Crochet Bag Made Out of Plastic

Start Date: April 2, 2020
Finished: April 16, 2020

It took me two weeks to finish the crochet bag I made from the used plastics we had at our sari-sari store.

The idea of creating a crochet bag from used plastics came from the moment I realized that yarn is not a sustainable material. My last craft is making a poncho using all the yarns I found while cleaning our bedroom (somehow, I crochet-ed in a sustainable way). Another reason is I want to try out various materials which involve finding a way into what to do to trashes to make them into something of value.

I found out that the DIY community in Youtube use the term ‘plarn’ for the words plastic yarn. Moreover, I am grateful for Trashform art on Youtube for sharing how to cut the plastic into one long plarn.

While in the process of crocheting, I spent a large amount of time completing this project than my past crochet projects because I still have to cut my own yarn. Honestly, I found this new massive respect to indigenous tribes who have no machineries to mass produce yarn so they cut and create their own yarns and threads. I’ll keep in mind to proactively search for opportunities where I could learn how to weave traditoonally.

I’m not sure if this happens to other asian countries but I do know Filipino families do this- they store any plastic they used instead of throwing them away. My mom saw what I was doing and she got mad because I am using up all the plastics we have lol. Well, we use these used plastics in our sari-sari store to wrap the items that our customer bought and my mom do not buy any plastic. Thus, if I ended up using all plastics that we have in store, she’ll have to buy one. Good thing, I did not finish it all. I only used 5 transparent plastic bags.

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Moreover, when the initial excitement of doing something new has faded, I got into this thinking of, ‘I will never finish this. This will take forever to finish.’ And this thinking is something that I have encountered years ago when I am starting this big cross stitch artwork, which resulted to me leaving the whole cross-stitch artwork unfinished and no progress for months. But now, I have learned. I now understand that there are no gentle paths to the stars from the Earth (yes, Seneca.). No good will ever come out if I continued to let my emotions control me. If you think you can or can’t, you’re right. And I can. I started this and I will finish it even if it will take days or weeks.

And after two weeks, I accomplished it. My older sister suggested that I should paint it since it looked too plain. I actually thought that it was already okay but I realized that I thought that way because I was scared that I would ruin due to my lack of skills in painting.

I still decided to paint it- I need to apply the theoretical knowledge I learned in Visual Techniques class. I will risk it.

According to research, our eyes gravitate more to warmer and brighter colors so I chose ROY and I left a bit of the upper portion of the bag unpainted. The white will act as neutral color.

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And that’s it. A crochet bag made out of plarn weighing 0.15 kg. Making something from trash to something valuable and usable. This craft project proved that there are sustainable ways to crochet and that yarn isn’t the only material that you can use.

Doubts in one’s creative ability can be cured by guiding people through a series of small successes. And the experience can have a powerful effect on the rest of their lives. -Tom Kelley & David Kelley, Creative Confidence

I observed that I am putting myself into harder-than-the-latest craft projects and since I spent a lot of time in crocheting this, I had a lot of time into brainstorming what can I crochet next. This whole experience opened a new perspective for me that I can crochet using A LOT of different materials other than yarn and I CAN CREATE THINGS without a pattern from the internet.

That combination of thought and action defines creative confidence: the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out. -Tom Kelley & David Kelley, Creative Confidence

Having the courage to act on my ideas is not something that I had overnight. For years, I always follow a certain pattern made by someone which is something that I am grateful for. But I need to learn to create something of my own. Now I had done it and with a new material. Every new project is a result of all craft projects I had done previously. And I am so excited to what more I could discover.

First Poncho I Made Out of Used Yarn

The first poncho I ever created but definitely not the last.

Creating this poncho was special for me in a way. Last month, I joined my group of friends into organizing a clothing swap party for Earth Day 2020 (unfortunately, it was postponed due to COVID-19). In organizing the event, I discovered that I do not actually look at my clothes as something special. Like if you would ask me then, what clothing I had right now that is memorable to me, I would have answered, none. Seeing all those stories from my friends, on how they attended clothing swap parties before, I realized that clothes do have stories.

I made this poncho for supposedly the clothing swap party but it was postponed. Regardless, I am proud of my work.

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The story? Here it is.

