Learning material (BG)

How can I knit with plastic bags?

It is quite easy to knit with plastic bags, and there are a number of ways to produce yarn from plastic bags for the purpose of creating knitted projects. Once knitters get the hand of making plastic bag yarn and working with it, they can create a variety of knitted projects, from tote bags to sun hats. Depending on the type of yarn produced and the skill of the knitter, some projects made from plastic bags are quite visually interesting, and they may not betray their plastic origins until viewers get up close and personal.


When people knit with plastic bags, they cut the bags up to create yarn. Depending on the width of the strips and how the “yarn” is processed, it is possible to achieve plastic bag yarn of varying weights, allowing people to work on diverse projects. It is also possible to utilize plastic bag yarn in crochet work, for those who prefer to crochet.


Many knitters develop their own techniques for cutting plastic bags to make yarn, but it can help to have a few starting ideas. Some people like to cut the bags in a spiral shape from the top edge, creating a single long strand of yarn which can be knitted to another strand of yarn. Others cut their plastic bags into loops which can be knotted together to produce double stranded yarn. It is also possible to fold a bag in such a way that when it is cut, it turns into a spiral of yarn which can then be knitted.

To knit with plastic bags, people simply use the yarn like they would any other yarn, knitting a few test rows to establish a gauge, and then working on a piece from scratch or using a pattern to guide their knitting, attaching more yarn as needed. Because plastic bags come in a range of colors, it is possible to produce an assortment of patterns when people knit with plastic bags, and plastic yarn can also be cabled, ribbed, or worked in other ways for textural variation.


This technique for recycling plastic bags can help keep plastic bags out of landfills, although it doesn’t solve the problem of the proliferation of plastic bags in the first place. Knitters who work with plastic bags often create grocery bags and carryalls so that they can reduce their own consumption of plastic bags, and they may solicit used plastic bags from friends with an offer to knit them into more durable bags.


It is possible to knit with plastic bags to make coats, hats, placemats, bathmats, and essentially anything else imaginable. Some great examples of plastic bag knitting projects can be seen on knitting bulletin boards and photo sharing communities, for people who want inspiration.


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