DIY Knitting with plastic bags

You don’t even need needles… just use your fingers to weave with a simple stitch.

You will need 2 hands, a collection of plastic bags, and some scissors.

No worries.  You’ve got this!
This project is suitable for people of all ages: kids and the elderly. You don’t even have to have your sight in full capacity.  This can be a very rewarding community enterprise, that inspires heaps of people, and at the end you get a sweet rug that will out live you, and your Grand-kids can use it! Oh yeah, and you’ll be helping to save a few hundred plastic bags from landfill.
You can use almost any kind of plastic, not just shopping bags. Some people use chippy packets, others use plastic tablecloths. You could even finger knit with plastic wrap. Don’t bother using biodegradable plastic bags, for obvious reasons. We reckon that the more creative the reuse; the more interesting your project will be!
We needed thousands of plastic bags for our rugs so we put a call out for plastic bags on our local Pay-It-Forward facebook group and were inundated by folks whose plastic bag stash was overflowing!2015-07-15 09.41.58
Cut up your plastic. You can trim handles from shopping bags, roll em up and cut most of the way through the bag, then unroll and cut diagonally along the strips so that you have a continuous piece of plastic. Join this to all your other pieces of plastic with a simple reef knot.
Make PLARN. (Plastic yarn) This is a very satisfying part of the process. I like to make different coloured balls of plarn. Just roll up your plastic string into a ball and continue to roll it around itself until you can roll no more.
Now you are ready to get started on the finger knitting!
The start is the hardest part of finger knitting, so don’t be put off if it takes you a while to get cracking. Once you’ve got a few rows under your belt, you’ll be charging away without a second thought. Or any thoughts for that matter. Experience the piece of mind that finger knitting can bring.
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Start with single crochet. To do this, make a slip knot (very loose) and reach through this loop an pull through another loop, then reach through again and pull through another loop.
So you have your initial slip knot, your next loop and your working loop. Reach through again and do your first single crochet in the (first) initial slip knot: Reach through with both fingers and pull the plarn through the slip knot. Pull only through the slip knot.
You now have 2  loops on your fingers. Then reach through and pull the plarn through both these loops. This is a single crochet. We will basically repeat this process to make the whole rug.
Reach back into the initial single crochet. Pull through the plarn again so that you have 2 loops on your fingers, grab the plarn again and pull it through. This is your second single crochet. Go ahead and work six single crochets into the first slip knot.
Grab the plarn tail from the centre and pull it gently to bring the center together. It helps to mark the final stitch of every round to keep track. You can do with by tagging it with some unique plarn. We now have 6 single crochet stitches. We will be working only working into the back loops of the stiches. The front loop will be making the spiral pattern.
Only working into the back loop. Insert fingers into the back loop of the first stitch, and make a crochet. Then put another crochet into this same stitch. Continue around. You should end up with 12 loops in this second round. Put stitch marker into the final stitch from this round.
3rd round: work 2 stitches into the first loop, and 1 on the second, 2 on the 3rd, and continue. This will increase the stitches to 18 loops in this round.
4th round. 1,1,2 repeat – 24 stitches this round.
Continue this pattern increasing 6 stitches each round, until you are satisfied with the size and your impressive creativity. You can be sure that you will have an endless supply of plarn to make it as big as you like!
We completed 2 rugs for our installation at the Psyfari Festival music festival in 2015. The photos are from this event. The rugs stand up well in all weathers, and were still in good nick after several thousand people had walked on them with muddy boots! We just gave them a clean at the end with a high pressure water hose. We had several people working on our rugs towards the end, as they were so large and we had some mild time restraints!