Knitting Organizer (Yarn Bag) Review

After seeing my sister-in-law receive a nice yarn bag for Christmas, I decided to go hunting for my own. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the $60 for the one she got (and my honey told me to hold off on buying the fancier ones as he might want to get one for me later).

My sister-in-law calls hers “the only yarn bag you’ll ever need”. LOL. I think over the course of my knitting career, I’ll probably own several knitting bags/organizers because I’m a craft hoarder. I have a hard time saying no to yarn sales/loom sales.

I wanted a yarn bag/organizer that would fit more than one project and that could hold a couple of looms inside. Since I had a gift card for Amazon, I decided to buy it there rather than going to my local Joann.

After looking at a few reviews, I opted for the Knitting Organizer by Besti on Amazon, which at the time of this writing, is $16.95.

It fits about six normal skeins of yarn (or three large skeins) in the front, which is where you’d store yarn for any current knitting projects. The front size has holes at the top allow you to feed yarn through so you don’t have to take the yarn out of the bag. There are three compartments, which are clear so you can see which yarns you’re using.

The back side is one large zippered compartment, so you can use this for yarn, looms, or whatever your heart desires!

See it here:

 

I use the front side for my active yarn and I use the back compartment for my looms and any loom books I’m using for a pattern. I like that I can put 2-4 looms in here and a couple of small knitting books.

The bag will fit round looms easily, but if you are using long looms (the rectangular ones), you might not be able to fit your long loom inside the bag. My small ones would fit, but not my big 62-peg Loops & Threads loom. I have not checked to see if my KB All-in-One loom will fit inside.

The Knitting Organizer by Besti has smaller compartments on the top, and the sides, so you can fit all of your loom hooks, tapestry needles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, etc. So far, the bag seems well-made for what it is. I expected it to look and feel cheap, but it was better than I expected. It’s not going to last 30 years, but what does these days?

It also comes with a long shoulder strap. I think it’s a good bag for schlepping around the house or to take with you to a knitting group. It’s a bit large for air travel unless you are planning to use this as your carry-on item. The dimensions are 12”x15”x10”.

Knitting-Organizer-Besti3

One downside for some users is that the bag does not stand up on it’s own. There’s no cardboard or anything to hold this bag up. It sits upright if you have it filled, but if you only have one skein of yarn and a loom, it’s going to droop and fold in on itself. This was not a problem for me, but it might be a drawback for others.

I love having the zippered compartment on the top for my loom hooks.  And having the yarn holes and velcro at the top is very handy for keeping yarn contained and making it less tempting for my cat to play with. The bag is not totally cat proof, but it’s better than the plastic bags and grocery totes I was using.

I think it’s a great investment for $17 to keep your yarn clean and away from pets or just to reduce clutter and mess while you’re working on one or two projects.

For my purposes, I’d give this a 5 out of 5 for a large, cheap, easy-to-use yarn bag with lots of compartments. If you’re concerned about long-term durability and the yarn bag needing to stand up on it’s own then this is probably going to be a 3.5 out of 5.

At the time of this writing, I’ve been using the bag for almost a week. If I notice any significant issues with the bag over time, I’ll come back and update this post and the review score.

Do you use a knitting organizer or storage bag for your knitting projects? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments.

Happy Looming!

 

*Disclaimer: I purchased this yarn bag and did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. This post does include affiliate/advertising links.

Yarn Winder – Loops & Threads / Darice

Darice_yarn_winder

So I bought a yarn winder that arrived over the weekend! I’d been seriously thinking about buying one for a couple weeks and ended up getting the Darice yarn winder (which is the same as the Michaels brand Loops & Threads yarn winder).

I’d been looking at different styles and brands. I found this post which talks about different yarn winders and picking the right winder for your needs. I was actually thinking about Windaze knockoff or a Lacis yarn winder, but since my budget was limited and I couldn’t get the jumbo Lacis that I would’ve wanted, at the last minute, I decided to get the Darice / Loops & Threads yarn winder from Amazon.

I looked at a few youtube reviews and tutorials like this one. Initially, I was worried about the winder because there were a few negative reviews on the Michaels website. But after looking at youtube reviews and tutorials, I was fairly sure of what to expect and how to make the winder work for me.

Yarn winders operate similarly to the way a bobbin winder works on a sewing machine. There’s a tension guide that you feed the yarn through and you have to wrap your yarn around the shaft of the yarn winder a couple of times and then you just crank it and the little metal yarn holder/tension guide moves back and forth until the yarn fills up.

