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Three Years Later

October 11, 2011 Comments Off on Three Years Later
Three Years Later

October is breast cancer awareness month. It just so happens that it has been three years since my diagnoses of breast cancer. And it’s been exactly three years ago that in October of 2008 I finished up my cancer treatments. I haven’t written about what I called My Pink Journey in quite a while so this milestone seems like a good time for an update.

I am thrilled to report that I am cancer free. I just completed recent scans and everything is clear. Many people refer to this as NED (no evidence of disease) and we cancer survivors all love to say that we are dancing with NED. We all hope to continue to be dancing with him forever if possible.

I’ve heard it said that time heals us and while most of my physical issues from cancer have healed, it’s what remains that sometimes fills my thoughts and lingers in the back of my mind as I move forward with my life again after cancer. I’m sure its the same for other people that face this beast, you just hope and pray it never returns.

So as a reminder don’t forget to be diligent against this formidable foe. Self-exams are so important as no one knows a woman’s body better than herself. After all I found my own tumor and even my doctor didn’t think it seemed like anything until after a biopsy confirmed my cancer.

As I reflect back over the last three years, I think the most important thing I want to say is that cancer didn’t beat me. You do learn not to think about it every waking moment. You can get your life back. You are able to return to a new normal in your daily routines. And with the help of my faith, family and friends I am a stronger, better person today for having faced cancer.

Doll Bunting Pattern

October 7, 2011 6 comments
Doll Stocking Cap

This doll bunting pattern was adapted and printed with permission from Sue Thomson who designed a baby bunting for a newborn. Her free crochet pattern can be found here. After re-working the pattern several times, I finally got the right fit for a baby doll that is about 13 inches tall.

I crocheted the doll bunting and added a stocking cap to finish off the outfit. The hat is more of a sleeping cap for this outfit but the crochet pattern can be used for any doll that has a 10-1/2″ head circumference.

Enjoy the free doll bunting pattern below and happy crafting to all!

Baby Doll Bunting Pattern

Fits a 12-13″ Baby Doll
Bunting measures: 5″ wide between armholes, 6″ sleeve openings,
10″ around at neck and 14″ long

Hook: Metal G (4-4.25 mm) crochet hook

2.75 oz – worst weight yarn (Purple Puff used)
Small amount of white yarn for trim
One – 1/4 inch button for back closure

Ch 34
Row 1
Dc in 3rd ch from hook. Dc in next 5 sts, (Dc, ch 1, Dc) in next st; Dc in next 6 st, (Dc, ch 1, Dc) in next st; Dc in next 6 st, (Dc, ch 1, Dc) in next st; Dc in next 6 sts, (Dc, ch 1, Dc) in next st and Dc in last 5 sts. Ch 2, turn.

My New Pattern Page

October 1, 2011 5 comments

It is with great pleasure that I present to you my new and improved pattern page here at My Recycled Bags. With the help of my son, we have updated the old page with a thumbnail photo of each project and tutorial for easier access. The page is laid out by categories and materials now so you can quickly navigate the list of projects that you may be in search of.

It was fun and interesting as I went back over the nearly 5 years of patterns and posts that I have created here at my blog. I had forgotten about some of the older less used patterns as well as re-visiting the early creations I made with recycled materials.

So without further ado here is My Pattern Links page. I hope you enjoy using it and find it easier to locate my many different patterns that I provide free here at My Recycled Bags.

Variegated Plarn Tote Bag

September 18, 2011 7 comments
Variegated Plarn Tote Bag

I present my latest creation — Variegated plastic bag yarn or plarn as it so commonly is known as in the crafting world. Pink, orange, and white plastic bags were used to crochet this variegated recycled bag. The pink and orange bags are plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in and the white is from just regular retail bags. I used these 3 colors to create my variegated look by assembling 3 loops of pink plarn, 2 white loops, 3 orange loops, and 2 white loops, then repeat this order for the variegated look. Here is my plarn making tutorials for creating yarn from newspaper or retail plastic bags should you need to see how to make plastic yarn.

This plarn ball was made using newspaper and retail bags together to create the variegated colored yarn. As I outlined below, if color pooling becomes a problem just add another white strip of plarn to offset the pooling. I found if I added an additional white strip to the 2 white ones, it solved the pooling issues with the tote bag as I crocheted it.

Enjoy the free crochet pattern below and happy crafting to all!


