I've worked with plastic bag yarn (plarn) a total of one time. It was a neat experience to learn what it's all about and I was doing it to participate in an eco-awareness project called Something in the Water so all in all it was a good thing. But it wasn't for me. I didn't really enjoy prepping the bags and I didn't really enjoy the feel of plastic in my fingers where soft baby alpaca fiber should be. I'm glad I did it, though, because it gave me an even greater appreciation for the crocheters out there who are doing truly cool crochet work with plastic bags. I thought I'd mention a few of my favorites here ...
Crochet Plarn Purses
One of the most common items to make from plarn seems to be purses and other bags. There are a few people who are really taking this work to the next level though. For example, Tina Dean Designs has combined savvy business and marketing sense with her plarn work to get her crochet plastic purses featured in swag bags at the Emmys and Oscars. Another plarn bag business owner is Jacky Acosta; she's an undocumented student which means she has to pay full price for college here in the United States and she sells her crochet bags to afford that education. And then there's 83-year-old Billie Johnson who crochets plarn handbags for a different reason: her health. Johnson says that the material and activity help with her arthritis.
Functional crochet is certainly great but I'm personally a fan of crochet art so I've been interested in the art that people are making using plastic bags. Some examples:
2. Lisa Young
Plarn for Good Causes
I mentioned that I had done my plarn work for a good cause. A bunch of us crocheted plastic breasts for an art project designed to raise awareness of the impact of plastic on the drinking water, and therefore the breast milk, of mothers around the world. This is one of many causes using crochet plarn to either raise awareness of an issue or to directly help someone. Plastic bag sleeping mats for the homeless are a great example of directly helping someone with plarn.
Do you crochet with plastic bags?