Sunday, May 18, 2008

That's Not Yarn!!!

I dunno.  Maybe it was last night's latest round of insomnia.  Lack of sleep can make judgement calls a little..."dicey."  Stuff happens.  You think it's a good idea.  You cackle a bit at the very thought of your genius.  You read books.  You get all inspired.  It's a path that leads to Crazy Town.

Back in February, I picked up a copy of Simple Knits With A Twist.   It had simple knits in it.  But with a twist.  No false advertising there.  I sort of liked the idea of knitting something simple but which had an element of twist-i-ness.  Mostly it was the "simple" part, I suppose.  

So, between these two things, I suddenly found myself spending an entire Sunday cutting up plastic bags.  To be more specific, I have been spiral cutting plastic bags.  Because I was seized by a compulsion to knit a plastic bag from plastic bags.  

It's not really as crazy as it sounds.  I have a bunch of 'em.  I used to use plastic shopping bags for disposing of the kitty scoopin's.  But now that I have a new litter disposal system, I don't use them as much.  And it certainly wouldn't do to throw them away.  One must be more Green Minded in this day and age, after all.  And the whole thing had a certain novel appeal, if I am going to be perfectly honest.  

But do you know how many plastic bags it takes to knit a plastic bag?  No?  I do.  It takes eight million.  

That's not true.  I exaggerate.  It takes seven million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven.  But I didn't think you'd mind if I rounded up.  

So, in between doing all the other things that I didn't do last week because I was celebrating my Birth Week and didn't feel that housework or nutrition should be a part of that, I cut up plastic bags.  I now know more about the structure of the average plastic bag, durability of the various plastics and why it is important to not knit with all the good colors first than anyone should ever have to know.  I also know that Continental knitters will not fare well with plastic knitting in humid weather.  And I am keenly aware of my dislike for the squeaking sound that plastic makes when you force it into a knitted state.  

Still...I'm pretty enamored with this project.  I feel like the Greenest of the Greenies and most ecologically aware knitter on the block right now.  Plus, it is a keen way to break the knitting slump.  

But there is a great deal of bag cutting left to go.  A very, very, very most greatest of deals.  Eight million bags is a commitment.  I may have to take a week off from work.  And go shop somewhere that has blue plastic bags because I seem to have run out of those and things are going to get all color wonky pretty soon now.  




And, for the record, plastic bags go on the ballwinder quite nicely.  The don't come off quite so handily, though...

SA

15 comments:

Donna Lee said...

That is way more green than I aspire to be. I just started to see the reuseable bags at the store and am going to buy some each trip until I have enough to take with me. Unfortunately, I will need a second cart just to carry the empty bags since I only shop twice a month and it's always a big order. What are you supposed to do with the bags while you are shopping? Are there sherpas to carry them for you?

trek said...

Take the tube off the ball winder.
Replace with paper towel tube.
Wind insane number of spiral cut plastic shopping bags: no need to worry about tube removal.

Anne said...

I've seen this being done -- with newspaper bags, I think. It looks totally cool but now that I know it takes 8 million bags I'm going to let others have the fun.

Leigh said...

I have wondered about doing something like this. I hadn't thought about knitting though, more like crochet or weaving. I like the idea of using recycled shopping bags to make my own shopping bags.

Kath said...

I've heard of this kind of thing and always wanted to try it. But now I'm intimidated because at our new organic foods/eco-friendly market the owner is selling cute crocheted bags made from plastic bags that her mother creates! And they are just so freakin' clever and cute I just don't even want to try.

Mia said...

I cana't wait to see how this turns out :) And sorry I got behind, but Happy belated birthday day :)

Karen said...

Very interesting project you've got starting there. I look forward to following it. I'm afraid I won't be copying you though. We use our bags for doggie waste.

Jeanne said...

Oh dear God. That's too close to what I decided to torture myself with during my last surface design class. I hand-dyed/painted lots of silk yardage, intending to whack it into inch-wide strips and somehow knit a sculpture from it. Word of advice, if you ever get the urge to do this, just say no. PITA!!! I can't imagine knitting with plastic bags to be any easier than knitting with silk strips. But I do commend your greenness.

kmkat said...

Oh, I would totally do that, but we have been using canvas and nylon shopping totes for so long that we don't have any plastic bags left. (removes tongue from cheek, where it was shoved so firmly that it merged with same) So, now you are going to decide which store(s) to patronize based solely on the color of their bags? Cool.

I'm noticing that photos are appearing in your blog more often. I love that.

TheAmpuT said...

Ya know, I thought about making one of these, but now I don't want to LOLOL.
Besides, I don't have any bags anyhow. I switched to canvas awhile ago, and now I have to BUY bags to scoop the kitty poop. Go figure.

sophanne said...

Our giant eagle has blue bags if you would like me to send you some after next week's shopping trip.
bltsATalltelDOTnet

Panda said...

"Greenest of the Greenies"? Clearly, this is evidence of feline mind control. The entire project is designed to drive you insane, thus softened up to dispense greenies with only a glance. Stop now, before it is too late!

Knitting Linguist said...

LOL. Thank you. If you would like some plastic bags, I would gladly donate mine to the cause, because I'm guessing I won't be going this route in my search for greener living! (Your description of cutting up 80 million bags is not exactly designed to sell people on this one... ;) )

Ronni said...

One of us had to do it. Thanks for making the sacrifice. I imagine knitting plastic bag yarn would be even worse than knitting regular yarn while suffering hay fever so I'm glad you got me off the hook. I bet it will be an awesome bag when done.

Beth said...

About a month ago, I decided to spin plastic bags. That worked okay, but the plastic strips kept stretching and breaking. I did end up with enough to crochet and it killed my hands. Your way seems much better! Time to read on to see what happened. This is the advantage to being gone for a little bit. I don't have to wait to see what happens next. :)