Who does not love a good tote bag? I'm sure I don't know since I seem to have collected enough to last a lifetime. A good tote bag can draw me in and force me to add it to my collection faster than I can think, 'Do I really need another tote?'. I have been known to buy for color, size, pockets (both interior and exterior), handle length and, when it’s used to promote a cause I like, a small contribution is a modest price to pay for a useful tote bag.
The right tote can proclaim you as a person with a passion, a person with a cause or a person who cares so much about the environment that he/she would never, ever think of using a plastic or paper bag from the store. When you are a knitter - especially a knitter who like to have the work at hand - the "right" knitting tote is not only a practical necessity, but also a prize.
Notice I use the word "right" there. To qualify as a great knitting tote a few important things must be considered. First, who made it? For it to be a truly knit-worthy tote, ideally it should be designed by a company that understands knitting people and their needs. For example: Knitter's Pride, one of the world's largest manufacturers of knitting needles and tools, knows what knitters like. They make a tote to keep forever.
First and foremost, is its size. I tend to take multiple projects on the road, so I like a large tote, since I usually need room for one very large and a few smaller projects. Given time and space, I usually like to work on the big one. If I have a short amount of time, I'll often take out a hat or a sock to knock off a few rows.
Another very important aspect of a good tote is its pockets. "Multiple" is the word to remember when it comes to pockets. If they are zippered, so much the better.
My favorite knitting tote has two pockets in the interior of the bag and one large flat pocket on the exterior. I use the two on the inside for storing extra tools or accessories and/or smaller skeins of yarn. The exterior one is usually used for my pattern since I want to be able to whip it out when a little down time turns into a knitting hour or two. It's also the perfect place to stash my mobile phone. (After all, you never know when someone is going to call. Another valuable feature in a good knitting tote is interior vertical column pockets for storage of needles. If needles have their own special place, they stay free of tangles with yarns and are safely stored and quickly accessed.
The absolute perfect tote has two very important additional features: One is a "flat bottom" that allows me to set it down on a table or floor so that it can stand up. That access makes it possible to find the materials inside easily and turns it into a functional project bag.
A long-handled tote is also to be treasured. The distributed weight in a long- handled tote bag is easier to carry. It also helps when it is attractive since knitters value a good tote the way they value a good skein of yarn - for its beauty as well as its usefulness.
One last thing that makes any tote, be it a large or small, a treasure beyond measure: A snap loop, inside the bag, designed to hold your keys. After all, who knows when you might hear of a new knitting store or a new fiber festival and you need to get on the road? You'll need to find those keys quickly!
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