Book Review/Blog Tour: It’s in the Bag

Today I’ve got something new to keep me busy on the blog – a stop on a blog book tour! I was invited to be a stop on the tour for Kara Gott Warner’s book It’s In the Bag, and how could I say no? Yesterday the Fitterknitter talked about shrugs with designer Colleen Smitherman, and tomorrow Lynn Hershberger will talk about striping and colour.

As for me, my original designer interview plans ended up not coming together, so instead I’m going to chat for a bit about some projects that caught my eye, and my overall impressions of the book. And keep reading to the end for a giveaway – because what would a blog tour be without giveaways?

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Overall, this is a pretty diverse book. It is intended to showcase projects that can be easily accomplished on the go, or carried with you ‘in the bag.’ There are a range of projects from beginner basic to advanced techniques like cabling, mitered squares, even a bit of beading. There’s everything from scarves and hats to sleeveless tunics. The majority of yarns featured are recognizeable mainstream labels from North America and Europe, including Classic Elite, Mission Falls, Rowan, and Takhi Stacy Charles. There are plenty of options for kids, adults, and home knitting.

One of the projects that really caught my eye was the Uptown Chic Satchel by Cecily Glowik Macdonald, pictured above. I’ve not knitted many bags myself but I quite like the look of this one – the triangular shape at the sides would probably lend quite a bit of stability overall, and it’s worked in a bulky weight yarn (Classic Elite Duchess), which means a person probably could knit it on the go – perhaps even in a couple of bus rides! Sign me up for that.

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I’m also a fan of one of the Harlequin Socks, by Kathryn Beckerdite, one of the few sock patterns in the book but no less attractive. These are shown in Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet, but I imagine they would look good knitted up in a variety of semi-solid or possibly slightly variegated yarns. Although the photo here doesn’t show the sides as well, there is a diamond pattern running up the side of each leg, adding a degree of interest/difficulty to the ribbing. I’m actually thinking of working up a pair of these in my holiday gift knitting.

So, dear readers, this is a book you may wish to keep on your radar if you are on the lookout for collections with manageable and diverse projects. It covers a lot of bases and would be a pretty approachable book even for the relative beginner knitter.

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As a thank you to ‘blog tourists’, Kara has gifted me two drawstring Della Q bags to give away – one green, one pink. Just the right size for a small on the go project. To be eligible for one of these, please comment here and tell me about what your favourite project is to knit while you’re in transit! I’ll draw two winners at random on Wednesday evening at 5pm EST.

That’s all for today – happy knitting, and may your Monday be manageable.

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105 Comments

Filed under book review

105 responses to “Book Review/Blog Tour: It’s in the Bag

  1. I love the look of that bag! I like to knit hats on the go — so quick and easy, plus 16″ circular needles are nice and stable. I tend to lose things off the end of straight needles and DPNs when I quickly stash things in my bag.

  2. I think socks have to be the go-to on-the-go project for me. No big surprise there, but they fit easily into pretty much any bag I’m carrying, and a row here and there really add up to progress over a week or two!

  3. Geneva

    Right now I take socks or scarves on the go. Anything else I still need the pattern too much to travel with.

    Thanks so much for hosting a giveaway!

  4. Jennifer

    Socks. Hands down, the best travel project. Nice and compact for portability but last long enough for longer trips (Montreal to Australia anyone?). Eminently practical and always appreciated.

  5. Elizabeth

    I drive during my commute, so I’m not really able to knit, but on a plane trip a couple of weeks ago, I passed the time with a Noro striped scarf – easy and mindless, but still interesting to watch pass by.

  6. I am all about socks. For me they are the perfect portable project.

  7. I am not much of a bag knitter either, but that one is adorable!

  8. Jennifer B

    Baby socks. They are tiny and easy and I seem to always need some sort of baby gift at the last minute, since no one in my family tells me when cousins are preggers.

  9. Susan

    Love that bag, and the socks too. Socks are my favorite on-the-go project, but caps are a close second. Thanks for the book review.

  10. JenniferC

    Definately, plain ol’ vanilla socks. And I am a new fan of the after-thought heel…after a frustrating bout with a pooling handpaint. This really makes socks even more mindless for TTC/travel kntting! woot. lovely review!

    Happy Stitching!

  11. i rarely travel with knitting but when i do, i take simple socks. compact, portable, and not too labor (or brain) intensive. i took a lace shawl on a trip once but never pulled it out b/c it required too much thinking.

  12. Kathleen

    My favorite traveling projects are scarves and small sweater pieces. I’m not a sock knitter yet, unfortunately.

  13. April Lombardi

    Socks are so portable. When I’m on the run, I usually toss a pair of these into my bag. I can knit socks without referring to a pattern or chart, so they’re a perfect project when I need something small to keep my hands moving.

  14. Rachel

    Socks are my on the go project… maybe mittens or wristlets…

  15. NutellaNutterson

    Scarves – when they get long enough, I just drape it around my neck.

