questions ....  It was pleasure to offer this pattern to you and I hope you enjoyed participating in Plastique's first of many to come Crochet-Plarn Alongs.


If you're ready for more fun, please join me for the next C-PAL.  We will make a pop tab plarn bracelet.

Thanks, Teresa


Find also at:
Facebook: facebook.com/PlastiqRecreatShop online: www.crochooley.etsy .com

Twitter: twitter.com/PlastiqRecreat
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plastirecreations

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pop Tab Bracelet Crochet-Plarn Along

Pop Tab Bracelets have become today's newest fashion jewelry accessory -



But this isn't just any ordinary pop tab bracelet, this is an eco friendly pop tab bracelet because it is made with plarn.

'Plarn' .. it is a commonly used word heard quite a bit in the crafting community. You can find write-ups and tutorials about it on various blogs and websites as well as in YouTube.
What exactly is Plarn? It is a very creative way to recycle plastic bags you bring home from the grocery store, retail stores, and even fast food restaurants.


The word 'Plarn' is derived from 2 words combined:  [Pl (plastic) + Arn (yarn) = Plarn] .


I recently hosted my first Crochet-Plarn Along and had so much fun with it I decided - Hey!!  let's squeeze one more in before saying good-bye to 2010 ....



This Crochet-Plarn Along will be in honor of those that are seeking a 'last minute gift idea' or have a 'hard to buy for person' on their gift list.







The skill level: Easy

This pattern is so super simple that even the newest of new crocheter can do - all you need is:



Materials Needed:
  • Crochet hook - size F
  • Approximately 14 pop tabs consistent in size 
  • 2 standard size plastic grocery bags or 1 of each color
and in less than 30 minutes you’ll have an adorable bracelet just like this.

(except if you're laughing too hard from watching something funny on TV or chatting away with friends ...all of which are completely acceptable and encouraged)


I will share the pattern in 2 sets beginning Tues, 12/7 and last posting on Sun, 12/12.


If you interested in participating, please leave me a comment or email me at plastiquerecreations@yahoo.com.

Find Plastique Recreations:

www.facebook.com/plastiqrecreat
www.twitter.com/plastiqrecreat
shop online at: http://www.crochooley.etsy.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/plastirecreations

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wrap&Go Checkbook/Wallet Organizer Crochet-Plarn Along / Part 2: The Party Continues

Part 2:

Making the fold over flap with inside I.D. Pocket and Pen Holder


We will be using the rev sc (aka Crab St) in Part 2.  If you are familiar with how to make the rev sc, feel free to jump down to 'Pattern Instructions'.  

Here's how to make a rev sc stitch (aka crab st):  It may feel a little odd because you’re make a sc just going in the opposite direction (i.e. left to right).  Insert hook, plarn over and pull through  (2 loops on hook), plarn over and draw through both loops.  Continue in each st. 

----------------------------------
Pattern Instructions

Fold over Flap -

Decide which side of pouch will be the back, with back side facing you still using the H hook, attach contrasting color with a sl st in corner st.


Row 1 & 2: Sc in same st and in each st across. (Fast Forward moment:  the 2nd row will be placement of the pen holder.)


Row 3: In blo, hdc in each st across. Turn.


Row 4 -7: Hdc in each st across. 

Photo 8

Row 8: (This row will be the width of your I.D. or other card that will be used.) Hdc in each st across only for the desired width of the card. Turn.





Photo 9

Row 9 – 15: Hdc in each st across. Fasten off, weave in ends.




Photo 10 - Outside Back View


Photo 11 - Inside View



ID Pocket:

(Note:  The Pocket is made separately then attached to the inside flap by making a rev sc through both layers when edging around the flap.)


Row 1: Ch the same # of sts to match Row 8 plus 2.  Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.


Row 2: Hdc in each st across. Turn.


Row 3: Hdc in next 2 sts. Turn.


Row 4: Repeat row 3. Turn. Remove st off hook (DO NOT FASTEN OFF, you'll be coming back to it.


With wrong side of pocket facing you, join sl st in 1st st on opposite side of Row 3, hdc in same st and in next st. Turn, Repeat row 3 &4.  Fasten off, weave in ends.



