Many years ago some people carried string bags in their purses and put their groceries in these reusable bags to carry home from the market. I have a very vague memory of knowing someone who did this.
Once again paper and plastic are out and reusable bags are in. Several years ago I knit a string bag from cotton and the handle STRETCHED so much that the bag kept whacking my knees as I walked. Sure it could stretch to hold alot of groceries but then I couldn’t walk!
Yes, I did try to shrink it with hot water and a hot dryer setting. It simply stretched back out each time I used it. So I threw it in a dark corner of the garage and ignored it. Until now.
I’ve decided that it’s time to revisit my troubled relationship with my hand knit market bag. This time I’ve created my own pattern, to correct the things I didn’t like about the first string bag I knit.
First up I decided on a firmer bottom. I don’t want any holes in the bottom for groceries to slip through unnoticed. I also don’t want the bottom to stretch out adding length to the bag. The consequence of this is that the bag can only fold up as much as the bottom will let it. No squishing it down to nothing like a truly holey bag. My market bag will still fit nicely into a large purse, tote bag or diaper bag leaving plenty of room for everything the bag normally holds.
Second, the first bag had way too much horizontal stretch. It was really all holes. So to show off the color of the bag and to keep the bag from stretching I knit some horizontal bands of into my bag. It will still stretch horizontally, just not as much.
Third is the handle. I made it wider and shorter. The larger width distributes the weight of the groceries in the bag over a larger area making it much more pleasant to carry. The shorter length keeps the bag from whacking my knees, even when it stretches out a bit.
I’m so pleased with how my string bag turned out. I’m knitting a larger one to take with me to the beach! It will be perfect for carrying lunch and a towel and can easily have the sand shaken out of it, or be thrown in the wash.