  16. Regan

    I drive to commute as well but always have a pair of socks on the go in both cars as well as my purse!! It’s amazing how much time you can spend in the drive-thru at Timmies. If I really want to confuse the muggles I’ll do some drop spindling in the drive-thru. Love the book reviews. Keep up the good work!!

  17. I always have a plain vanilla sock on my purse to knit on in transit. When I’m flying, I like to bring a sock project that’s more complex; it helps pass the time, especially if there’s a delay!

  18. Currently my on the go project is a lace ribbons scarf. It’s an easy pattern repeat, so I don’t have to haul a book around with me.

  19. Gita

    I have made five felted pocketbooks with various types of flower pins as embelishments. They were quick, easy and fun to make and ended up as holiday gifts.
    Gita

  20. Sleeves are my favourite in-transit project. They always feel like they take soooo long when you’ve already knit the body of the sweater, and they are small and easy to tuck into your purse (well, easier than the sweater itself). Plus, I feel like the sleeves whip right by since I can chisel away a few more inches to and from work! That green project bag is awesome, beats the pants of the big freezer ziplocks that I tend to use. :)

  21. I take a commuter train, so as long as it’s not an entire afghan, and I can use circs so I don’t poke anybody, I’m pretty much good to go. I concentrate on easily memorized patterns as travel knitting. Of course, a lot of them end up being socks. 8~)

  22. Amy J

    Will definitely have to keep that book in mind…made a note :) My go-project is usually socks, that way I have something for the carpool line, dance lessons, swim lessons, etc. Takes forever to get a pair this way though :)

  23. LadyO

    Transit knitting… don’t have much of that anymore, but I loved knitting socks, scarves, or dishcloths when I did.

    My current portable knitting tends towards the market bag end of things.

  24. Gwyn

    Favorite in transit projects are those I can never seem to get done because I’m too easily distracted at home with lots of yarn and needles. It’s been a lace stole for the past few weeks, but now that’s done, so I brought legwarmers on the bus today.

  25. Jayne

    I love to knit socks in transit!

  26. Shirley

    Anything that I don’t need the pattern for. Ribbing is good.

  27. Amy

    MY favorite on-the-go project currently is a cowl. They are small and as intricate as I want to make it. Here in MN they will soon be in demand too.
    Amy

  28. Scarves are my favorite on the go project! I like the simplicity.

  29. Adriana

    I’ve knit everything on transit, from simple garter stitch to big lace shawls. However, stockinette socks definitely win.

  30. littlecloud

    My favorite commuting projects are lace shawls (usually once I’ve done a few repeats of the pattern so I have it memorized); they’re very lightweight and compact. I usually stick to simple patterns (Wisp, Ishbel) but have done more ambitious projects with nupps (very carefully!) while riding the train. I actually like the focus required for even simple lace projects; it wakes me up in the morning and helps me leave my work behind in the evening.

  31. Barbara S

    I used to take socks with me, although lately I cringe at the idea of squinting at fingering weight yarn on planes…the light is never bright enough. I’ve fallen for fingerless mitts….thicker yarn, larger stitches, and quickly completed.

  32. Heather

    I haven’t work a truly big project yet unless you consider a farosee type shawl very big.That being said I like projects small enough to fit in my purse so I tend to take socks though I have broken needles doing that or my squares for my sampler afghan they roll up fairly small on my circulars.

  33. Katinka

    I find scarves to be great travel knitting, if they’ve got an easy-to-remember stitch pattern. Barbara Walker’s Roman Stripe pattern (http://thewalkertreasury.wordpress.com/2007/02/25/roman-stripe/) in worsted weight is a personal favorite. It’s dead easy, and the result is very pretty.

  34. KmlSeattle

    I’m generally taxi-ing my kids around when I’m in-transit and I try not to knit and drive! I like to knit scarves and shawls when I’m waiting for the kids to finish their activities. I should try socks again…

  35. I almost always have a plain vanilla sock in my purse, perfect for unexpected delays. Hats make good travel knitting too, because they never get too unruly, even as they near completion. Cute travel bags! I like the look of those Harlequin socks, too! Thanks for the review.

  36. Ruthie

    These days, I love to knit scarves, as long as they’re constructed sideways! The back-and-forth of typical scarf knitting takes WAY TOO LONG. But sideways is a joy, really. One row takes about 30 minutes, and I’m that much closer to a finished scarf!

  37. Socks for sure. Easy and beautiful.

  38. Nancy

    Socks, socks, and more socks. But there are always dishcloths in a pinch.

  39. Jessica

    I’d pick between socks (most often), hats (on small circs) or a scarf on my knitting needles I got from the Klutz book on how to knit! They’re referred to as my ninja needles as they are short and 5mm in diameter, so they can knit anywhere! You can get lots knit on the trip between Ottawa and Toronto.