Photo 12
 Row 5: Place hook back on st, hdc in next 2 sts, ch 9 or the the # of skipped stitches on Row 3,  hdc in the last 2 sts.  Turn.


Row 6 – 8 (or desired height of I.D. card): Hdc in each st across. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Photo 13

Lay pocket on inside flap to determine what row to rev sc through both layers of the pocket and flap.  (Tip:  I found it works best to have the ID opening lined up with the 2nd row from the top of the flap, see photo 16.  This avoids any hang-over)  

With contrasting color and back of pouch facing you, join with a sl st in lower left corner. Rev sc up the side attaching I.D. pocket along the way, 


Photo 14



Photo 15

2 rev sc in corner, rev sc across top (in flap only), 2 rev sc in corner, back down opposite side (including I.D. pocket) of flap and around pocket opening to 1st rev sc made.  Fasten off, weave in ends.  The remainder of I.D. pocket will be attached with craft needle.

FYI - RecycleCindy raised a valid concern so I wanted to share this with you. She didn't like the way her rev sc was turning out so she chose to do a regular sc st around. If this is your choice, then here are the directions for doing a sc st edging:   assuming your right handed, (referring to photo 10) join with a sl st at the bottom right corner of the flap, up the side to the corner, now going left across the edge of skipped sts, to the corner that would start the first joining of the I.D. pocket to the flap, up the side to the top right corner, the sc’s from the corner to the corner is a single layer in just the flap. You’re now at the opposite corner, sc thru both layers now attaching the other side of I.D. pocket, going back down the left side then arriving at the bottom corner parallel from where you started. Fasten off


Photo 16



Pen Holder:



Determine how wide of a holder you desire for the pen and placement of the holder.  (Tip: I prefer 8 sts evenly centered on the flap.  There is no right or wrong, it's a personal preference.) With inside flap facing you, join with a sl st in the 1st st of the pen holder, sc in same st and in each desire # across.  Turn,

Photo 17

Sc in each st across for 4 total rows or # of rows needed for pen.  (Tip: Plarn has some stretch to it.   You want it to fit snug.)  


Photo 18



Attaching - sl st in each st across to attach holder to flap.  Finish off, weave in ends. 

Photo 19



Photo 20

You did it, you now have a Wallet/Checkbook Organizer. 

But were not done yet!!!  Just 1 more set of instructions left.  Please continue to provide the fantastic feedback.  

Feel free to post your comments, questions and/or progress pictures via this blog post or at any one of the following sites:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/plastiqrecreat (you will have to be a friend for real time 'chat')
Ravelry: (Crochooley) Group - From Trash to Treasures
Craftsters.org: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=364976.0
Crochetville: http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=122076

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wrap&Go Checkbook/Wallet Organizer Crochet-Plarn Along - Part 1: Let's Get This Party Started

(added excellent feedback received from plarn crocheters participating in this C-PAL)



We've been spreading the word ...  the time has finally arrived for us to get crazy.

The pattern instructions for the Wrap & Go Checkbook/Wallet Organizer will be offered in the following 3 increments:

Part 1 Instructions:  Pouch
Part 2 Instructions:  Flap
Part 3/Finale Instructions:  Wraparoundband & Flower

Here are hints/tips I offer on all my patterns:

Read through the pattern instructions before beginning.
• When using plarn, it’s a good idea to stretch your work after every couple of rows. This will give you a more realistic view of what you have completed up to that point.
• Ch 1 at beginning of each row is not counted as the 1st stitch.
• Plastic in general is susceptible to ripping/tearing due to its very nature.
   o Weaving in ends - it is best to maneuver your craft needle in between the stitch or stitches to avoid splitting the plastic yarn.

-------------------------- 
Practice Swatch:

I typically don’t suggest making a practice swatch because achieving a certain height/width is an individual preference. However, it is suggested to ensure the Organizer is the wide enough for what you propose to put in it.


