Every fiber artist needs a project bag or ten. I probably have more than ten. Okay, I actually probably have around 50, but I have a lot of WIPs! I said that a little defensively, I guess – can you feel personally attacked by your own words? I also like how I used “a lot of WIPs” as an excuse there in that sentence instead of being ashamed that I start multiple projects without finishing the ones that came before. No matter, the point of this post is not my knitting habits, it is about the project bags made by Erin Lane Bags.
I love a good project bag, particularly in a cute fabric. I am not typically drawn to traditional knitting bag patterns that contain frolicking sheep or balls of yarn on them, but if you can take sheep and put a twist on them with hand drawn characters in familiar situations, I can be intrigued. Throw in some foul language, and my interest is piqued more. And that is how I found myself buying multiple bags with Erin Lane’s signature sheep, Larry, on them.
Poor Larry. Things just don’t go his way. I feel like he might be a little depressed. I kind of want to give him a big hug and knit him a hat. In the picture above I have the large and sock sized drawstring project bags. (Boy do they look wrinkled in that picture! I refuse to iron project bags, though. I don’t even iron my clothes if I can help it!)
Larry isn’t the only unique sheep at Erin Lane. The brand has a wide range of exclusive fabrics containing what they call Sheeple, often placed in your favorite fandom, such as Harry Potter, Outlander and Star Wars. I picked up a California themed Sheeple print in a sock bag and crafting Sheeple in a dice bag.
If the sheeps aren’t your jam, don’t worry, Erin Lane does make project bags in other fabrics that you’ll see in some more of these pictures. I actually think Lindsey, the owner, has quite the knack for finding cute fabric.
Let’s start with the things I like. All of the bags are fully lined with light colored fabric to keep needles from poking through and keeping the inside of the bag from being too dark to find your errant needles. The drawstring bags are self-locking, so you don’t need to worry about them coming open in your tote and small items falling out. The fabric is also incredibly lightweight. A lot of other projects bags can feel thick and heavy, adding weight to toting your projects around, but I find Erin Lane bags to feel as light as a favorite worn t-shirt.
Large drawstring bags measure 15″ x 15″. In this picture, I loaded it up with three balls of DK weight cotton yarn for reference.
As you can see, there is still plenty of room for more yarn and your project in there. I am currently carrying around a project that has 1000 yards of fingering weight yarn in it, and it all fits fine. One of the drawbacks of this bag is that there is no box bottom, so if you like to knit right out of your bag, keep that in mind.
The sock project bag is my personal favorite size in the line up, and it DOES have a 5″ box bottom and stands about 7″ tall. It also comes with a looped snap should you decide to hang it from a bag, chair, or your jeans. For reference, this one is holding 2 of those same DK weight cotton balls.
I am currently carrying around a sock bag that contains a ball of worsted merino, a hat, and two sizes of circular needles and it has so much room I am considering throwing another ball of worsted in there just in case I finish the hat and want to start another while I am away from home.
Erin Lane also has zippered bags. They aren’t my favorite, but I do have a couple in my collection. This is the Z-Pro, which is 12″ x 9″ x 4″. For reference, those DK cotton balls are back for another appearance.
Also in the Erin Lane lineup, but which I don’t own any to show, are tote bags, bucket bags, and vinyl see through bags. There are also needle and notions packs. This is the KnitPack Notions bag. The magnet closure actually slides and accommodates the bag when you add so many notions it gets a little chunky.
As you can probably tell from the number of bags I own, I am a fan. There are a couple of things that you should be aware of, though. None of these things will keep me from buying again, but I wanted to be fair in this review.
The website does not adequately show the bags available. The best way to see the selection is to find the Erin Lane booth at a fiber event or catch one of their Facebook live sales. During the Facebook live, Lindsey will hold up a bag with the price, and then if you are fast enough, you can claim and purchase the bag. I find the live sales fun, but some items do immediately sell out, so if you are easily frustrated be prepared.
I wish the bags had a pocket inside. I like to bring small notions with me like a tape measure, stitch markers, or scissors, and without a pocket these items roll around the bottom of the bag with the yarn and project. Not a dealbreaker for me, but I wouldn’t mind paying a couple extra bucks for one.
And lastly, take a close look at your item before you use it. I have had three kind of annoying things happen that have taught me a few lessons. First, sometimes the strings on the bag come without a knot. It’s easy to knot yourself, but the first time I tried to close a bag that didn’t have a knot I was taken by surprise.
The other two annoyances came up with mail packaging. One bag came to me with the string closed up in the adhesive of the envelope, so I had to get the “goo” off of it. The second instance was more disappointing. I purchased a Larry mug from Pawley Studios during a live sale, and there was so little protective wrapping around the mug, it arrived in pieces. I’d recommend buying your mug directly from the Pawley Studios website. (Pick up a Knitmore Girls mug there, too!)