Variegated Plarn Tote Bag Pattern

Materials needed:
Plastic bag yarn or Plarn – Approx. 50 white plastic grocery bags along with 20 pink and 20 orange plastic bags for the variegated yarn

This variegated plarn is created by assembling 3 loops of pink plarn, 2 white loops, 3 orange loops, and then 2 white loops, repeat pattern for variegated look.

Hook: N (9 mm) size metal hook

Description: Recycled Plastic Tote Bag
Bag standing up measures 14″ wide and 11″ tall with 12″ handles
with measurements flat 17″ across, 12″ high, and 11″ long base.

The bottom of bag is crocheted with just plain white bags. Using just white plarn, Ch 20.

Rnd 1
Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea chain st down to end. Continue around other side of chain by working a Sc in ea st to other end.

Doll Stocking Cap

September 10, 2011 2 comments
Doll Stocking Cap

I designed this doll stocking cap as a sleeping cap for a baby doll. It fits a 12-13″ doll with a head circumference of 10-1/2 inches around. I wanted to share this quick crochet project as it’s a fun little hat to add to a baby doll clothing set. I crocheted this hat to go along with the doll bunting outfit I made for my granddaughter’s doll.


Doll Stocking Cap Pattern

Fits a 12-13 inch doll or any doll that has a 10-1/2 inch head circumference
Hat measurement flat: 4-7/8 inches wide across opening and 10 inch long
Hook: Metal G (4-4.25 mm) sized crochet hook

1 to 1-1/2 oz – worst weight yarn (Vintage Purple Puff WW)
Small amount of white yarn for ribbing band and tassel

Using white yarn Ch 7.

Plarn Scrubbie Coral

September 3, 2011 6 comments
Plarn Scrubbie Coral

I crocheted these scrubbies using recycled plastic bags that were cut into plarn. It reminds me so much of sea coral that I just had to call the scrubbers scrubbie coral. The inspiration for these scrubbies came from my friend Kristy who shared her cotton scrubbies at her blog Texiles4you.

People ask me all the time about the amount of plarn created by each plastic bag and while it may differ with one type of plastic bag to another, I found the standard white retail bags yield me about 7 yards of plarn when cut them 1″ wide and assembled using the looping method. The orange plastic newspaper bags provided me with 6 yards due to their smaller size.

With that in mind, you need 4 plastic bags to make each one of these scrubbies. The white scrubbies were crocheted just 4 rounds. I found I liked a bigger scrubbie so I crocheted the orange one five full rounds. By crocheting 5 rounds you use all of the plarn created from the 4 plastic bags where the smaller scrubbers only use a little over 3 bags.

You will find as your crochet each round that it begins to twist which is normal. The more rounds you crochet, the more twist you get. Have fun with the colors and mix and match them. I plan to crochet more of these scrubbies and add a different color just on the final round which should create an even more unique coral look for the scrubbies.

Plarn Scrubbie Coral Pattern

Materials needed:
Plastic bag yarn or Plarn 4 plastic bags cut into 1 inch wide strips
as shown in my plarn making tutorial

Hook: N (9 mm) size metal hook

Description: Recycled Plastic Scrubbie
Scrubbies are about 3-1/2 – 4″ wide depending on if you do 4 or 5 rounds

Rnd 1
Ch 2 and work 8 Sc in the 2nd ch from hook. Do not join and continue working in rounds. Use a stitch marker if necessary so you know where each round starts.

Rnd 2
Work 2 Sc in each st.

Rnd 3-5
Work 3 Sc in ea st.
Option: For a smaller scrubbie, crochet just 4 rounds.

If you have any questions or find discrepancies in this pattern, please email me using contact tab above.

Ch – Chain
Ea – Each
FO – Finish Off
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Inc – Increase
Plarn – Plastic Bag Yarn
Rnd – Round
Sc – Single Crochet
Sk – Skip
Sl St – Slip Stitch
St – Stitch

This pattern is copyrighted by Cindy of My Recycled Bags {dot com} and may only be used for private individual use. No commercial sales or use is permitted. Links to this pattern are acceptable. ©2011

****Please do not copy my patterns on your blog site or post my patterns on Internet sites. I do not allow my patterns to be republished without expressed written permission. Posting of my patterns, without […]

Homemade Laundry Soap

August 26, 2011 11 comments
Homemade Laundry Soap

I have wanted to make my own laundry soap for so long. I finally assembled the materials and supplies necessary to make my first batch of homemade laundry soap. Below I have outlined the process and results I obtained from my first attempt at laundry soap making.

