This morning, as I was digging through an old Whole Foods bag to find my yarn and tape measure, it occurred to me: maybe it’s time to upgrade my project bags. Or get an actual project bag. Most of my knitting lives in old shopping bags or cast-off canvas totes (I’m looking at you, New Yorker tote from 2019). While they do the job ok, they don’t look that great. And it would be nice to have some pockets and a way to close the whole thing up.
I did a quick Etsy search for project bags and – no surprise – there were conservatively seventy-eight million to choose from. In an effort to narrow things down, here’s a roundup of my favorite Chicago-based bags. When in doubt, go local, right?
Paper or Threads
Laura Mooney, the artist behind Paper or Threads on Etsy has her own line of project bags made out of original cotton fabrics that she designed herself. There are medium and large drawstring bags and some whimsical zipper pouches and notion bags as well. If you like to sew, it’s worth noting that a lot of her fabrics are available for purchase at Spoonflower.com
Beautiful Syster is a Chicago-based company run by two sisters (no surprise here). Each project bag is named after someone in their family. I love the amazing graphic prints. Not only do they have lovely bags and pouches, but several yarn collaborations and kits as well.
Ashley Aguillar, of Nomadic Yarns, is an indie yarn dyer based in the Chicago suburbs. She primarily makes amazing self-striping yarn. Imagine my surprise when I saw some lovely project bags as well! There are Harry Potter themed bags, Willy Wonka bags and a really amazing Frida Kahlo bucket bag as well.
Zakka Studio Handmade has hand sewn pouches and project bags as well as jewelry and other eco-friendly options. This is a particularly good option if you’re looking for something a little more neutral and a little less whimsical. I like the pared-down aesthetic and attention to detail.
Joymake has a lot of options for project bags. I love the large size and laid back prints. The bags are fully lined with pockets and come in a variety of fabric choices.
What do you keep your knitting in?