I’ve done a little damage on Etsy lately, so I thought I would do some reviews of my new swag. I’ve been earning a trickle of money through my Ravelry pattern sales, but I never take the money out of my PayPal account. I just spend it on other people’s patterns and Etsy items. It’s a good system. 🙂 Here are some of the bags and tools I’ve bought recently.
Bags by Awesome Grannie
I was surprised to find out recently that Bags by Awesome Grannie has only been around for about a year. It seems I’ve heard this name on almost every podcast I listen to – Darlene’s bags are constantly being given away as prizes. So I started following her on Instagram. A few weeks ago, she advertised that it was her one-year anniversary and provided a 15%-off coupon code, which basically canceled out shipping. There I went.
I was really tempted by a bag with matryoshkas (stacking Russian wooden dolls) on it, but I figured, living in Kenya, the size large giraffe bag had to come live with me. While not cheap, this bag is huge, and you actually get two bags, since it comes with a matching notions pouch. The large bag easily fits a sweater project with all your yarn you need. The bag feels very sturdy – my giraffe bag has lining fabric with leaves that fits right in with the trees on the giraffe side. On the outside of the bag, there’s a nice, large fabric loop so you can hang on, or, on the other side, there’s a jump ring that you can use to clip your bag to other things. like your keys. The small notions pouch has pretty ribbon threaded through the zipper tab to make it easier to grab, but the large bag didn’t have anything. Then I realized that the charm with Awesome Grannie’s logo that was included inside was probably meant to go on the larger bags zipper. That’s what I’m doing with it, anyway.
Verdict: Seems pricy, but you get two bags, one of which is huge, and both of which are well-made, so it’s a good deal. Service was very fast, since she shipped it out right away. I’m actually just trying to justify why I might need that matryoshka one, since I pretty much never have two sweaters on the needles at once. 🙂 Find her Etsy shop here (though it looks like she’s on vacation for June 2015, so make sure you check back later).
Kicks and Giggles
This was my first Etsy knitting project bag purchase. I had done some extensive browsing for bags with zippers and have to confess this shop won because of the fabric. While this Harry Potter fabric isn’t exclusive to this shop, I liked that I could pick which shape bag I wanted made out of it. This meant the order took a little longer to arrive, because the bag is made custom for you. You can choose a wedge shape with zipper, drawstring bag, or a bag where you knot the fabric at the top, all in various sizes for the same price. The shop offers this option for several different kitschy fabrics.
Because the bag was made after I ordered it, I didn’t know exactly what the bag would look like. I have to say I thought it would be a little taller, but this is not the fault of the seller – the store very clearly states the dimensions of thye bags, and I just didn’t picture it correctly. I ordered the wide wedge, which is almost rectangular with a wide base. The Harry Potter print is the main print on the outside, with cute coordinating lightning bolt fabric on the ends. The inside fabric is an orange-and-black print. The whole thing feels very Halloweeny, but I like it.
One end of the bag has a fabric loop large enough to hang around your wrist (made out of the inside fabric). I chose to have the optional clip hook placed on the other end. It’s pretty tiny and insubstantial, though, so I don’t really know what I’ll ever do with it.
Verdict: It’s a little shallow for a large cake of yarn, but wide enough to fit long straight needles. My current project in it is a baby sweater. I think it would be really perfect for socks where you’ve got two 50-gram skeins or cakes. Less pricy than Bags by Awesome Granny, but also a lot smaller, so I think both price points were reasonable for what I got. Find the Etsy shop here. It looks like they’re out of my Harry Potter fabric at the moment, but there are others.
One of my goals has been to spin more this year. I bought a new wheel and have been trying out some fiber. One of the things I’ve never owned is a wraps-per-inch gauge. I searched on Etsy and found some very beautiful handmade ones, but in the end, I ended up going with this clear industrial plastic version. Why? Because in addition to the wraps-per-inch gauge, the plastic is printed with lines that are the width of standard yarn weights. It’s like an extra check. You can pick wood or several shades of acrylic… and it was cheap ($5). The gauge has a hole in the corner, so I tied on a piece of waste yarn and hung it on my wheel so it would always be handy.
Verdict: Cheap, functional, arrived fast. The shop also sells support spindles and fiber, though I can’t give you any opinion about those. Find the Etsy shop here.
This was another Instagram-enabled purchase. As I said, I’m trying to do more spinning and want to actually knit with my handspun yarn. The Mother of All Tags are labels printed on waterproof Tyvek material. This means you can spin your yarn, record all your details like fiber content, source, weight, yardage, wraps per inch, etc… and then wash your fiber with the tag on. The instructions specify that you should use a sharpie marker. At 12 for $7, I bought two packs, which at the rate I’m going, should last me roughly a million years.
Verdict: Works as promised, arrived fast. The shop seems be focused mainly on graphic design and also has some cards, posters, and T-shirts that I found mildly amusing, though I do like the knitting solidarity fist. Find the Etsy shop here. It includes a photo of the tags attached to some yarn, hanging out in a soapy bath.
That’s it for now! Regarding project bags: I’ve noticed that for several of the really cute fabrics, multiple sellers will be offering bags in the same fabric. Make sure you hunt around for the best shape or the best deal for you.
If you would like to read about some yarn I’ve used recently from Etsy, see my posts on the Mystik Spiral Socks and Afterthought Heel Socks (both out of Gynx yarn) and the Fish Lips Kiss Heel Socks (out of Knitcircus yarn). I’ve made some other Etsy purchases, including more yarn and some fiber, but I haven’t played with them enough yet to do decent reviews. Something to look forward to!