Ch 22, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and each st across. Row 2-4: Hdc in each st across. Lay piece on flat surface and place the widest item that you will put in the Organizer once it is completed on top. The piece should be slightly (not much) wider than the item. If more width is needed, try again with additional # of ch sts until desired width is achieved.
---------------------------
MATERIALS:

• Crochet Hook – Size F & H
• Plastic Yarn (NOTE: 12 – 1” strips per standard size plastic bag = 6 yards):
   o Main Color – Approximately 20 plastic bags
   o Contrasting Color – Approximately 10 plastic bags
• Craft needle

ABBREVIATIONS Pattern Instructions:

blo = back loop only
ch(s) = chain(s)
dc = double crochet
flo – front loop only
hdc = half double crochet
rev sc = reverse single crochet
sc = single crochet
sl = slip
sp = space
st(s) = stitch(es)
tog = together
tr (treble or triple)






With H hook and main color, ch 22 or # determined with practice swatch.
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across.  Ch1, turn.
Row 2 – 22 (or desired height): Hdc in each st across.  Finish with right side.

 
(Tip: Depth determines Height. To ensure an accurate height is achieved, fold the piece in half and place whatever you will be using the Organizer (e.g. checkbook, calculator, cell phone, etc.) for inside. This gives a more accurate way of determining if additional rows will need to be added for height. 


Photo 1


Photo 2








Ch 1, sc in end st (1st corner) and in end st of each row to corner, 3 sc in corner, across edge to corner, 3 sc in corner, sc in end st of each row matching up with opposite side (Important:  evenly match up sts on both sides or the rows will not have a straight line appearance when stitching up the sides, refer to photo 6), 3 sc in corner, across edge back to corner, 2 sc in corner (back at 1st corner), join with a sl st in beginning sc.  Fasten off, weave in ends.
Photo 3


Sides (repeat on both sides):

With contrasting color and wrong side facing you, join with a sl st at the corner and sc in each st across, ch 1 turn. Sc in each st across. Fasten off leaving about 6” tail for sewing sides together.


Photo 4
Fold piece in half lengthwise with right sides together (wrong side out), st sides together with tail. (Stitch Suggestion – whip st the blo of one side and flo of other side [the 2 sts back to back]).  Fasten off; weave in all loose plarn ends.
Photo 5

Turn pouch inside out and push out bottom corners. Just give the pouch a good stretch, tug and pull on both the front and sides.   a sl st in 1st sc st.

Photo 6



Please feel free to post your comments, questions and/or progress pictures via this blog post or at any one of the following sites:
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/plastiqrecreat (you will have to be a friend for real time 'chat')
Ravelry:  Group - From Trash to Treasures


11/28- Sharing the excellent feedback received from a few plarn crocheters - RecycleCindy and KristyRecycles ....


1) Both used a ch base of 28 w/hdc in 2nd chain from hook instead of the ch 22 I used. RecycleCindy is using newspaper sleeve plastic yarn which would have a completely different texture/thickness than the Dollar General or Lowe's plastic yarn I have used.


This confirms my previous comments of what to consider when using plarn for any project -
a) the type of plastic bag - textures/thickness differs
b) tension - loose or tight crochet stitch
c) width of plastic strip - determines gauge


2) Ch 2 at row end was used as an alternative for a more taylored edge.


More feedback to received -
11/30 - Received progress update from a fellow Craftster crocheter participating in this C-PAL:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=364976.msg...  / Reply #18 … she even included pics …

This is so awesome!!! Keep the feedback coming -luv it!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Plastic Bag Yarn aka Plarn


Move Over Yarn and Make Room For Plarn!!!

'Plarn' ..  it is a commonly used word heard quite a bit in the crafting community.    You can find write-ups and tutorials about it on various blogs and websites as well as in YouTube.

What exactly is Plarn?  It is a very creative way to recycle plastic bags you bring home from the grocery store, retail stores, and even fast food restaurants.  

The word 'Plarn' is derived from 2 words combined:  


[Pl (plastic) + Arn (yarn) =

Plarn]  . 

Let's go one step further - Now that you know what 'Plarn' is, how do you turn the plastic bag into plastic yarn? 

The 2 commonly used methods are:
2) Single (Continuous) Strand Cutting Method

The Looping Method is a fun activity to do as a family or the next time you hear 'Mom, I'm bored, there's nothing to do...').    You can have lots of fun looping plastic in a group setting such as church, at school or at work on lunch.  Heck, this is a great way to make the time go faster while waiting at the dentist or dr's office instead of reading 2 year old magazines.  

