Sunday, 15 January 2012

I want to ride my bicycle and take my teddies along!

For christmas my daughter had the most wonderful retro style bike.  She really loves to ride her bike, and goes to school on it everyday.  One thing she really wanted for it was a basket to put her teddies in, but the shop only had  hideous and expensive bright pink plastic things.  My budget couldn't quite stretch to a wicker one, especially as I would have had to commission someone to make one to fit, as I couldn't find one small enough.

Over the christmas and new year, inspired by my success from the rag rug, I have always wanted to have a go at making something from supermarket carrier bags.  Not that I am an hoarder or anything, but I seemed to have acquired a few of late.

Before I made the basket, I had to figure out how to make the plastic yarn or 'plarn' as the crafty types refer to it as.  I tried the method I used for cutting the yarn for the rag rugs but the joints were fragile and broke easy.  I tried cutting strips and knotting the ends together but this made the work bulky and messy.  Then I found this tutorial which is the best way, for me at least.   You will need about 20 - 30 plastic carrier bags to make the same basket as the one I made pictured above.  No I didn't have this number of bags in my house.  I have to beg a few from various folk when I realised I would have no where near enough.

Working with plarn is very different to working with wool or fabric.  For starters plarn is stiffer and doesn't stretch in the same way requiring a little bit of brute force to make complex stitches such as the clusters I used for making this basket.  From the same site that I found the plarn tutorial, I also found this tutorial for a recycled gift basket that I adapted for the purpose of making my bicycle basket.  I omitted the handles and opted to make a red finish with a basic flower pattern.  Below I have written a pattern for the basic flower:


Pattern for crochet flower
CH6
Join with a SLST to form a ring
*CH 6
1 DC into ring*
Repeat from * to * 4 more times and finish with a SLST
You should now have a basic flower with 5 petals
You can make the petals more defined by doing the following:
DC into each petal loop 6 times with a SLST in-between each petal
Fasten off
Experimenting
Now that you have mastered the basic flower, experiment with making the flower bigger by adding extra loops.
Attach your yarn to the central circle in-between each petal with a SLST and make larger petals by adding longer chain loops (approx 8-10) and extra DC’s on these loops.
Please ask for help if you are unsure how to do this.

Abbreviations
CH – Chain
SLST – Slip Stitch
DC – Double Crochet

Now Sneaky can come for a bike ride!
UPDATE:  We have discovered that this basket will start to degrade after 2-3 yrs!

3 comments:

  1. Brilliant use of plastic bags - looks great! :)

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  2. Thanks - although I am not sure how long the biodegrabable bags will last but so far it seems robust!

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  3. I need a basket for my bike too, I might take a hint from you and try this!

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