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Years ago, groceries were loaded into brown paper bags that I rather liked, though they either lacked handles entirely or had handles that broke when you picked them up. Then came plastic—now banned in some areas because they are not biodegradable and, in aggregate, take up lots of room in landfills.

I have conscientiously bought some of the ugly logo bags that the supermarket sells, but I wanted something that would improve on the old brown paper ones. I don’t like the open knit, crochet, or macrame bags because small items fall through the openings. Hence, this knitted and felted grocery bag, also very nice as a carryon, knitting bag, or general purpose tote. I perked up with a pair of handsome and sturdy leather handles (Grayson E, distributed by Muench Yarns, and available, in larger and smaller sizes, from snap closing, and available from My Sister Knits, Fort Collins, Colorado, (970) 407-1461) in two sizes. These are 22” long and $44 a pair as of this writing). The bag is fitted with a center magnetic snap, available from notions racks anywhere that knitting supplies are sold.

The bags are fitted with firm plastic bottoms, made from a self-healing cutting mats from the local art supply store. You can make this in any color, or colors; with intarsia or jacquard passages, or anything you like, of course. You can embroider or needle-felt a design to really make this your own, too.