Avoiding a soggy bottom

I’m one of the few people who doesn’t watch the Great British Bake Off – can’t bake, won’t bake, get no pleasure from watching others bake.  But such is the blanket media coverage when the TV series is running that even I know that the contestants’ baked goods frequently suffer from soggy bottoms, and much double entendre mileage is gained from this.  I too have suffered the soggy bottom fate on occasion, but with shopping bags rather than flans and pies. 

The weather here being frequently damp, you put your bags down on the ground at your peril.  Until October last year it wasn’t too much of a problem, because plastic carrier bags were dished out for free in supermarkets and elsewhere.  But when the mandatory 5p per bag charge came into force for all large English retailers, I started using home-made bags for my shopping trips, supplemented by a few durable “bags for life” from the supermarkets.  I can’t complain, being an environmentalist I’m entirely in favour of anything that stops unnecessary consumption of plastic and reduces litter.

Bag in its pouch

Metallic bag in its pouch

I always carry a nylon bag in my handbag, for unexpected purchases.  It folds up very small and weighs almost nothing.  It’s showerproof, but not totally waterproof.  If you want to make one, see my metallic nylon shopping bag tutorial.  I made a few heavier-weight fabric bags as well last year when the supply of free plastic bags dried up.  The only problem is they can’t cope with being put down on wet ground.  Fine in summer, but I need something more winter-proof.

I had a strip of synthetic, water-resistant canvas left from making (amongst other things) a log carrier.

Canvas log carrier

Canvas log carrier

There wasn’t enough of the canvas to make a whole bag, but I reckoned that only the bottom few inches need to be mud-resistant.

Linen unionI also have some squares of Liberty furnishing fabric that cost me 15p each from a Lancashire factory shop that is, alas, no more.

And I still have plenty of webbing from a roll of it I once bought in Bonds to attach a bike rack to the car boot.  I’ve used it for bag handles galore, including the log carrier.

I set to work last weekend and am well on the way to finishing my new shopping bag.  A tutorial will follow when I get time to write it up.  I’ve lined the bag for strength and put a pocket on the inside.  It’s basically a work-horse sort of a bag rather than a pretty one, but the Liberty fabric lifts it out of the ordinary.

Shopping bag, almost finished

Mini basket for the Christmas tree

Yarn basket tree decorationI saw this pattern for a basket of yarn ornament on Ravelry and couldn’t resist making another Christmas tree decoration.  It’s the easiest and quickest knitted decoration ever, although I did complicate things a bit by knitting it all-in-one and in the round (bottom up) instead of flat as written. The “knitting needles” are made from a red paperclip and a couple of beads.  Cute, eh?

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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