Anyone who has ever been faced with a kitchen sink full of crusty dishes will attest to the wonders of a dish scrubber with an abrasive surface. Crochet your own scrubbing pads and textured washcloths by recycling mesh produce bags (the kind citrus fruits often come in) into a long, yarn-like strand. The resulting mesh bag yarn, when worked into any dishcloth or scrubbing pad design, creates a rough surface that cuts through dried-on food messes. It is even safe for non-stick surfaces, such as Teflon coated pots and pans.
Cutting Mesh Bags for Yarn
1. Cut the paper or plastic tag off the top of the bag. Both ends will now be open.
2. Lay the bag on the table in front of you so that the open ends are facing to the sides.
3. Working vertically, cut the bag into 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips. Each strip will actually be a ring of the mesh material. Continue working until the entire bag is cut into strips.
Stringing Mesh Bag Strips into Yarn
1. Slip knot one loop of mesh bag into another loop. Pull carefully until the two are joined into one string. This is tricky; the mesh bag will have a barbed-wire-like appearance and easily gets stuck on itself. Work slowly and patiently to avoid tangles.
2. Continue adding loops in this fashion, linking them end-to-end.
3. To keep the mesh bag yarn from tangling, tape one end of the strand to a cardboard toilet paper tube. Wind the strand around the toilet paper tube as you connect the loops.
4. Stretch the mesh bag yarn as you wind it around the toilet paper tube. Stretching the yarn gives it more length, making a single bag yield more yardage and using fewer bags per project.
Tips for Working with Recycled Mesh Bag Yarn
* Mesh bag yarn is easier to work with when paired with a strand of standard yarn.
* Avoid tangling the mesh bag yarn as you stitch by working with loose stitches in a larger gauge.
* Whenever you are crocheting a dish cloth or other similar item, use an absorbant yarn. It is also important to make sure the yarn you choose is machine washable. All-cotton yarns, such as Sugar ‘˜n’ Cream crochet yarn, work well for making dish scrubbers.
* For a more aggressive scrubbing surface, cut the mesh bag strips slightly wider.