Crochet

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Crochet · Eco friendly · Recycling · Zero Waste

Bread Bag Plarn

Bread bags make really great Plarn and it’s so easy I promise. You’ll be plarning all your bags, thin carrier bags, toilet roll bags and bread bags. This loop method works well for all of these.

It doesn’t suit thicker plastics like the “bags for life” (pah who are they kidding!) though. Try the spiral or continuous plarn method for these instead. There’s plenty tutorials out there so just google “continuous plarn” and up they’ll come.

So back to our bread bag plarn. First shake out bread crumbs and ideally rinse out and air dry your bags to avoid any mould forming from food residue.

1. Lay out your bag and smooth it out

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2. Fold in half lengthways

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3. Fold in half again

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4. And again so you have a long thin rectangle.

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5. Trim off the open end to neaten up.

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6. Trim off the closed end just above where it joins sides to ensure it’s all off put aside to disgard (I put mine in with torn unusable bags for recycling)

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7. Fold over in half and holding both ends taught, snip. This is a super neat and easy way to cut it.

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8. Repeat folding in half and cutting each piece until you have pieces approx 1″ wide or just bigger. This is a perfect size.

9. Open out your strips. If you have distinctly different colours you may want to seprate them out and make up small plarn balls in each colour.  If not just go with multicolour and start joining.

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10. Take 2 strips and loop one through the other. Pull to form a knot, and gently tighten. If you pull too hard it will stretch and may snap so easy does it.

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11. Continue to join and then roll up into a ball.

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It’s practical to make plarn as you need it rather than make big balls of it. There’s a few reasons I suggest this. Firstly you may want to work with set colours or work on a project that has colour changes so you’ll only want to make enough and no more. You can’t just snip the way you do with yarn, you’d have to unjoin and that’s difficult  to do without snapping it.  To change colour just loop on new plarn and away you go.

If you fancy getting started on a plarn project I’ve put a few fab links together in my last post here

So have fun making Plarn and do let me know how you get on.

x💖x

Crochet · Crochet patterns · Eco friendly

Recycle or Plarn it

Our world today is packed with plastic. Everything’s wrapped in the stuff, often unnecessarily so. The problem is of course the rubbish and our very poor management of that, but there are some plastic wrapping we can recycle and reuse yet many don’t know.

Go check your bread bags. Here in the UK they can be recycled with plastic bags. Seriously who knew about this? I don’t think anyone knows. I didn’t until I started thinking about reducing and reusing plastic in my crafts. But here’s what’s on the back of my bread bags.IMG_1522140151442

So we CAN recycle if only we know and want to of course. There are plenty other plastic bags with the same message on, so do check if you want to keep some plastic out of landfill.

A super alternative is to turn them into Plarn (plastic yarn) and knit, crochet or weave with them to make all kinds of sturdy and useful things. It makes great strong bags and baskets that last for years and years. And the really great thing is you’ll need loads of bags to make anything. So the impact is potentially massive, not just for your own rubbish reduction but you can collect bags from neighbours and friends, even set something up with a local school or cafe to make a bigger community impact.

Making plarn is really easy. You can use plastic carrier bags too, not just bread bags.

Crocheting with it is, well I’ll be honest, a bit of a chore. It’s hard on your hands and you need a strong hook too. But bare with me here, while I would not recommend it if you have arthritic hands, it’s easily manageable in small bursts.

Now don’t be disheartened. It’s ok, because getting a good supply of bags will take time. So it’s ideal to just make more plarn as you get the bags and create a row or two at a time. To give you an idea of the scale of working with plarn, this is a bag project I just started.
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Can you guess how many bread bags I’ve used here?

Eight … yup it’s going to take hundreds  of bags to make a lovely big shopper style bag. But how good will it feel to proudly use this bag knowing it stopped x hundred bread bags going in the bin. Pretty awesome 😀

Fancy giving it a go? My next post is coming shortly on how to make plarn. I’ll link it here. There are lots of instructions by others so just google ‘how to make plarn’ and you can get started right now.

Here’s some ideas for you on what you can make. Most are free patterns.

