HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!!
If you have been keeping up with me since I started this business, or following me on social media, you probably have picked up on how much I love integrating recycled materials into my business as much as possible! Whether it be, recycling maps for my product bags, or using yarn scraps to make colorful Christmas ornaments, I am always thinking of ways to reuse the materials around me. And what better way than to share one of my most recent recycling obsessions than on EARTH DAY!?
In this post, I will be showing you how to take scrap yarn and plastic grocery bags to crochet adorable fun and functional little baskets.
Here’s what you will need
– Plastic Bags- The number of bags you will need depends on how big you want your basket to be. For the basket in this tutorial, I used about 3.5 plastic Hobby Lobby bags.
– Scrap Yarn- You can also use new yarn if you don’t like the look of the scrap yarn bowls. I am using leftover skeins of Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn.
– Tapestry Needle
– Crochet Hook- I am using a Susan Bates size I hook made by Hook Ewe over on Etsy. Feel free to play with different hook sizes with this pattern and see how the finished baskets vary.
– Stich Marker or scrap piece of yarn.
– Embellishments- These are optional, but if you wanted to sew on a tag, pompoms, tassels, etc. to your finished basket, that would be super adorable!
SC- Single Crochet
INC- Single Crochet Increase
*-Repeat whats between
Things to know before we start
– These baskets are made in the round using the single crochet stitch.
– Be careful to keep your tension consistent throughout or your basket will start to get wonky.
– Twisting your bags can make them easier to crochet around, but keep that consistent as well.
-Do not pull too tightly on your bags you are working around or your basket will start to get skinner and pull towards the middle.
OK LET’S GET STARTED!
First, we’re going to make our Plarn (plastic yarn)
Flatten out one of your plastic bags, fold it 3-4 times hotdog style, with the bottom of the bag on one side and the handles on the other. Cut off the handles and the bottom of the bag, then cut the remaining strip in half. This will give you two loops to knot together and begin crocheting around.
Open up both loops, place one over the other, insert your hand under one of the loops, grab the rest of the bag (same one your looped under) and pull until you have a nice even knot in the middle. If you have never made plarn before here is a helpful video showing you how (skip to 6 minutes if you just want to see how they’re looped together). It’s a little hard to describe in words.
After you have knotted together your first two plarn loops, grab your first color of scrap yarn you want to use, create a slipknot and insert your crochet hook. Lay your working yarn down and place the tip of your plarn loop on top of your working yarn. Working over the plarn, yarn over and pull through tightly to secure your yarn onto the plastic bag loop.
Put your hook under the plarn, grab your yarn, and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through two, creating your first Single Crochet (SC). Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8SC stitches. Give your plarn a little tug just so your stitches are lined up nicely, leaving a small plarn tail (don’t do it too hard or you will pull the plarn completely out of the stitches). Put your stitch marker into the 8th SC stitch.
This next part’s a little tricky.
Coil your 8SC stitches into its self. You are going to start your increase stitches (putting two single crochet stitches in the same stitch). Insert your hook into the first SC you made, be sure to also go under the plarn, yarn over and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through both loops creating your SC. Repeat in the same stitch to finish your increase (INC). Put two SC stitches into each of the 8 original SC stitches for a total of 16SC around. Move your stitch marker into the 16th SC. You will always move your stitch marker up to the last SC in the round so you know where your next round should end.
This is a good time to lay your work flat on your table and begin adjusting all the stitches by pressing down on your work and moving the stitches around the plarn. The key is to keep the base of your basket as flat as possible. It shouldn’t be curving up at this point.
Now it gets easier. We are going to continue increasing by 8 until we get our basket base as big as we want it. Remember to flatten and adjust your basket as you are working, during and after each round. Whenever you get to the end of a plarn loop, just attach another loop and continue. (refer to the video linked above if you need help adding loops)
When you get to the end of your first color of yarn, just attach your next color and continue crocheting around.
Here is a video link to the method I use for seamlessly joining a new scrap yarn color to my working yarn.
Round 3: *INC, SC* around (24)
Round 4: *INC, SC, SC* around (32)
Round 5: *INC, SC, SC, SC* around (40)
This is as far as I have increased my basket base. If you wanted to make your basket larger just continue increasing by 8 in each round, until you get your desired base size.
Now we are going to grow the height of our basket by just SC stitching around until it is as tall as you want. Once you start working on the “wall” of your basket, you will see it start to flip the wrong direction (wrong side out). Just adjust your stitches so you have the right side out. After you get your first full wall row (without increases) adjusted the rest just kinda follow in line. I think I did about 5 rounds for my basket. Remember to continue to adjust your stitches throughout the rounds so your basket keeps its shape and doesn’t start to pull towards the center.
Once you get your basket as tall as you want it, insert your hook into the next stitch (under the plarn) and pull through, creating a slip stitch, then cut your yarn leaving a long tail. Pull your tail through tightly, securing your last stitch in place.
Thread your tail onto your tapestry needle and tack down the end of the plarn loop, into the side of the basket, to give it a clean finish. Just insert your needle into the stitches (on the inside of your basket), go around the plarn, and insert back into the body of the basket. When you pull your yarn the plarn loop will begin to lay into the side of the basket. Continue going up and down until you can no longer see the plarn loop. Tie off and sew in your tail.
Sew in your tail from the beginning of your basket and your all finished!! Now you have a fun and eco-friendly crocheted basket!
You could do so much with these cuties! You could embellish them to make them fit a specific style or room theme, add a handle to make them a hanging basket, or make a really large one be waste basket size (I really want to do that). I love how this project cost zero dollars, turns out super cute, and saves the planet in the process! Here is a great resource by Center for Biological Diversity, telling all the horrible environmental facts about plastic bags.
If you do crochet a scrap yarn and plarn basket, tag me in the pics @ACraftyConcept on Instagram and Facebook so I can see how beautiful they turned out and what color combos you used! As always thank you so much for reading my blog, It is absolutely a passion of mine and I couldn’t pursue it if no one read it ????????❤
➰Happy Crocheting ➰