After researching and reading many blog posts about making ones own laundry soap, I settled on the recipe that uses washing soda, borax, and Fels-Naptha bar soap. There are many different recipes with a few different changes for each homemade laundry soap if you research it. I followed this blog’s homemade laundry recipe to make my laundry soap using the following supplies to make a 2 gallon bucket of soap.

Large metal cooking pot at least 4 quarts or bigger
2 gallon plastic bucket for final soap container
1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team borax powder

Grate 1/3 of the bar of Fels-Naptha soap and place in cooking pot. Add 6 cups water and heat gently over low to medium-low heat stirring occasionally until the soap melts. Remove from heat. Then add the washing soda and the borax stirring until all ingredients are dissolved.

Pour 4 cups hot water into the plastic bucket. Now add the cooked soap mixture to the plastic bucket mix and stir well. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water to the plastic bucket mix and stir well again. Let the soap mixture sit at least 24 hours to gel. It doesn’t gel to a firm consistency but more like a runny egg white. I use about a half of a cup of soap to wash in my extra large top loader washer. The soap works great on spots too if you just apply a bit to any stains on your clothes.

Below you will find additional photos that show each step from above. Click on any photo to super-size it.

Here is 1/3 of a Fels Naptha bar of soap grated and ready for the cooking stage.

6 cups of water added for the cooking stage.

Homemade laundry soap with all water added and stirred in bucket.

Final result of laundry soap after setting up for 2 days.

Bottom line on this homemade soap — I love it. It works well and if you add a half cup of white vinegar to your final rinse cycle you won’t have any static cling and my line-dried clothes were soft too. I do think when I make this again I will cut down on the water to make a more concentrated soap. My final soap mix was a bit too runny but still works fine. I think if you add just the 1 gallon of water at the end and eliminate the last 6 cups of water, you would end up with a much better consistency of soap. Also this laundry soap is a low sudsing soap so don’t be alarmed when you don’t see […]

Diagonal Potholder & Dishcloth Set

August 21, 2011 2 comments
Diagonal Potholder & Dishcloth Set

This week I am sharing my diagonal potholder and dishcloth set. I previously have attempted to crochet a diagonal potholder without much success. You probably have seen several different versions of this potholder pattern that you crochet on the diagonal. I have tried before to crochet one of these but it just didn’t turn out right. Well I decided after reading another crocheter’s blog about using the double thick potholder pattern with success that I would give the pattern a try.

My first attempt turned out okay but the potholder was way too small for my liking. So then using a H crochet hook, I chained 32 stitches to begin the pattern. The result is the potholder shown which is about 5-3/4″ square. I like this size much better and the corners are pretty straight. If your diagonal potholder isn’t real square, just try pulling on the corners as this helps straighten out the corners. I added a dishcloth using my open mesh magic dishcloth pattern to complete the matching set.

It’s been a busy week and I wanted to share some crocheting with you all. I will be back next week with a new pattern as I have been working on several new projects but just didn’t get any new patterns written and pictures taken yet. So until next time, happy crafting to all!

Plaid Plarn Wallet

August 14, 2011 4 comments
Plaid Plarn Wallet

Creating plaid using recycled plastic bags has been on my to-do list for quite some time. This last week I finally set out on what I call my plaid plarn project. I wanted to keep it simple and small as I found making a plaid design with recycled plastic bags very challenging. It was a trial and error project which needed to be tackled on a small item until I could prefect my process. Needless to say, I got a bit frustrated but finally came up with this little wallet as my finished product.

Crocheting the surface chaining is a bit challenging to get the stripes straight. I had to work a few stitches a bit off to get my vertical stripe to look somewhat straight. Below is my piece once I was finished. It’s not perfect but that is the beauty of working with recycled crafts, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You are creating something new from trash so there is always beauty is each finished product. Hope you enjoy this plaid plarn project and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect for you to enjoy your wallet.

Plaid Plarn Wallet Pattern

Materials needed:
One ball of white plastic bags cut into plarn about 3/4 inch wide
Small amount of salmon pink newspaper bags cut into plarn about 3/4 inch wide
Here is my link for plarn making tutorials for newspaper and retail plastic bags.
1) 1/2 inch button

J (6 mm) size metal crochet hook
H (5 mm) size metal crochet hook for button loop

Description: Plaid plastic wallet
Wallet measures 5 inches wide and 9-1/2 inches tall
with 2 inch long flap

Using J hook with white plarn, Ch 17.

About Me

Hello, I’m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.

Here is a direct link to all my free patterns available here on My Recycled Bags.

Thank you for stopping by to visit and for your interest in My Recycled Bags!