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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

knitting bags & totes

Namaste Cali Laguna Bag

Namaste Cali Malibu Bag

Namaste Cali Newport Bag

I've got an itch to buy a bag. Not just any bag, but a knitting bag. This all started when Elann recently offered a new batch of Namaste Cali Collection knitting bags (lots of photos on their site). They were selling the new Newport bag in addition to the Laguna bag and Malibu bag they sold in the last round.

Three beautiful bags. How does one choose?

Looking at the photos of the Malibu, I decide it would be too large for my petite 5 ft tall frame. You know how you're sometimes driving behind a really short person whose head is obscured by the driver's seat and you wonder who's driving that car? Well I'm afraid the same thing would happen if I carry a bag that is much too large. People will see the bag and wonder why it is moving on its own!

So now it's down to the Namaste Laguna bag or the Namaste Newport bag. I like both of these. Laguna gets extra points for having a separate shoulder strap. I like throwing bags across my shoulder and having my hands free. I also like how it has a pocket on the outside. On the other hand I think the Newport bag looks more stylish.

I was still concerned about how these bags look when worn. It's hard to tell just from the photos on the Namaste site. So I found some photos that show the Laguna bag when it is worn:
The bag looks pretty large!

Here's a photo of the Namaste Laguna and Namaste Newport side-by-side, for comparison:
I really like that peacock color (bag on the right).

I had assumed the Malibu was the largest bag out of the three. Let's take a closer look at the stats:
Laguna: 2100 cu in (16" x 17.5" x 7.5")
Malibu: 2080 cu in (13" x 20" x 8")
Newport: 1155 cu in (11" x 15" x 7")
Ok, the numbers don't lie. The Laguna bag is the largest of the three, although not too far behind is the Malibu. The Newport is the smallest by a wide margin.


Then I saw this bag. Check out her other photos of the bag, and interior filled with knitting stuff. It's the Ariat Mini Carry All. They make a larger one too. Ariat makes equestrian products and I have seen (many years ago) shoes they made which looked pretty nice. Anyhow, there is something very practical about the Ariat bag which appeals to me.


Jordana Paige Bag

Then I saw this stylish knitting bag, the Jordana Paige knitting bag. The photo above shows the Deep Red color. I am not normally a red bag person, but this one I love. I wish I could find a photo of the interior configuration.


LL Bean Tote

Then there's the LL Bean tote bag which is pretty basic and practical. The up side is that it stands on its own without flopping over. You can even configure your own. I just wish they had a purple shade to choose from.


I guess the question I should ask is do I need a knitting bag, and will I get much use out of it?

It would be so easy to justify a combo purse/knitting bag if I were still taking MUNI to commute to work in downtown San Francisco. That's precious knitting time while commuting. I don't do that anymore and I don't really take my knitting with me when I go out these days. There is very little chance of knitting wherever I am going with Miss M. The only time I take knitting out of the house these days is when we go visit the in-laws. We usually leave for a couple of hours after lunch so they can have their quality time with Miss M, and I get to go to Starbucks and knit a little bit. BTW, I've never seen anyone else knitting at Starbucks when I'm there. I don't even get to knit in the car anymore because I am the one who drives. DH tends to get sleepy while driving and I don't feel relaxed enough to knit when I'm worried about whether he's gonna crash into something. I think the Knitting Gods are against me.

I keep coming back to the Namaste bags. What I would like is to see them in person, feel them, try it on. Only then can I truly decide.


11 stitch(es):

MicheleLB said...

Mmmmmm, that Jordana Paige bag looks yummy! And just the right size, not overwhelming. I hear it calling your name. Or is it my name?

Karen said...

Try this bag. I recently purchased one after lusting after a Lexie Barns Lady B bag, and for $50 US, I got a fantastic bag that I absolutely adore and can use for other things, as well as stash my everyday essentials in with my knitting.

Jean said...

The Laguna bag, while not as stylish as the Newport has alot going for it, you could carry projects and the little pocket would be great to hold little things for Miss M. who I am sure constantly hands you little things to keep for her. One can dream of a quieter times when your knittng will once again travel with you.

Aunt Kathy said...

We always need new knitting bags, it's like air. We can never have enough. Unfortunately $$ keeps me from buying those wonderful bags, I am limited to the dollar store. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

I say go for one of the Cali bags in a color you normally wouldn't choose, something out of your comfort zone. It will probably end up being your favorite bag.

hakucho said...

I love the LL Bean tote. I have a one (not LL Bean) without the zipper and would absolutely love one with the zipper. It makes a great knitting bag. I guess I'm more practical than stylish :)

yarnprincess said...

I don't have any of these bags, but I love either the Jordana Paige or the Newport. I like the Jordana Paige because it is so stylish, but it is a little small. I think that you usually make smaller things, though. I also like the Newport better than the Laguna because it is wider, and may fit longer knitting needles. Any one of these would be a great acquisition for you. And do you NEED it? Maybe not, but do you deserve it? Sure! Go for it!

Mara said...

I live in Maine and have had numerous LL Bean totes. They last forever. You can toss them in the washing machine, besides if anything does happen to go wrong with it Beans will exchange with no problems whatsoever. It might not be the most stylish, but it will last.

Sarah said...

I agree with yarnprincess--for style, I'd choose the newport or jordana paige. And if I were going to spring for a fancy knitting bag I'd put style first.
I've used a canvas tote similar to the LLBean for large projects like baby afghans and sweaters, but I feel they're too big for socks, scarves, etc.

Joan said...

For pure style, go with the Malibu. That was my first choice except the handles looked too wide to hold, when together. That Malibu in lime--hot!! The Newport doesn't speak to me at all tho' it's more constructed than Malibu.

But I think Rachel & I are going with the Laguna. She needs a big bag for the plane & the Hollywood Pink is irresistable to her. I am 5'2 but love big soft bags. As long as they aren't heavy, I don't care how big. The shoulder strap of the Laguna is a plus also.

Now with big bags, you can fit your Cali Clutch in it! Can you go to a shop near you to see the selection? I've had 2 lime clutches in my hand (for me) and neither one snapped shut correctly. But Rachel's pink snaps easily. I guess it's a lime production issue so have opted for the turquoise for me (summer color) and if I love it will get charcoal for winter.

The ultimate durability of the Namaste Cali fabric is up in the air. Nichole is doing a review of all the bags & the clutch in one of her upcoming posts. Grab her link from my sidebar. Plus she's doing a Namaste giveaway.

I agree, go with a new color. ;-}

The LL Bean bags, eh. Yes, practical but so frumpy.

Joan said... can find web sources for the Cali bags with free shipping which is why I am not using Elann. Shipping was $9!