Several weeks ago, Ravelry was all abuzz about a new knitting bag, made in Seattle by Tom Bihn. It was designed with input from a Knitty contest that I somehow never heard about. I ordered mine as soon as it came out, and picked it up at their showroom a couple of days later. Evidently, many of the colors sold out right away, so I'm glad that I jumped on it so quickly.
I've been carrying the bag every day for a few weeks, including using it as a carry-on on my flight from Orlando - Seattle. It has plenty of room for the things I carry on a daily basis, which can range from a single small project, a book, and my wallet to a couple of projects and files and my laptop when I need it for meetings. The bag has two clear zippered pockets at the top of the bag, a key leash that clips to a ring inside the bag, and a small project bag that also can clip to a ring inside. I didn't have the project bag with me when I took the photos above, but it's pretty cool--it's plenty big for a sock project (or two), and it has a ring inside to thread your yarn through.
In the photo on the right, the bag (which is not at all full) contains:
- My Chevron Scarf knitting bag
- The finished Lace Triangle
- Suite Francaise, the book I was reading while travelling
- Hello Kitty make-up bag
- Anemoi Mittens (you never know when it will be chilly)
- IPod and Phone (unfortunately, not the same device)
- Various papers, pens, etc. in the clear zippered pockets
This morning I took out the Lace triangle and the mittens, and added two more knitting projects and a zippered pouch with notions in it, and it still doesn't feel stuffed.
The bag stays on my shoulder, and I can hold it in one hand to put on my shoulder, unless I'm carrying my laptop. I was a little worried about the open top, because I tend to throw stuff in the bag, and I don't want things to fall out when the bag falls over (like in the car). It hasn't been a problem, though--I just throw loose stuff in the zippered pocket and zip it up. I use a small zippered pouch from Queen Bee as a wallet, and I clip it to the key strap (see bottom right photo below). It's easy to find when I need it, and it would be tricky to steal without me feeling it--good for travelling. Sometimes I forget to tuck it back into the bag, and then I feel like an idiot, but at least it's color coordinated.
The exterior fabic is very durable, and the sock project bag has enough heft that the needles won't poke through (or at least they haven't yet). The olive / cocoa colors of my bag are perfect for fall & winter, and are a nice change from the extremely bright Messenger Bag that I carried around all summer. Plus, the plain color doesn't hide my Zombie Mustache button--I love that the kids are wearing 80's style buttons again. It means that big '80's hair is just around the corner.
The only concern I have is that in very rainy weather (there was quite a downpour in Orlando), the top is open and water could potentially get in the bag. Realistically speaking, though, I'm not outside in really bad weather all that often, and usually it isn't a big surprise. It rains a lot here, but there's not usually torrential rain.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the bag so far, and am planning to take it with me to Kauai. I seriously cannot believe that I haven't heard of this company before, I am now considering several other bags, and maybe another project or organizer bag for this one. If you want to read more about this bag, there's a (far more informative) review here.