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String and it's uses

Why String?

String is a very useful commodity to have, it has many practical uses, a great platform for amusement, and a never ending source of entertainment.

String is a product that everyone uses and somewhere within their household they have it. String comes in various colours and sold in several forms, be it in cones, balls or just a metre or two in a bag.

Just in case, there are some of you reading this article, and thinking to yourselves, "Where can I get this?"  there are a number of outlets for string so please try your stationers, hardware store, garden centre or even your local corner shop and I am sure that they will be able to help you.


When I was a child , string held a fascination, with none other than the cats cradle. I never seemed to get it right, though my brothers and sister were good at it.

We, kids [there were four of us] had a favourite pastime , much to the annoyance of our parents. Spider webs! We were brought up in a three storey house and the ballistra was open and allowed us to wind string from top to bottom of the house, to and fro the landings, tying the door handles and make it a near impossibility to manouvre without falling over. We, would do this and go out, thus avoiding the inevitable destruction of our handiwork.

As we got older, we had the privilege of being allowed to put our finger on the knot when parcels were being tied. Did I say privilege, think it was sadistic, the number of times by finger was tied to the parcel was nobodies business .Ouch!

When, I left home I discovered more practical uses for string. The first was as a plumbline for when I was decorating. Adding a weight to a length of string and positioning up against a wall gave me a perfect straight line for hanging wallpaper.

I found that string gave me a perfect guide for laying blocks in a straight line, when I attempted to build a retaining wall to keep the garden from coming into my kitchen.

With the garden in place and the plants maturing , the use of string extended, to tying back unruly plants.

I have three boys, when they were younger ,they decided to go fishing. Ok , up the garden they went, lifting stones and flower pots to capture the elusive worm for their bait, storing them I might add in one of their lunch boxes. " Be back for tea" they shouted, "Will you cook our fish?" Assuring them that I would, they set off.

A few hours later , they returned, no fish , and with the youngest crying his eyes out. Getting to the bottom of the distress, I discovered that they had baited their hooks , thrown them into the water and watched as the fish took their hook and swam away. Trying hard not to laugh, I explained,

"to tie string to the hook before you throw it, and to attach the string to a piece of wood, like a broken branch from a tree, and that would have helped to solve the problem,

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Realizing that they were really keen, we headed along to our local fishing tackle shop, purchased three fishing rods and reels, asked the keeper for the correct poundage of nylon fishing line for the type of fishing they wanted to do. Happiness was restored, and the whole summer was enjoyed by all.

The following year, the new craze was kite flying and several days were spent in designing and building their kites. However, after building the kite, decorating it, and walking up on the downs, their fun was short-lived. Holding the kite up in the air, running and releasing it, and they were gone forever. The kites flew away or bounced along the ground and were destroyed.

I am not sure what my kids were thinking, but decided to help with a few little pointers ensuring that the kites would not exceed the flying height of 50' from ground level.

Depending on the size of their kites, we decided whether they would need one or two connections from the kite. For each connection they needed:
52' of string, a piece of cylindrical wood, about 8" in length, to which one end of the string should be attached securely , with maybe a clove hitch type knot [ for added security, I would seal this knot with melted candle wax]

Then wound the string around the length of wood , and ensured that enough was left, with to attach the string, and seal, to their kites.

This summer also proved to be a great success, with both their fishing and kite flying.

Mozart - String Serenade no 13

Now I am older!

With the fun and games of childhood over, and my home and garden in a manageable state , I have the time to turn to my real passion regarding string, where emotion , thoughts and dreams are made - Music.

Schubert sends me into a melancholy state, where thoughts, tears and dreams become reality, wheras, Mozart is uplifting and leaves no room for sentiment other than good feeling, dance and fills me with total energy and life.


kiki on January 07, 2013:

u could use a thick rope to bungee jump {sorry if i spelt bungee wrong} ;} hi

dickhead on August 10, 2010:

thx for your post bout sharing with us

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on July 28, 2009:

Candie, that is a brilliant idea, putting string in the door jam...thanks for this helpful tip.

Yes I did add to the content, since your last visit, so many possibilities for the uses of string !!! I found.

Sorry, didn't acknowledge the 'kitty' idea, think everyone has done that at some point in their life. lol

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on July 28, 2009:

*pulling string along the floor* "Here Kitty Kitty!!"

Hey Hawkes!! This is has evolved into quite a nice hub!! Have you added to it? You know.. I have another use for string.. say you suspect someone is entering your room and going thru your stuff, but you can't be sure.. put a little piece of string in the door jam and if it's on the floor when you get back.. well, there you go.

Just trying to be helpful!

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on July 28, 2009:

Hey Feline, thanks for popping in, I prefer the grown up stuff too.

Feline Prophet on July 27, 2009:

How did I miss this one? I like your grown up preoccupation with strings best! :)

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on July 27, 2009:

Thank you so much LV, I do try to do my best. great to see you, your visits are always welcome.

LittleWhistle on July 27, 2009:

This is the most comprehensive hub regarding the creativity and use of string, I have ever seen. Absolutely brilliant. You are a good mom!

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on July 18, 2009:

Hi Shannondoah, thanks for dropping in, dont go tying everyone in knots , will you !!

Shannondoah on July 18, 2009:

I bought a Box of assorted String from an Auction.

I don't know what do do with it. But this Hub will definitely be a Source of Inspiration for me to make many wonderful things for friends and family.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on July 16, 2009:

I will inquire about this miracle device, this "string".