My fav, how pretty is this bag?
http://thecrochetfoyer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/cutest-plarn-grocerybeach-bag.html?m=1
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A free download for easy reference for this one and in 2 sizes too: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/recycled-bags-tote-flat-bottom
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This next link is to a very talented eco crocheter who has loads of patterns using plarn. Well worth a look around her site. While many of her patterns are paid for, she has plenty free ones too like this one.
http://www.myrecycledbags.com/2008/03/08/recycled-pl…
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A yarn bowl, we all need one of these!
http://two-little-cs.blogspot.com/2014/11/diy-yarn-bowl-tutorial-pattern.html
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A reusable gift box or just a practical lidded box to use at home.
http://expimag.blogspot.com/2008/12/recycled-giftwra…
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So there’s lots of choice out there, you really can make all manner of things from plarn. You can even just work with your fav patterns with a little adapting. Check out pinterest and ravelry for loads more ideas.

Have fun and feel free to share your pics and experiences in the comments.

x💖x

 

Crochet

Seaside Stash Busting Blanket CAL – by Coastal Crochet

https://wp.me/p5NoJz-2rK

I have been seeing so many gorgeous pics of this CAL on WordPress, Facebook and Instagram that I must give in to the temptation and just join in 😀 They’re on week 10 now eeeek! Can I catch up? I’m definitely gonna try …

So stash is out (can’t possibly show you, my hubby might find out 😱) and a few colours being hummed and hawed over. Ok when I say few, I do mean several but ok I’ll show you them …

I have a few full balls in gorgeous colours so I think they might feature strongly and loads of wee scrappy balls that I really hope I can get a row each from.

Indecisiveness is high on my list of flaws so choosing so many colours for this is going to challenge me BUT that’s just what we need sometimes and I can always ask the kids to really mix it up!

Anyone else doing this CAL? Do comment to let me know how it’s going and oooh please show me your gorgeous pics too 💕

Crochet · Crochet patterns · Writing

Frost the Winter Fairy

Woods are truly magical places all year round but there’s nothing quite so magical as a visit to Brambly Wood after the Winter Fairy has been … and been she has, rather a lot …

The narrow pathway through the trees now glistens with tiny little lights while each step sounds with a delicate crisp leaving barely a mark on the firm sparkly ground. Silver and white sprinkles adorn the spindly bare branches and drape frosty shimmers over the trunks of even the toughest old trees. The evergreen leaves and the carpet of those fallen are dusted with glitter and sparkles.

No, a more magical place you’re unlikely to see, I wonder is anyone else here today or is it just you and me?

“Gordie” …. “Hello” … but silence …

The silence is peaceful yet so unusual here in Brambly Wood. So we walk along the sparkly path some more, until we hear voices just up ahead …

Amidst a small clearing sitting at a quaint little table are Gordie and … Oh my goodness … She’s still here … Frost the Winter Fairy!

Gordie & Frost
Frost & Gordie (by Harry, age 4)

“Oh good day, good day, good day, old friend and new” says Gordie as he sees us approaching. “Come join us for tea, please do, please do, please do”

“Hello and thank you, a kind offer I must say, and what an honour it is to meet you, the Winter Fairy, on this fine frosty day”

Gordie and Frost 2
Gordie and Frost (by Evan age 9)

We take a seat at the table and share a hot pot of tea with the friendliest troll and the most beautiful fairy we ever did see.

She shimmers and sparkles glittery twinkles

With each movement she scatters her magical sprinkles

With such a beauty so precious

And so fleeting to see

There’s none more enchanting

Than Frost the Winter Fairy

Wouldn’t you agree?

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/frost-fairy
Frost the Winter Fairy
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/frost-fairy
Frost Fairy

I’ll let you into a wee secret. I’ve met the delightful Frost before. She loves to be around humans you know, but few of us like the cold so she asked me to crochet her so she could make lots of human friends. And of course I did, who could resist such a sweet plea?

Would you like to make your own shimmery Winter Fairy to delight someone special year round?

My pattern is pretty easy, using simple common stitches, has been well tested and is downloadable on Ravelry. Just click on one of her pictures to go there. Or click here.

Do pop back and tell us of your adventures with her. I heard a whisper of a tale where she once defeated the Queen of Ice (who’s not very nice), it’s quite a story, perhaps she’ll tell us one day …

Crochet · Crochet patterns · Free crochet patterns

Top 5 Cute Free Heart Crochet Patterns

Feeling the love for Hearts? I definitely am here at MMM hq 💞 I’m heart crazy busy making and labelling for the wonderful Makey Mamas Hearts for NICU Mum’s on Mother’s Day project, where crocheters and Knitters all over the country are making gorgeous hearts for mums with poorly babies to hold on Mother’s Day. It’s such a beautiful project to make for.

