Begin by making a slipknot with the plarn. Working with each loop, you’ll crochet with 2 strips of plastic bag at a time. Just let them twist or wrap together as you work.
Insert the crochet hook into the slipknot and make a chain 20 stitches long. Make a single-crochet (sc) in the second chain from the hook. Continue making sc stitches in the rest of the chain. When you reach the end of the chain, turn and come back down the other side of the chain. You are making a secure bottom to the tote bag. Continue crocheting in the round, making sc stitches in each stitch, going around and around. Work until the bag is about 12 inches long. Stop working at the end of a row.
With a marker, mark the center of the front and center of the back along the last row you did. Count 3 stitches both directions from that center point, and place another mark. Between these marks will be the handle section.
From the side where you stopped, begin making sc stitches again, stopping at the first mark for the handle. Don’t make a stitch in that handle area; instead make a chain 8 stitches long. Then begin making sc stitches again, starting at the other mark of the handle section and skipping all the stitches between the two marks. Keep going until you come to the handle section on the other side of the bag. Do the same: stop at the first handle mark, make a chain 8 stitches long, then sc stitches starting at the end mark of the handle section.
Continue crocheting until you come to the chain you made earlier. Make single-crochet stitches on the chain section. Continue crocheting, across both handle chains, until you are back at the first handle. Cut the plarn about 6 inches from your hook, and pull it into a knot. Tuck the end inside some stitches to hide it.
Charity and church groups crochet plarn mats for people who are homeless or facing natural disasters. People who sleep in sleeping bags can use them to keep their bedding clean and dry. Ask if anyone you know is doing this, then join them to make mats or collect bags for the group. Go online to find a group, or start your own. It takes about 600 shopping bags to make a sleeping mat. You’ll help others, and keep the planet clean, with your crochet skills.
This free knitting pattern was excerpted with permission from <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/161373400X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=161373400X&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20&linkId=b9c3c1bd51ad2a82f2d7f9e3674b8d72">Knit, Hook, and Spin: A Kid's Activity Guide to Fiber Arts and Crafts</a>.