Boomerang Bags

Have you heard about Boomerang Bags? I hadn’t until my friend Jo, who’s heavily involved in sewing them, told me all about this incredible movement.

Boomerang Bags is a grassroots, community driven movement  tackling plastic pollution at its source.

Volunteers from all walks of life get together to make re-useable ‘boomerang bags’ using recycled materials, as a means to provide a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

The bags create a platform to start conversations, make friends, up-cycle materials and work towards shifting society’s throw away mentality to a more sustainable revolution of re-use – one community, needle and thread at a time!

Together Boomerang Bags links hands globally to create a paradigm shift to a more connected and conscious society.

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a few old tea towels that I’d discovered at the back of my cupboard with a comment that I’d probably throw them away. Jo immediately left a comment begging me to not throw them away but rather donate them to her Boomerang Bags group to be made into reusable bags.

Old tea towels

This got me thinking so I went right through my linen cupboard and found brand new tea towels I’d bought years ago (1980s!!) and took them along to Jo’s house and she kindly made them into Boomerang Bags. Now I can throw those original green shopping bags away. They’re so old and no doubt very dirty as they can’t be washed. At least with fabric Boomerang Bags they’re easy to wash.

Here’s my beautiful collection of Boomerang Bags 🙂 They all contain the Boomerang Bags badge as well as three little loops which allows the checkout operator to hang them on the metal frames where the plastic bags reside.

Boomerang Bag 05-horzBoomerang Bag 07-horzBoomerang Bag 09-horzBoomerang Bag 11-horzBoomerang Bag 13-horzBoomerang Bag 15-horzBoomerang Bag 19-hor

My Mum sent me this tea towel in the early 1980s; that’s how long I’ve had some of these!

I also gave Jo these more recent tea towels. I may even use this one as a project bag!

My friend Stephanie gave me this one of the Kransky Sisters after we’d seen one of their shows. I just couldn’t bear to use it to wipe dishes so I’ve been hanging on to it and now I have lovely bag!

Here are a couple more that I bought from Jo because I couldn’t resist them!

If I enjoyed sewing I’d immediately volunteer to be a helper at Jo’s group so I’m going to do my bit by publicising Boomerang Bags as much as I can! There are groups all around the country that are crying out for volunteers. You can find out more on the Boomerang Bags website. However, if you live in the Wynnum Manly area of Brisbane, you sew and you’d love to connect with like-minded women and volunteer some of your time, you can contact me via the Contact Me page which is on the top banner of my blog page and I can put you in touch with Jo.

The Boomerang Bags groups are also after donations of suitable fabrics to make their bags, eg tea towels. cotton, poly/cotton, cushion covers. In fact if you think you’d like it as a bag it’ll probably be suitable.

The bags can be given away to friends, family, colleagues, the bag-less stranger in front of you at the supermarket. They can be used to wrap presents in (I love this idea!) or stashed in your car and handbag so that you’re never caught without a reusable bag when you need one.

However you choose to distribute your bags, the most important thing is to ensure that they’re distributed with a message…about waste, about sustainability, about community…make the connection and empower and inspire people to be part of the solutions!

If there’s no Boomerang Bags group in your area, you can start one! Just visit the website where you’ll find the contact details of someone who will help you.

Jo sells her group’s bags for $3 each which is very reasonable considering she uses some of her own fabric to complete bags, uses all her sewing machines (plus electricity), threads, ribbons, elastic, screen prints the badges and lots more. I know where my donation dollars will be going in the future!!

I hope this story has inspired you to contact your nearest Boomerang Bags group and get on board with using less plastic and more fabric!!

Until next time…

Melanie

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Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted Solids Yarn from American Yarns in Melbourne, Australia

American yarns like Premier, Caron, Red Heart, Bernat and Lily sugar ‘n cream are sought after in Australia. Did you know there is a now a local supplier?

When Pauline from American Yarns, an online yarn shop based in Melbourne, contacted me to see whether I’d like to try some of their yarn, of course my answer was a resounding YES!

I had a look at the website as I was looking for suitable yarn to make a baby cardigan and boots. Pauline suggested Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted Solids which is a 10 ply yarn.

I was sent three balls of this yarn in the colourway Spa and a contrasting colourway Grass.

Deborah Norville Premier Everyday 01
This yarn is beautifully soft and squishy and perfect for a baby’s delicate skin. It’s a 100% acrylic anti-pilling fibre. Each 113g ball contains 186m/203 yds. As it’s a worsted yarn I used 5mm needles but you could quite easily use 5.5mm needles too. The ball band provides tension square details for both needle sizes.

The pattern I selected is the In Threes baby cardigan which is such a popular pattern on Ravelry with over 7,500 completed projects!

In Threes Green Blue 04

In Threes Green Blue 05I’m so glad I suggested the contrast colour and thank you Pauline for selecting such a great match.

The yarn is beautiful to knit with; it has such an even and consistent thickness and comes in a great colour selection which you can see on American Yarn’s website.

Three buttons finish off the cardigan. I have a thing about using odd buttons too. I have so many different one off buttons. Why not just use them!

In Threes Green Blue 07

The yolk does look so much nicer when a contrast yarn is used on the garter stitch section don’t you think?

In Threes Green Blue 09

Using only one ball of the Spa and Glass (with some left over), I also made these rather cute Baby Hug Boots. So using less than two balls of yarn you can knit the 0-6 months size In Threes cardigan and these Baby Hug Boots.

Baby Hug Boots 03

I made the three month size boots using size 5mm needles which made the boots more for a six month old. I have used this pattern before and it’s actually knitted back and forth and then the boots are seamed. I prefer to use dpns and then I only have to seam the sole.

Baby Hug Boots 05

This is my ‘go to’ baby boots pattern and I particularly love using a contrast colour for the sole and the ribbed top.

Baby Hug Boots 01

If you’re after some great American yarn, then head on over to American Yarns and check out their website. They also have a Facebook page as well as an Instagram page.

Thank you Pauline and American Yarns for allowing me to try your lovely yarn; it’s perfect for baby garments 🙂

I hope you enjoy knitting with this beautiful yarn as much as I did!

Until next time…

Melanie