Plarn is very easy to use in both knitting and crocheting and is also visually appealing.  

Here are just a few of the different types of plarn you will find available in the Plastique Plarn Shop:


Made from Marsh Supermarket plastic bags


Made from Publix Grocery Store plastic bags

Made with Dollar General plastic bags

or go crazy and mix it up with VHS tape:

Mint Chocolate Chip which is plied VHS tape & WalMart produce plastic bags


If you are new to using plastic yarn, I hope this information is helpful.   

I welcome any comments or questions via this post or send me a private message at plastiquerecreations@yahoo.com.



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Plastic Yarn Preparation

I can't believe the overwhelming number of responses received and still receiving for the C-PAL.  It really is exciting to hear from both crocheters and non-crocheters... 

Let me take this opportunity to address a few questions from the individuals not quite ready to take the plunge.  


Most are concerned with ....  where to begin / what to do first?   

For those that have never tried using plastic bag yarn (aka plarn), I have outlined below some helpful hints and tips:  


1) Where to find plastic bags:   Majority of the grocery stores (e.g. WalMart, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Publix, etc.) typically have a recycle container located at the front entrance.  You should have no problem finding an ample supply of plastic bags in the container.  The recycle containers are either a cardboard boxes (with or without a lid) or something fancier as a hard plastic green colored container with a slot on the front for depositing.   


For this type of container, there should be a key turn on the side. Just turn the key, open it in front and choose from what's in there.   The recycle container could also be located in the checkout area.    If that's the case,  I suggest going to the Customer Service counter and letting the manager know what you're doing and make sure they have no objections.  I have yet to be told no  (but, I always have an example of a plarn item on me so I show them what I make with the plastic bags and the fascination puts them into a trance).  Also, be prepared for the stares and questions.  


2) RECOMMENDATION: Whether you choose to pick through the recycle container at the store or wait until you get home - I strongly urge, recommend, suggest you wear some form of hand protection - (e.g. playtex gloves, etc.). Over the years, I have discovered that people also use plastic bags for various other things (to be specific, dog poop) and they'll put those nasty plastic bags in with the other plastic bags. And believe me I have come across much worst than dog poop ..


3) Finding what you want:  There are many various types of plastic bags but amongst the popular are the t-shirt style most grocery stores use
and shiny merchandise/retain store bags .
 
If you're new to crafting with plastic yarn, I strongly recommend choosing the t-shirt bag as these are easier to work with.  The retail bag has a tendency to resist the crochet hook. 


4) Once you've picked the plastic bags you will be using for this project it's time to make plastic yarn.  You can access the tutorials on how to make plastic yarn on my blog.  The 2 creative ways are: 1) double-strand method (cutting the plastic bag into loops and looping the strips together) or 2) continuous strand method (making 1 long strand).   There are also other sites on the internet that also offers tutorials including YouTube.

As I indicated in my previous post, I recommend that a practice swatch be made prior to beginning the project because:
Not all plastic is made the same.  When using plarn, achieving a desired size or gauge is dependent on texture, thickness and strip width of the plastic yarn. 

Hopefully you will find this information helpful as you prepare for the C-PAL.  By all means please leave me any comments or questions that you might have.  Feel free to email me privately at plastiquerecreations@yahoo.com.

Let the count down begin - 7 days remaining

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crochet - Plarn Along

Let me be the first to invite you to participate in Plastique Recreations first

Crochet-Plarn Along (C-PAL for short)

Before going any further I don't want to presume that everyone knows what a 'crochet-along' is let alone what 'plarn' is. 

What is a Crochet-Along?  
An online virtual event where crocheters get together and work on a particular pattern together.  It is also an opportunity to share experiences, offer suggestions, and give helpful tips/hints to each other.  

What is plarn?  It is a creative way to reuse plastic bags by turning it into yarn.  [Plastic (pla) + Yarn (arn) = Plarn]

This C-PAL is being offered to give any yarncrafter who has always wanted to crochet with plastic yarn, but didn't know where to start, the opportunity.

