Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Lands End Medium Open Top Tote - Knitting Bag

Yey, it’s arrived! The post man had already come this morning and I was very disappointed when my tote hadn’t arrived (I had been e-mailed by Lands End to say that the bag was posted on 29th June and I should have it in about 2 days, so I was impatiently waiting).  

But lo and behold, silly postie forgot he had a parcel for me and came back. I could hear someone faffing in the driveway and there it was waiting for me on the post-box.

I swear my fingers were trembling as I opened the plastic and took it out! I had been looking and looking for a decent knitting bag for ages, it’s not as if I had many criteria, well maybe I had (snigger, nothing came close to covering what I wanted!)

Firstly, it had to
a) look good
b) be reasonably priced
c) have no zips or Velcro (I knit lace, God forbid I have a zip of Velcro related lace accident!)
d) have internal and/or
e) external pockets for all my knitterly stuff
f) hold one to two projects and extra yarn
g) hold needles and notebook
h) be European – no offence, just don’t want to have to pay additional levies and taxes to customs
i) have reasonable postage to Ireland
j) didn’t have to be a handbag cleverly disguised as a knitting bag – I already have a handbag thank you very much, and I have no problem keeping them separate
k) could be handmade, or shop bought
l) be easily accessible. A lot of the bags I have seen have small openings and are hard to get into

I had looked at several online, I tried eBay (no luck that day), Folksy, Etsy, Cath Kidston, Namaste, Jordana Paige, Amy Butler, Tom Bihn, Café Press, and Googled just about every possible variation. I even posted a plea on Ravelry and many nice people came to my aid. I actually found Lands End by accident as I was reading a thread from a different group extolling the virtues of their canvas indestructible totes. I remembered then that there was a UK website for Lands End and logged on. Must have been my lucky day, there was a sale on and I managed to bag a Medium Open Top Canvas Tote in natural and cosmic blue (Awesome!). I may even go back for the red version. It was only £9.50 plus £3.50 for monogramming and £6.95 for postage (to Ireland), which was great, very recession friendly, didn’t feel bad about buying it at all.

So I have spent a very happy afternoon transferring all my knitting stuff into its new home. There is just SO MUCH ROOM! The bag had reinforced base, straps, and feels so sturdy.

Outside there is one slip pocket, inside there are 4, 3 along one side and 1 large one on the other with a snap closure.

I have managed to fit in -

1. Pattern (Sharon Millers, 1 ply Spring Shawl)
2. Knitpro Chart Keeper, various circular needles
3. Baby powder (I hear you giggling, it’s for my hands when I’m knitting with gossamer yarn, it makes the stitches glide easier and keeps your hands from getting slick and sticky)
4. Hand cream
5. Knit Kit (just got it in blue, from, gorgeous)
6. Denise interchangeable needles
7. Knitting notebook (Moleskine - to keep track of my projects)
8. Aero crochet hooks
9. 2 unfinished projects (Druminchin Shawl – waiting for extra yarn to arrive, and Spring Shawl – 50% complete)
10. Notions bag (bought in Eason’s stationary section) with
· Tape measure
· Pen
· Lip balm
· Stitch markers
· Cable needles
· Tapestry needles
· Needle stoppers
· Needle gauge
· Stitch holders
· Scissors
· Row counter
· Calculator
· and bobbins.

Phew, and there’s still room for more. This bag ticked all my boxes, it holds all of my knitting (bar my every increasing stash, but the sale is still on, I might just buy a zip topped version for my unused yarn) and stuff. It looks good, good value for money considering the Namaste Zuma bag I looked at was €80 and that didn’t include postage. It is not over packed, it stands up on its own and it’s not too heavy to carry.
The pockets do not go down to the bottom of the bag, but they are still big enough to hold everything you need. I have my notions pouch attached to the key chain thingy so that I can get to it quickly, though everything fits so neatly and it’s easy to see the inside I don’t think I’m going to have any problems finding anything.
I only ordered this bag online on Saturday, even with monogramming, it was posted out on Tuesday and I have it today Friday exactly when they said it would arrive. So far, I have no negative things to say.
The shoulder straps do fit neatly over the shoulder and are easily handheld. I’m not really a shoulder strap kind of girl, so I can easily hold it in my hand. I really just wanted a bag I could bring to knitting group and that could fit neatly beside the sofa with me while I’m knitting. I have to say I’m impressed!

The dimensions for the Medium Open Top Canvas Tote are –

Width 17”
Depth 6”
Height 13.5”
Handle Height 9”

There are other versions available – small, large, extra large and also with a zip closure.

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