The old string bag

3 Jul 2008


The story of the old string bag.

This red and white string bag sits in the bottom of my handbag and takes up almost no space.
It's not a "green' bag like those supermarket ones that display to the world that you are saying no to plastic bags ( when you remember to get them out of the car).
Those bags are not particularly useful to carry around just in case you need a bag.
You can't really fold them up and pop them in your handbag.

This bag is to make it easier to carry your shopping when you go to town, so that you can say no to the carry bags in the shops you go to.

This bag is probably at least forty years old. It belonged to my mother.
She had several of them in various colours and they always accompanied her when she went to town so she could manage her parcels.
They are made of string coated in some kind of plastic type material.

This bag left home with me when I headed off into the big wide world to go to University.
I think it had balls of wool in it.
That was in 1978.


Look what has happened.
When I went to put my parcels in it today at the baker I noticed it has started to fall to pieces.
My old friend is reaching the end of it's life.
This funny little string bag has always made me feel a certain connection to my mum as I remember in my childhood - getting dressed up to go to town, lunch in the Myer (our only large department store), spending some time in The Trick Shop ( they sold tricks and fireworks as well as toys and dolls and games) , maybe going to the library then coming home late in the afternoon and unpacking the parcels with mum checking inside each paper bag to see if there was a little treat inside for my sister, my brother or me.

Today it carried my baguette, an almond croissant, some curtain holdbacks...


and, yes Badger, there is some fish for tea in there as well.

I had a lady's day in town; morning tea with a bloggy friend, discovering that the new shop I wanted to check out ( the Vintage Rose) was run by a kindred spirit and doll maker.

This evening was a school concert with Kate playing her violin beautifully.

11 Responses to “The old string bag”

  1. Hi Jen, I have a similar bag made from jute. It's very handy....
    I love the sweet little pictures from your previous post. They are so cute. I think it's a very good thing you are teaching children the skill of knitting. So many children have no ideal of such a skill. Such things are meant to be passed on. Sadly,they are becoming a thing of the past and many are missing out on the joy that comes from creating with ones own hands.
    I myself cannot knit,however I am trying to teach myself. I can crochet and enjoy it very much. My grandchildren are always very interested in watching me and trying to learn.
    Hope you have a great weekend....


  2. Thank you for sharing such a lovely story! I do hope you are successful in repairing your string bag. I carry a reusable bag that folds up into its own pocket. It fits snuggly in my purse, but doesn't have the warm history yours does!

    My congratulations on Kate's fine performance. It shows her hard work and love of the violin!

  3. I've been enjoying your blog. My Gma had these bags. I also remember having a macramé bag that looked very similar. I think you can repair it with some string or nylon line. It's just a series of knots.

    I had to laugh at the "leave it in the car"...I do that allll the time! Oh well, we do recycle the paper bags for trash and it will decompose. So I don't feel that badly.

  4. Jenny, I've knitted a couple of Elisa's Nest Totes. Here is the URL if you'd like to see them:
    I posted a picture of one of the bags I made on my blog, too. I'm not sure of the date, but it's under the label "Sew Crafty Fridays". They don't fold up as small as your string bag of course, but do they ever stretch! I'm planning to make more of them.
    My mother had plasticised string bags, too. So handy.

  5. I love the old string bags. I only ever see them here with the older ladies. Jenny, I'm sure that bag could be fixed. It would just take a bit of knotting with some string or thin fishing line. It would give your bag a few more years.

    Jenny is still watching me from her position on the printer tray. I haven't been inclined to move her because it's so nice to see her there every morning.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  6. Hi Jenny :) What a precious post. It brought to my mind's eye and heart a few "string bag" treasures. Love, Q

  7. Hello Jenny

    Your lovely string bag could be mended or it could have new life as a onion bag in your pantry. Have a wonderful day.
    Bev C

  8. I really like how your bag not only is practical and keeps those plastic bags away, but also has fond memories for you. I hope you can repair it!
    I have a similar bag made of cotton yarn and it is indeed easy to bring along and can hold a lot because of its stretch. We use it all the time.

    Christine from the NL

    PS: very french looking by the way, those parcels and the bread sticking out! I've seen it like that in France many many times. :-)

  9. I grew up in Europe and I remember having bags like that. They even taught in some schools how to make them, I remember my older cousins making them.



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