As Scotland’s lead for this project I’ve enlisted the help of other crafters and here’s my dining room table today as I was counting out hearts for my local NICU/SCBU units.

I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a beautiful display of love and very pretty hearts too 💞

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Finding free heart patterns wasn’t as straight forward as you’d think though, lots of gorgeous Pinterest links turned out to be not free patterns or not in English. But worry not, find plenty I did, in a variety of styles and sizes to suit all manner of hearty projects. Here are my favourites:

1. A Teeny Tiny heart that’s seriously easy and quick to whip up. Perfect for adorning cards, keyrings, toys, and even making jewellery or cute little hair clips. It’s so versatile and what’s really great is you don’t need to work with tiny hooks and thread to get a really small heart, the pattern uses DK yarn! Ok, ok, it’s my pattern so I’m biased but seriously, how cute?Teeny Tiny Heart2. Basic Heart by Crochetleaf. My favourite pattern for the Makey Mama’s hearts! Easy, well written pattern, that is quick to do and delivers a pretty heart. You can vary the size a lot just by your hook size and of course go jumbo sized with Super Bulky yarn if you need a simple but big heart.151765120469914467034331446703433.jpg3. Daisy Heart by Daisy Cottage Designs. Such a pretty design, this has been a favourite of mine for a few years! Makes a beautiful hanging decoration you can give as a gift. It’s a little trickier to master than the simple styled hearts but the result is so delightful it is definitely worth it.15176513536656436467851446703433.jpg4. Sunburst Granny Heart by Bunny Mummy. Adorable, just adorable! Make a garland or gorgeous hanging decorations. You can really explore colour with this pattern and have lots of fun. It’s pretty easy too, which is always a bonus!1517651562963-2905877321446703433.jpg5. Simple Coaster Heart by Ling Ryan at Hooked On Patterns. Aren’t these cute? What a lovely place to rest your cuppa! Another simple pattern that delivers a gorgeous heart that you, of course, don’t have to use as a coaster, you could make a bag, a pot holder, go jumbo and turn it into a stunning rug. So many possibilities.1517651681501-1739631424643646785.jpgSo there we are, go try them out, you’ll love them, I promise. Please do come back and tell us all about your lovely makes 💞

Crochet

Spiral Snuggly Yumminess

I actually made something for me 💕 How many of us yarnaholics achieve this? and so early in the year too! I spent all of last year making lots of things for others but not one single thing for me.

In the autumn I made several pairs of gorgeous mitts (this fab Moogly pattern ), with some matching hats too. And using the same gorgeous yarn, my fav yarn of the season, Soft & Smooth Aran by The Women’s Institute at Hobby craft, I made a gorgeous swirl beanie that sold at the first fair I took it to.  It is worth mentioning here that the Moogly designed items also flew off the tables at both fairs I did. Mitts are definitely a must-make for autumn/winter fairs.

Back to my hat now though, alas, I foolishly didn’t write down how I made it! Oops, I didn’t even take a picture, as it was made so close to the craft fair and in a short burst of creativity.  It was only my 3rd stall ever, and at a new venue so I guess I didn’t expect it to sell.

Now, if I’m totally honest, I’d happily have kept the hat for myself, I liked it that much! So it had stayed in my thoughts and on my to do list to recreate it asap!

However I also really rather loved the Moogly mitts, although the button would have caught on my tight storm cuffs on my super fab trusty old cope-with-any-weather parka, which I also love and very much need in the wild Highland weather! But I needed mitts soooo …

I decided to create spiral mitts using a very similar design to the gorgeous, but, not meant for me, hat.  I did, of course, search Ravelry and Pinterest for a pattern first, I always do before I spend hours trying to figure out a pattern. Why reinvent the wheel so to speak, if someone else has already got a beautiful pattern available I’ll happily buy it and save myself some time.  But there wasn’t a single pattern to be found for the spiral pattern I had in my head! I did worry there may be a reason for this, but cracked on with it anyway and here’s what I made …

Spiral Mitts

Spiral Mitt

The pattern is almost finished being written up but I’ll pop it off to a couple of testers to be sure of no mistakes before sharing it here.

So what do you think? I’m thinking fab free pattern …

It will be here before Spring I promise!  And what’s even more exciting than a new free pattern? Two new free patterns! I’ve done the hat too.

That’ll be the next blog post then 😉

See you soon xxx