Bling bags

As a thank-you, I made my friend who gave me the box of shiny thread two string bags embellished with it. She promptly named them “bling bags”. I shall call them this when I finally get round to making some for my future etsy shop (watch this space). For the time being, I just thought you might like to see how they came out:

They are much more sparkly than they appear in the pictures… ideal for glamorous shopping.

Some sparkle in my life

Earlier in the week I came across an attractive cotton yarn with a sparkly thread running through it. I thought that it would be lovely to make some glamorous string bags with this yarn, but the choice of colours was very limited and so I didn’t buy any, thinking I might be able to find a better range on-line. As it turned out the shop that I had seen it in had the entire range – navy, white, black, pink, turquoise and lilac was pretty much it, so I didn’t buy any hoping that the manufacturer might expand the choice later in the year.

Yesterday, however, a dear friend of mine gave me this:

An old chocolate box... what could be inside?

An old chocolate box… what could be inside?

She told me that it had belonged to her grandmother and that she’d had it for 15 years. She said she wanted this to go to someone who would make use of it. It’s exactly the sort of box I use for crafty treasures, so I suspected it would contain something lovely. And I wasn’t disappointed:

A box of all sorts of colours of shiny thread… ideal for combining with some plain cotton yarn to make glamorous string bags. What a fabulously generous gift! On my way home after receiving this treasure chest, I called in to my favourite yarn shop and bought some lovely colours of cotton so that I could start making a thank you:

Hook out straight away when I got home!

Hook out straight away when I got home!

The picture really doesn’t show up the sparkles very well, but in real life it will really add some shine to any shopping trip. I also got these colours:

I think these bags are going to be in demand!

I think these bags are going to be in demand!

So, west Wales is going to be full of lovely shopping bags – saving the environment and brightening up our lives.

A thing for string

Now string, unlike politics, is something I can have  a positive relationship with…

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know about my love of string and you won’t be surprised to read that I was very excited about the prospect of using it for crochet. When my friend Sarah introduced me to dishcloth cotton a few weeks ago I was captivated, especially since she simultaneously gave me a pattern to knit a string bag complete with its own storage pouch built-in and forming the base of the bag. The pattern for this bag originates from the 1940s, but similar patterns can be found on Ravelry. My only problem to begin with was that my local yarn shop had sold out of dishcloth cotton, so I had to restrain myself. Of course I could have ordered some over the internet, but I stuck to my guns and waited until it was back in stock locally.

On Saturday I was able to buy some Stylecraft Craft Cotton (sounds much more fancy than dishcloth cotton) and away I went (putting aside the woolly yarn bag I was working on). Actually, I got distracted to begin with and made what may be the world’s fanciest dishcloth:

Just because it's a dishcloth doesn't mean it can't be lovely (no pattern for this, I just made it up)

Just because it’s a dishcloth doesn’t mean it can’t be lovely (no pattern for this, I just made it up)

But then I regained focus and made my very first string bag:

I suspect that it won’t be my last, although I will modify the pattern a bit next time. Plus, having got the feel of it, I now know that Sirdar Simply Recycled (a mix of cotton and acrylic) will be suitable, and I have several balls of that left over from previous projects.

Here in Wales, shops are no longer allowed to give out plastic bags for free, so there has been an increase in people having their own shopping bags. I can think of lots of folks who could make use of a few of these. And even where plastic bags are freely available, something like this is a much better option if you are trying to be sustainable.

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