Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ultimate Recycled Market Bag

This bag has been pronounced, “the ultimate recycled market bag” by one of the managers at my local HEB supermarket, from which the plarn was obtained. Plarn is made from cut-up plastic bags, and this pattern uses those ubiquitous plastic grocery store bags. It is very strong and long-lasting. In fact, after years of use, mine are still performing admirably.

U.S. crochet terms

Skill Level Easy

Yarn plarn from 20-25 lg. plastic grocery bags
(Instructions for making plarn are included in pattern.)

Schematic diagram included.

For a free .pdf of this pattern click here:

download now

I owe a debt of gratitude to Recycle Cindy, who inspires us all with her ground-breaking work with plarn and other recycled materials. I really didn't mean to use a similar pattern name to one of hers... really... the store manager named it.

You can find crochet tips and variations for this pattern in the following posts:
How to Make Plarn
Saving Your Hands and Arms When Using Plarn
Cotton Yarn Market Bag
T-Shirt Yarn Market Bag
My Old Crochet Hook


  1. My Ultimate Recycled Market Bag had its debut last night. My roommate was thrilled when I told him he could use it (I'll be honest, I was a little nervous to use it because I was sure it wouldn't stand up to actual groceries). It worked as advertised, and everyone who saw it wanted one. Today I brought it to Whole Foods, and the cashier couldn't stop raving about how awesome it was. In fact, it got to the point where I just wanted to shoosh her because she was going overboard.

    Basically, I just wanted to say well done! The pattern works amazingly well, and it's the best use I've ever seen for plastic grocery bags.

  2. Thanks, Susie! I know what you mean... it's almost unbelievable that bags made out of 1/2" strips of very thin plastic could actually be strong enough to hold groceries.

  3. Great pattern but I have a question. Every time I try to work with double crochet in the round, the circle won't stay flat and ruffles do you have any idea why this is happening? Thanks!

    1. Yes, this is happening because the increase round has gotten more stitches in it than the size of the crocheted disc can accommodate. All you have to do is work the next round or two with no increases--keep doing it until the ruffling goes away. Then you're ready for another increase round or two until the ruffling starts again. Then stop increasing, to straighten it out, etc.

      Good question! I must write a tip about this for the blog.

    2. This is also talked about in the pattern notes section of the "Circle Lap-ghan" free pattern on this blog.