About Me - My name is Teresa and I have been crocheting for 41 years.  I celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary in August of this year and have 3 fantastic kids.  My first experience with crocheting with plastic bags was merely by accident about 15 years ago.  I was contracted to make an item and had just enough yarn for the project but not enough to make a practice swatch.  I remembered looking around and found plastic bags tucked away in a drawer.  I figured out how to cut the strips into something that would resemble yarn.  I was so intrigued on the texture and appearance of the swatch I ended up making the entire item with the plastic yarn.  Needless to say, so did my client and that's what she ended up paying me for.  I have perfected my cutting technique over the years and have preferred plastic yarn ever since.   

Who is invited to participate in the C-PAL?  Anyone and Everyone.  Don't keep this a secret.  Help me spread the word.  Tell everyone you know that crochets -blog about it... twitter about it... facebook about it ...myspace about it...  and any other media venue you can think of.


The skill level for this C-PAL is 'Easy' so everyone from novice to seasoned can join in the fun! 

What is the project for the 1st C-PAL?  One of Plastique Recreation's original designs, the Wrap & Go Checkbook/Wallet Organizer.   
S&S Food and Home Depot plastic bag yarn
ACE Hardware and Red newspaper sleeve plastic bag yarn

Top pic - Taco Bell & Purple newspaper sleeve plastic bag yarn
Bottom pic - Lowe's and Dollar General plastic bag yarn
 


Why was this chosen as the first project?  Because of  the overwhelming number of requests received for this pattern and because it is 'EASY' for the 1st P-CAL. 


When will the C-PAL start?  It will start on Sunday, November 28th.

Where and When will the pattern instructions be delivered?  The first installment of pattern instructions will be posted here on Sunday, Nov 28th; 2nd installment of pattern instructions will follow on Thursday, Dec 2nd; and the 3rd/final installment of pattern instructions on Sunday, Dec 5th.

How does it work? Once the pattern instructions are posted on  11/28, 12/2 & 12/5, I will also update the following medias:
  • Plastique Recreation's facebook (www.facebook.com/plastiqrecreat) page each time with the blog link.  Facebook is a excellent interactive tool that will be of real benefit for anyone that wants to chat real time. For the record - you DO NOT have to friend me on facebook to participate. My blog will be the primary point of communication.  However, you do have to friend me to participate in the real time interactive chat.
  • Ravelry's 'From Trash to Treasures/Crochet-Plarn Along' topic thread.

I encourage anyone participating to leave comment posts for suggestions, questions and progress pictures on any of the medias - blog, facebook and Ravelry.  However, the best place for it to be is on the blog.  If for any other reason but for retention. 




Why is this starting on 11/28?Firstly) from now until the 28th, most of us will be pre-occupied with Thanksgiving activities.
Secondly) 11/28 is my birthday and I will be turning 50 this year.  The gift of giving is the best gift of all to receive.



Why is the C-PAL only lasting one week because normally they last much longer?  Christmas is just around the corner and after you make one for yourself, you'll be addicted and realize this will make the perfect gift.   Thus, giving you plenty of time to make up as many as you can in time for Christmas.

When does the C-PAL come to an end and how long will the pattern be available?  There is no 'official' end date.  Pattern instructions will be accessible on my blog and I will continue to make myself available to answer any questions via the blog or facebook for past, present and future C-PALs that I am planning.  Continue to crochet at your own pace and at your leisure. 


I really can't think of any other questions. I tried to think of anything someone might ask. If I missed anything, don't hesitate to leave a comment post. 

I hope you are as excited about participating in my 1st C-PAL as I am hosting it.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions. Feel free to email me at http://www.blogger.com/.


Now on to pattern details for those who want to participate -

Plarn and other materials needed:
Important thing to remember about using plastic yarn:

Not all plastic is made the same.  When using plarn, achieving the desired size or gauge is dependent on the texture, thickness and strip width of the plastic yarn. 
  • Plastic Yarn - 20 standard size plastic bags for each color.  This really is more than enough.  Everyone crochets differently (i.e. tight, loose) so this is to ensure you don't run short.
  • Crochet Hook:  size H
  • Craft Needle

Other Details:
FINISHED SIZE: Width-7 1/2"; Height-5" Gauge Info:  Typically, I don't worry much about the gauge.  However, I do recommend it for this project if you want to ensure the Organizer is a specific width/height that you want it to be. 

GAUGE: 5 hdc = 1”; 3 rows = 1 ¼”