To use this winder, you need to 1. Put your yarn through the notch on the plastic brim of the winder. 2. Wrap the yarn around the shaft a couple times 3. Feed it through the metal holder/tensioner and then hold the yarn in your hand either up at an angle or parallel to the machine and let your hand control the tension (see the tutorial link above to get a visual example).

You’ve got to crank the yarn at a decent speed. In that respect, I agree with Laura Felicia’s review, where she says that the key to using this machine is managing the speed and tension so you don’t have floppy yarn. You want to go at a good clip, not too slow.

The Darice / Loops & Threads machine will hold about 4oz of yarn. It comes with a metal clamp that you slide into the back and then clamp onto a sturdy table. The clamp secures and stabilizes the machine as you’re winding.

I was able to make four yarn cakes on the machine and it was a lot of fun!! In the picture below, you can also see the little turquoise ball I made from leftover yarn.

Note: since this yarn winder holds 4oz, you cannot fit a large skein of yarn into just one cake. You will have to make two (more if you’re winding a one pound skein). The purple ombre yarn was too big to fit the whole thing on the winder, so I had to hand-wind the last bit of yarn. It was a partial skein, so if I was winding the yarn from the beginning, I would’ve made two balls of yarn.

Some people like to use the smaller 4oz yarn winders just for leftover yarn. Others prefer to wind entire skeins into cakes or balls so that it’s easier to use while knitting so they don’t have to worry about knots or unwinding a skein from the outside. The winder makes center-pull cakes.

The Darice winder is relatively small and portable and doesn’t have a lot of confusing parts. You don’t have to “assemble” it apart from sliding the clamp through the slot in the back so that you can attach it to your table. The box is relatively small too, so you could save the box it comes in for easy storage.

Note: the winder is not quiet. It makes a sound very similar to a sewing machine when it is running. The sound is not an issue for me, but it might be an issue if you have an infant or if you like to do your knitting late into the evening when family members are asleep.

Overall, I’d recommend the Darice / Loops & Threads yarn winder. You can find it at Michaels for around $29-$32 (less if you have a 40% off coupon). Amazon has it for around $23.

I’d give it 4.5 stars for ease of use out of the box and the sturdy quality of the machine. I wish it could hold more yarn, but overall, I’m happy with my purchase.

For those that don’t have the budget to spend on a yarn winder, but who want center-pull yarn balls, I did see this tutorial on how to use a hand mixer and a paper towel roll to make yarn balls. I’m not sure I’m brave enough for this one! 🙂

Happy Looming!

If you have a yarn winder you love, tell us about it in the comments.

 

*Disclosure: I purchased this yarn winder and did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. This post does include affiliate/advertising links.

 

New Looms! Weekend Shopping Trip

KB Looms & Clover Accessories – Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

Last weekend, I went with a friend to JoAnn to finally buy the Knitting Board Afghan Loom that I’ve been coveting. I have a Loops & Threads Long Loom (which you can read my review of here), but I’ve been wanting to get the KB Afghan loom because it will make a blanket suitable for a queen/full-size bed. You can make large blankets on other looms, but generally you have to work in strips or panels.

I also scored several skeins of yarn, another KB ergonomic knitting hook (my favorite), a Susan Bates digital stitch counter that goes on the fingers, and a smaller KB loom kit suitable for hats, scarves and making those cute little amigurumi-style animals. Oh, I grabbed a set of Clover pom pom makers, too. I tried making a cardboard one last month, but I don’t think it will hold up for long-term use.

So far, I am not fond of the Susan Bates stitch counter that goes on the fingers. It loses the count if I move around too much and randomly adds a number. It seems to work better on the thumb, but I may have to just lay it on the table instead of wearing it. I was tempted to return the stitch counter, but I’m not sure when I’ll make it back to JoAnn. I’m not convinced it’s much better than the counter I already had, which is the kind you have to wind up or down whenever you add a row. I probably should’ve gotten the more expensive red Clover counter that you can hang on the neck.

Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting
Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll probably post a review later or maybe put up a comparison of some of my looms.

Right now, I’m still working on knitting the cover for the top of my office chair and I’m making a spiral knit hat for myself in purple. If you haven’t seen my other post about spiral knit hats and want to learn how to do them, click here.

I’m looking forward to trying out the bright purple and blue striped Red heart yarn.

This weekend, I’ll be visiting a friend and teaching her a little about loom knitting. She is a crocheter and also likes to weave. She was going to buy a loom when we went to JoAnn last weekend, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to make her own knitting loom in her woodshop. So I’m going to show her some basics and see if she likes it enough to try making a loom of her own.

Happy Looming!

Have you purchased any fun new looms or accessories? Let us know in the comments below.