Bags…when is 1 more too many?

How do you feel about bags? I think I have a ‘love-guilt’ relationship with them. I love them. I am attracted to them. I am always in pursuit of the perfect one, which in itself is a ridiculous crusade. There are so many options, so many uses and the prevalence of choice is really a luxury. If I never bought, was given or made a new bag…I would still have more than I need. But oh… I love them…they can be like art, they are an expression of how we feel, they hold hidden treasure…rubbish and valuables in equal measure.

In many countries a large piece of cloth or a basket will suffice for many carrying needs. A good pocket will also make a small bag redundant. As people use their phones as their wallet, I see fewer and fewer bags being used. But the crafty still need their project bag.

For crochet I have range of bags. Some bought, some made, some gifted.

At home I have two baskets, one next to the sofa, another next to the armchair. They are both static but they seem to keep the current projects or yarn that I am noodling with in place. They usually keep spare needles, wire and stuffing also.

Full disclosure – this is not the location of the ‘STASH’ that is very much hidden away…lurking in wardrobes and under beds.

I then have a number of project bags. They are different sizes and have different fastenings, pocket and handles. Event though I have quite a range – the same few get used more often than not. Firstly the pretty drawstring bag in yellow. This is ideal for small projects; socks, toys and perhaps the sleeve of a garment. Being yellow it is easy to find and it is the most useful for throwing into a handbag for travel.

I have a lovely calico bag with a leather handle. This is a post crafters bag and it is almost like a statement piece – ‘if you know you know’. It has a flat bottom and a wide opening. This seems to me to be the very essence of use-ability. It does have a rivet in the inside pocket. I think the purpose is the thread yarn through… have you ever used this? It seems like a pfaff to me and will annoyingly snag your yarn. I have never used it. Please…if you have a better understanding of how to use a yarn rivet or hole in a craft bag…you just have to tell me.

Lots and lots of you who have a knitting and crochet habit will be shouting at this blog and say; ‘YOU ARE FORGETTING THE GAUZE BAG!’. You are correct of course. Since Covid, and due to our online yarn buying habit more and more of us use the gauze bags that our yarn is packaged in to keep our projects in order. I can’t deny they are a great storage solution. You can spot the yarn straight away and keep all you yarn neatly packaged. I always use mine for my toy stuffing!

But I have two current favourite project bags. One made and the other gifted. A lovely friend, Judy from the yarn group I visit in Skipton gave me this glorious bag just before Christmas. It is just about perfect. A flat bottom for stability, long useful handles and in the prettiest blue which means I am happy to have it sitting almost permanently in the living room.

My next favourite for large project is a version of the Granny Square basket I designed for Inside Crochet Magazine. The Dorothy basket is a classic idea and so simple to make – it is ideal as a weekend project. I have lined mine with some cardboard for a stable base and put a fabric inner within for durability. A few years on this bag is still going strong and there have been a few visits to the beach and to the park to challenge its durability.

Inside Crochet have just re-released this pattern in this month’s magazine. Do seek a copy out. It is a gem. But also please do tell me about your favourite project bag and why. I always like to know and you never know I might just add to my guilty collection.

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