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 ( 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

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”


  1. Great project! I wish I could hoping to learn very soon!

    Hope you visit my way!

  2. Wow, that is a lot of work, isn't it? What a great idea!

  3. I'd love to Plarn along! Now that I know I can use any type of bags. This sounds so fun, I can't wait to try it!

    courtney (thestrumpetstentacle)