Upon having the epiphany that ‘clothes do hold stories’, I sought out to make a clothing through crochet (one of my eclectic skills). I only had 2 plys of yarns in stock so good thing, while I was rummaging my stuff, I found a box full of unused yarn from high school so I decided to use all of them into making this poncho.

Through my Visual Techniques class, I learned about the Prang System color wheel and the color theories. So, I applied those in this poncho. If you would look closely, there are a lot of irregularities in terms of the color layers due to, like I had written, the yarns I used.

I am really proud of this because this is the first clothing that I had made and I did not allow constraints such as lack of yarn or even irregularities to discourage me to complete this. Also, I completely felt like I was in the flow while making this. Time seems to flow and I was on my own crocheting. This project ended quite quickly and when I wrote ‘ended’ it means that I had used up all the yarn (that’s why the poncho is quite short).

What do you think are the reasons why many students dislike mathematics?

[Due to the pandemic, we took our final exam in Calculus via Google Classroom. The exam is a mixed of problems and essay questions. One of the essay questions is, What do you think are the reasons why many students dislike Mathematics?. And this is my answer.]

First, because ever since we are kids, most adults have led us to believe that mathematics is hard. Yes, everything is hard. However, our minds are powerful that whatever we think of translates to our actions. That is why, most kids, until they are adults, believe this idea that, “Mathematics is hard. So, I would not put an effort into it.” 

Second, I observed that most students who dislike mathematics, do not want mathematics because they do not have basic foundation in math. I have seen blocmates and classmates in highschool who wants to like math but they just cannot understand it that they opted to disliking it. I concluded that they just did not have a proper foundation to be able to understand the current lesson but if given a chance to retake earlier math lessons, they would be able to love it and keep up with the current lessons.

Lastly, I think it also falls on primary school educators, kids do not grew up hating math, I think that it all starts on how they are taught with math during their elementary years. If somehow, elementary school teachers failed to teach foundational concepts of math to students, they would grew up thinking that they just are not ‘intelligent’ and would just dislike math. On the other side, it may also be a lack of effort from the student’s side, yes, they lack resources, but practicing everyday is still a progress in understanding math.

Would You Support Humane Prison Design In Your Own Country? Why or Why Not?

Well, why not? I am absolutely shocked that there is even a word or words, “Humane Prison” because I believe that in general, prisons must be humane because humans live there. Its devastating to see how people  go to prison as a punishment for their crimes and not as a way of rehabilitating their lives.

 

Stated in the Section 2 of the Revised IRR of RA 10575 aka The Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013, “It is the policy of the State to promote the general welfare and safeguard the basic rights of every prisoner incarcerated in our national penitentiary by promoting and ensuring their reformation and social reintegration creating an environment conducive to rehabilitation and compliant with the UNSMRTP.” Now as stated, the prison should be “an environment conducive to rehabilitation”. Look at our prisons, I have not been there but seeing how our prisons are packed with people more than its maximum population, that is not an environment conducive to rehabilitation.

 

There are people who says that this type of environment for prisoners could enable them more to commit crimes in order to live there. But data says otherwise. Norway has the most ‘humane prisons’ in the world (I really hate writing the word humane prisons but I will be patient as I think of what word/s I could replace it with) and yet, they also have one of the lowest recidivism rates in the whole world at 20%. People underestimate the feeling of losing liberty because they have not even been to one. This is what I call, Influencing People Through Design. I believe that designers could influence how people live through designing their experience.

 

Gudrun Molden, the architect of Halden Prison (considered as the most ‘humane prison’), said, “Its so important to have a human behaviour towards people, so they are not so angry.” She spoke the truth- the truth about how are prisons are currently designed; the prisons are not built with love for humans nor even empathy.

 

Also, I don’t think building ‘humane’ prisons are even a waste of money at all. Its an investment for the country. Each and every single citizen is important and its important for everyone to be given a chance. And like whats mentioned in RA10575, what they need is an “environment conducive to rehabilitation’.

 

Once we start taking care of every single citizen in our country, may it be PWDs, homeless people, people from all kinds of jobs, kids, adults, senior citizens, and crime offendora, by designing inclusive and ‘humane’ places. Then, we could see change. Being imprisoned is the punishment- the architecture doesn’t have to be.