There is an exception to every rule. And I voluntarily and enthusiastically break my NO-PLASTIC rule with and for just one person in the whole world- My (maternal) Grandmother.
My Jaana Paati* is truly unique. At 87, she keeps her mind busy with prayer and her hands – with domestic chores.
She has a time-consuming hobby – Knitting. One of her sub-specialties is upcycling immortal plastic bags into durable, useable, kitschy-looking products.
Her crochet needles become extensions of her hand as she weaves out table runners, totes, coasters, purses, letter holders and the likes. She adds zips, handles and buttons with a flourish (again by using whatever is available at home), and gifts them to her family.
Over the years, I have seen a steady stream of visitors hand over painstakingly-collected cheap plastic bags to Paati. Depending on her mood, she segregates these according to colour, or just keeps them in any random order. Then with a surgeon’s precision, she cuts them into thin concentric strips, loops them to form long strands that she then rolls into a ball, akin to yarn.
Then begins the handiwork.
My Jaana Paati is my show-and-tell project to the world. That if plastic bags really need to be used, then these creative examples of their re-incarnation are a great way to go!
*Paati refers to Grandmother in Tamil.
STEPS TO MAKE KNITWARE OUT OF PLASTIC BAGS
Step 1: Fold the plastic bag several times (along the vertical) & cut into small squares
Step 2: Straighten out the concentric plastic strips and loop them
Step 3: Insert crochet needle at the top of the first loop and begin knitting
JAANA PAATI’S CREATIONS
Upcycled Bag with reused handles
Table runner and coaster
Watch this interesting video on a similar concept
“Grandmas Re-Use Plastic Bags To Make Sleeping Mats For The Homeless”