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on July 16, 2009:

hi Charlie, yes i thought about that one, might just do a little research. never know , an addition could be added it here OR a whole new hub , Yeah!!!

ralwus on July 16, 2009:

yes string is a neat thing. now we have the cosmologists and their string theory to play with too.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on July 04, 2009:

this is so very true, Christoph, could never fly a kite, always got tied up inknots lol

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on July 04, 2009:

A ball of string always reminds me of flying kites as a kid. You used string to hold the frame in a curved position, and of course, to fly the kite. We would tie several balls together and see how far we could get our kites to go. The distances we achieved was staggering, and it couldn't have been done without humble string.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 19, 2009:

thank you Not Telling, much appreciated, always good to see you.

Not Telling from Eastern Nowhere on June 19, 2009:

String is indispensible, and stringed instruments unique in the sound they produce and the technique required to play them. Very enjoyable article.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 18, 2009:

I quite agree RGraf, there is always string in our house, sometimes have to look for it, goes on walkabout you know!!!

Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on June 18, 2009:

Every house should have string in it's pantry.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 16, 2009:

lol Dolores, we had such fun, especially if parents were having a lie in.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on June 15, 2009:

As a gardener, I would never be without string! The spiderweb business was hilarious, what a mess. I'm glad my kids did not think of that.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 14, 2009:

Thanks K@ri, you know what they say:- how long is a piece of string? plenty of stories to come lol

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on June 14, 2009:

I love the way you used a piece of string to tie different parts of your life into a story! I loved the videos also. :)

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 13, 2009:

Thankyou hilltrekker for popping in to read and to leave a great comment.

hilltrekker on June 13, 2009:

excellent hub, must appreciate your thoughtful vision, not everyone is blessed to peep into the little things important for life, but you are.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 12, 2009:

lol, tell the Cap'n, next time he goes shopping, to buy you one. Great to see ya.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 08, 2009:

Don't believe a word of it ,bc, surely the cabin girl could amuse you a

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 08, 2009:

Don't hate mondays, they are the start of a new week, who knows what may happen.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 06, 2009:

Hmmm, I thought that too.

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on June 06, 2009:

Hmmm interesting... I had to laugh though, I can be really bad at tying strings. :-)

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 06, 2009:

Cheers me hearty, good to see you, have a good one.

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 06, 2009:

Thanks for reading , frogy, good to have you drop in. The 13th is one of my favourites.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on June 05, 2009:

Kin...! My two young girls used to tape strings across their doorway so I would trip when I came in to say goodnight - they thought it was soooo funny -and I loved them for it!  They could do cat's cradle like crazy, but I just tried!  Enjoyable hub and string music too - especially the 13th, which I like, but never know the name...  Thanks for great stringing hub!

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 05, 2009:

great poem Iphy, will have to learn that one, thank you for adding it here.

Iphigenia on June 05, 2009:

Cat's cradle was a favourite game in our house. I love string - and still love playing with it. There was a poem that we learned at school which I can still recite verbatim, it is from Hillaire Belloc's 'Cautionary Tales for Children' and is called "Henry King" :

The Chief Defect of Henry King 

Was chewing little bits of String. 

At last he swallowed some which tied 

Itself in ugly Knots inside. 

Physicians of the Utmost Fame

Were called at once; but when they came

They answered, as they took their Fees,

"There is no Cure for this Disease.

"Henry will very soon be dead."

His Parents stood about his Bed

Lamenting his Untimely Death,

When Henry, with his Latest Breath, 

Cried, "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,

That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, and Tea

Are all the Human Frame requires..."

With that, the Wretched Child expires. 

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 05, 2009:

Aww! Candie, that's cruel, good one though, haha

Nah Katyzzz, honest it's all true, lol

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on June 05, 2009:

Are you stringin' me along by any chance? a great hub, keep on hubbin'

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on June 04, 2009:

You can also tie around a tooth, and the knob on a door, have the poor unsuspecting child (owner of the loose tooth - it must be loose before you do this), then slam the door, pop the tooth out, give the screaming child some ice cream! And extra toothfairy coins under their pillow for putting up with this nonsense!

Al Hawkes (author) from Cornwall on June 04, 2009:

Hi Gypsy, String is always handy to have around.

RBlue and Laughing Mom, had to laugh myself, glad you sorted out how to tie string one handed, Thanks for popping in.

Laughing Mom on June 04, 2009:

Oh, I knew you had an answer *because* I knew you were truly talented. I just wanted to know how to do it. I have lots of things I need to remember.....

And I can tie TWO knots in a cherry stem. So there!!

R. Blue from Right here on June 04, 2009:

Hey LM.....I'm a truly talented individual...I can even tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue.....and on the string...You actually use both hands....the thumb on the string tied hand is used to hold the string while tieing........and you thought I had no answer.

Laughing Mom on June 04, 2009:

Mind explaining to me how you tie a string around your finger, R? I mean you only have the one hand with which to do the work......

R. Blue from Right here on June 04, 2009:

I tie a little piece of it around my finger to remind me of all it's uses....but I still forget what they are. Thanks for reminding me. I'll now tie a string around my finger to remind me where this hub was.........

Laughing Mom on June 04, 2009:

The spider webs were always fun to do at family reunions while everyone was asleep. When they woke up, they couldn't get out of their sleeping bags or pallets or beds or wherever they landed the night before without getting all tangled up and falling. I don't know why that's so funny, but it is.

Cat's cradle required me to sit still for too long. I didn't have enough patience. But the video was very entertaining!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on June 04, 2009:

One should never be without it! I still can't beak the habit f keeping all string that comes my way!

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