Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Middle of the week post ~ Erin.Lane Bags

I'm not sure where this story begins. Seriously, do I start with loving to knit socks and in fact, there are pictures of me strolling around Sock Summit 2009 working on a pair for my nephew in the army...

Or perhaps with recently finding myself at 3am with a ticket for 6:30 to fly to Stitches West, digging through my stash looking for sock yarn and needles compatible with each other to work on as I traveled. I can't remember ever being so frustrated with travel packing, I actually gave up and took four other larger projects. (And Yes, they were all worked on and I worked on a project with Marly very late into that one night I stayed. LOTS of variety!)

This is knitting socks on the plane, with a Erin.Lane Marly Bird bag
Kollage square needles (which I briefly considered using on the passenger
in front of me who whapped me in the face a few times with his jacket)
and Deborah Norville Serenity Sock yarn. From 2014.
So, when I got to the Erin.Lane bags booth, even though it was something I resisted before, I picked up a needle roll.

New to me, needle roll.
This is Not my first purchase from Lindsey Martin, who's been making the bags for a few years, beginning the business with her mother, she has now retired from teaching and sewing these thoughtfully produced bags and other accessories out of her home, often accompanied to the various knitting events by her wonderful, superhero husband, David.

I have actually lost count of the number of Erin.Lane project bags I have. Some of them are souvenirs, some were gifts from Marly Bird (incidentally, Marly was a bit shocked with me because she gave me even more project bags when I met up with her at Stitches, and I shared the wealth with her lovely room mate, who we'd kept up the night before. She may bop me over the head when she realizes one of the first two bags she gave me, ALSO the first Erin.Lane bags I've owned, I gifted to another faithful fan of Marly's, just to spread the love around) some came to me as part of a bag club Lindsey did last year and some as part of a boxed set elsewhere. I have Marly Bird bags, Kristin Omdahl bags, Buffalo Wool Company bags, and although I have been thwarted (because of not being able to attend) in collecting all of them, I have a Stitches commemorative bag. Or two....

To try to label them: Top Left, the bag that carries my chemo hats
for Halos of Hope, with Happy Yarn fabric, (Purple Minion attached),
My FAV Purple Sheep Bag, white Marly Bag 'I shook my Tail Feathers',
'Cowgirl Up' Buffalo Wool Co, in the center is Pink Marly Bird Sock Bag,
in front, Stitches West 2016 bag, Kristin Omdahl bag, and a Sheeple.
I have to say, even without knowing the number I own, it may not be enough. The bags are well thought out. I often hear that they are pet proof. I can't comment on that, although I recognize that with the materials used, the drawstrings do not come open until they are undone by me. The project bags are helpfully lined with white fabric. NO SEARCHING THE BLACK ABYSS for your lost stitch marker! They have helpful snap tabs so you can secure them in a larger carrying apparatus or attach them to a purse handle. They can be washed in the washer and dryer, although I may treat my like royalty and air dry a couple of them. The only missing element that has ever occurred to me is hooks on the drawstrings to attach to my belt loops. Probably not a feasible option for most of Erin.Lane customers, but as I do often tend to stroll with mindless knitting in my hands so as to not always be sitting and knitting, it seemed a good idea to me at the time.

There is usually an Erin.Lane bag near by when I'm listening to podcasts.
This was last summer, I discovered the drawstrings are long enough
to dangle the bag from the knobs under my laptop.
Somehow, Lindsey finds fun fabrics or has fabrics created that you would want to use. I honestly think a couple of these bags were intended for me, which couldn't possibly be. My favorite one is a purple print with white sheep on it. The sheep are balls of yarn on closer inspection but you'd have to be close-up and observant about that. The one I carry around most just speaks HAPPY to me, it's a green background with smiling balls of yarn of various colors. knitting needles and crochet hooks floating along together. This is the one my chemo hats for Halos of Hope are created from.

So, I was brave and decided on that needle roll, that Sunday in the market place at Stitches, recalling how much my blood boiled with not being able to put a suitable sock project together but knowing how much I loved my project bags. I have since filled it with several sets of Chia Goo double pointed needles that I might use depending on the yarn, and have room for others that will I free up from other projects, my favorites being the Addi Flipstix (for their beautiful rainbow colors, the ability to choose the point by simply turning the needle around and lightweightness that is not a strain on my overworked hands), and for when I'm knitting dangerously, the Kollage Squares with their lethally sharp points. The needle roll has a magnetic strap, so when it's rolled up, it's tucks smoothly away without the laces to get caught otherwise.

New for me, the embroidered Bucket Bag: The Yarn Speaks to Me. 
The other purchase I made that day was an Embroidered Bucket Tote. Again, it's a white lined bag, this one is complete with snap tabs and a pocket big enough to hold essentials like a tool kit perhaps. Mine is currently holding tissues, as I anticipate tears of joy with all the finished socks to come out of that bag. It's exterior is black, heavier fabric than the project bags, similar to twill or cotton canvas duck. The handles are short enough, like a satchel to rest in the crook of an elbow or carry to knit night by hand. The really fun part is the beautiful graphic she's embroidered on it. Of course, I chose the design because it's purple, not one shade of it either, but at least three and reads 'The Yarn Speaks to Me'.

It does, certainly, speak to me. All the yarn in my stash is claiming to be sock yarn and wants to reside in that bag.

PS. Just for your benefit, I have found the original episode of the Fiber Hooligans podcast where I first became aware of Erin.Lane Bags. and a couple of episodes from the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird that Lindsey has since become a sponsor of, from 2013, from January 2015, and from October 2015.

You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1, also I am in Instagram and Pinterest and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits.

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