Since they are now charging at a lot of places for plastic bags because of all the tree hugger green people, (didn’t they used to try and cajole you to use plastic instead of paper?) I think its fun to go into the store and collect my groceries in bags made out of “their” bags….who needs their stinking bags anyway? And if milk spills in one you made from their bags you can put it in the top part of your dish washer for cleaning (the ones you crochet are quite sturdy), re shape it and use again…tada!
You can use any size hook from a g to a J...the bigger the hook the faster it will go, but the more bags you'll use...then you must save about 80-100 plastic give away bags…you can cut them into 1 ½ strips…you don’t need to be neat…start from the bottom of the bag going around. Roll them up like yarn….you don’t have to do all at once, if you get tired of cutting, go ahead and crochet for a while. (You can get lots of places to give you extra bags, or have put each item in a separate bag before they charge for bags or the new tax hits. It is easier to cut if they haven’t been used or all crinkled up!)
Get different colors and designs on bags for different effects…some bags are heavier and the strips can be narrower…changing colors can give a stripe pattern…where the bags are tied together you can weave the ends in…put them hanging on the inside…or the outside…(I like that as it looks fluffy)
Foundation row: chain to the about 2 inches width of bag you want…anywhere from 12 -25 inches, your bag will be larger than your foundation row.
Bottom: single crochet in second chain from hook. Work to end of row. On end crochet three stitches then single crochet down the other side of chain. (You are going around in a circle…or oblong to be exact) then when you get to the end of the second side of your chain…three single crochet in end and then down the other side with single crochet again, increasing on the end with each row.
Body: Continue crochet around until the bottom is as wide as you want. Usually 3-5 inches wide, (if you want a very wide bag you may end up doing increases at corner stitches so your bottom doesn’t roll up) now once the bottom is done you will continue going around except you will NOT add stitches when you get to the end. The work will begin to grow into a bag shape…you may even have to decrease a stitch or two to get it to travel up into the tube (bag shape you want. When you get the body of the bag, make it as deep as you want then bind it off…
Patterns: Different colors make stripes or other patterns with the bag colors or print on bags you have.
Handles: join yarn at the open end of the bag where you want handle to begin. Chain to make it the length you desire. Then single crochet back and forth to the width you want. (I usually do three to four rows) Each time you are back at the purse top make sure you attach the handle to the body of the bag. When done then slip stitch other end to the corresponding place on the same side of the bag. Repeat.
Strength addition: to make sure the handles are strong, do another row of single crochet around both handles joining at the body of the bag as you go around. Using a contrasting color bag ads style, whatever that is?
Decoration can be shreds of different colors around or one side, or add, pockets on the inside or out, I like making flowers and sewing with the bag-yarn to the front…are also a nice touch I think.