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Archive for November, 2009

I’m going in a different direction with this bag…it will be more of a handbag, and less of a tote. I like the shape of it, so far. However, lining it is going to be loads of fun.

This is the second ball of plarn I’ve used to create the sides of this bag. I wish I’d kept track of how many plastic bags went into each ball. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve salvaged at least 50 bags so far.

I just discovered that the recycling center here doesn’t accept plastic bags. Which makes me wonder, what happens to the bags that go into the recycling bins at Kroger and Walmart? Are they just getting thrown away? It wouldn’t surprise me…

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Work in progress–again

I set aside the misshapen bag for now–when the time feels right, I’ll go back to it. Meanwhile, I’m making good progress on this white plarn bag (old-school Walmart bags with the black graphics, in case you’re curious). This bag had been complete except for the handles, but in the end I decided that I just wasn’t happy with it; so I ripped it back to its base (pictured above) and got back to work.

Funny thing is, this is the third time I’ve ripped it out and redone it. 🙂 This time around, however, I have a pretty clear vision of where I’m going with it, so I’m optimistic that the final result will be something I’m satisfied with.

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Organizing? Oops

I promised in my last post that I would organize my craft supplies, then post pictures. Sadly, I haven’t gotten far. I filled an old bookcase with various craft supplies: various colors of plastic bags, squares and strips cut from worn-out clothing, yarn unraveled from old sweaters, etc.–all neatly organized into see-through storage boxes; and I hung a few larger pieces of material from skirt hangers in my closet. But that took care of only a third or fourth of my supplies, and I currently don’t have a good place to arrange the rest (by “good” I mean accessible).

So I’ve put my organizing project on hold for now. At the end of November, I’ll be switching to a different bedroom, one with two large closets; one will be my designated “craft closet.” I can’t wait!

Meanwhile, I decided to finish a year-old unfinished project. I cut some more plarn and have nearly finished off this large plarn tote. Obviously, it’s still missing its handles, and its lining, but here’s what I have so far:

However, I’m not happy with it yet. Look at the sides of the bag–see how wavy they are? (It looks worse in real life.) Being squished into a box for a year had warped this bag a bit. Plus, I guess I crochet a bit more tightly now than I did a year ago, so as I started to work on it again, the sides began to pull in–until I realized what was happening and loosened up a bit, at which point, of course, they started to bulge out.

It’s normal for a plarn bag to not be perfectly smooth and even when it’s first completed. Usually I am able to manually reshape a bag with my hands; then to get it just right, I pack it smoothly with something heavy like rolled-up pairs of jeans, and hang it from a doorknob for a few days. As it hangs, the stitches sort of “settle in” to one another and it smooths out (I do this before lining the bag).

But this one is a bit more uneven than usual, so I’ll have to use more drastic measures. I’d like to soften it up a bit with a hot hair dryer before my usual “blocking” process, but I must confess that I don’t own a hair dryer. 🙂 I’ll have to borrow one.

Ultimately, this bag would smooth out with regular use. My plarn bags always soften up and become smoother and more supple with use. This one has been going strong for close to two years now, and it looks great, except that the bottom has a couple of slightly frayed spots (which will happen when you routinely ask your two-year old to carry your purse from car to house, and he does so by dragging it along the sidewalk). But…I’ll be selling this bag, not using it, so I need to get it properly shaped some other way.

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