  40. My on the go projects are almost always simple stockinette socks. However, I did go through a dishcloth period a couple of months back – it always depends on what I’m more in need of.

  41. I like to work on simple shawls or scarves. Things I can pack up in a bag and take out and start working on immediately.

  42. Since I work from home, transit knitting is not a priority, so I don’t have a great sample size for comparison. I also have a tendency to get VERY motion sick if I try to do things in the car like read, or any form of needlework. Knitting seems to be an exception though — yaaaay! I was actually able to work on two different projects the last few times we had a long road trip to tackle. I am optimistic about my being able to knit on car trips after the last few experiments.

    At this point I’ve done a top down sweater on circs and a scarf project in the car. (As well as crocheted granny squares — the knitting was less nausea inducing, though.) I rarely travel by plane, so no samples there. I have the feeling that once I tackle socks though, they will become the default “transit/waiting time” project.

    I’m gonna need a bigger purse. :( Or a really, really cool knitting bag that can double as one, that has pockets and stuff so I don’t loose my things into a tame black hole like I usually do! (There is a reason my purse is 6 x 8″ or so!)

  43. I WISH I knew how to knit socks, maybe after I’ve finished all my holiday knitting I’ll be able to try my hand at them…but for now I usually knit scarves on the go, sometimes hats.

    Thanks for posting this!

  44. Morgan

    Like others have said, mindless is key. So it’s dishcloths and diaper liners for me, since they are basically the same thing in different shapes.

  45. I ride the subway every day. I take along small projects that don’t involve long needles and big arm movements. I hate having to stop in the middle of a row and people don’t like when I elbow them.

    I would love to win!

  46. I absolutely love that bag. Gorgeous! I usually like to knit up fingerless gloves or cozy hats when travelling. They are nice and compact and I love that even if I am knitting in between stops they usually have shorter rows so I can usually stop at the end of a row and not worry about what stitch I left off on in addition to which row I am on. :)

  47. Ooh, I love that satchel. Thanks for pointing it out! Really enjoyed your post as well as many of your previous posts! Thanks!

  48. Something on a circular needle so I don’t lose a dpn. Hats, especially baby hats. Cowls. Round and round I go! Although a flat washcloth on a circ is also good…

  49. Katrina

    I usually do scarves — Edgar or just feather-and-fan, something I know well enough not to have to look at a pattern. I did dishcloths a lot last year (I have actually done the knitted lacy round dishcloth so many times that I can cast on and knit in the dark, which is a little freaky) but not in transit, since I knit off a cone of peaches-and-cream. Not the most transportable.

    The idea of knitting socks on an airplane scares me; I’m nearly certain I’d lose a needle. (I don’t use straights, just circs, except for socks. Heart you, DPNs!)

  50. kayT

    My DH says my sock knitting while he’s driving has saved him from throwing me out the window for back seat driving. Lucky me!

  51. Carol

    Preemie hats. They are tiny, so they work up fast, and highly appreciated by the recipients’ mothers.

  52. Michele

    There is always a scarf in my on the go bag – or a small shawl. Love the bags – look forward to seeing the book.

  53. Socks are easy to knit while in transit, but there’s something nice about a skinny lace scarf too!

  54. Ashley

    I’ll knit anything in transit. But, I prefer something that doesn’t flop everywhere (like scarves or large pieces for afghans), I much prefer something simple, on two needles (i.e. not socks)

  55. Kitten With A Whiplash

    Hats. No heels to turn on a bumpy bus ride!

  56. Robyn

    I knit either socks or dishcloths (especially at this time of the year for teacher gifts) when I am on-the-go (usually when my hubby is driving us somewhere – with four kids, I don’t often go too far where my hands are free to pick up the needles. I use two circulars for socks and a circular for dshcloths – more difficult for one of the munchkins to pull the neeldes out of the projects than with straight needles or DPN’s!

  57. To be honest, I knit whatever is on my needles in transit. I don’t discriminate. ;) Baby sweaters are always good!

    The giveaway bags look really nice. I can’t wait to see the book in person!

  58. Socks, socks, socks. Because there’s nothing like the look on a businessman’s face when he goes to sit next to you and realizes you’re wielding five very pointy sticks with great skill and finesse.

  59. The Mason-Dixon dishcloth! It gets smaller as I go and I can churn one out in less than three hours. Though, I knit my first pair of socks on two circulars this week and those were a lot more portable than I would have expected.

  60. Marjorie

    Thanks for a great review – will be adding the book to my “list”! Love that bag. My current fav on the go project are the Maine Morning Mittens – am working up a number of them as Christmas gifts for my girlfriends.

  61. Maria

    I knit either hats or mitts on the go. They are small and quick!

  62. Keena

    anything on circs b/c i don’t feel like i’ll poke people like i do w/ regular needles – and i don’t drop needles like i do w/ dpns. this is my rush hour rule. need to minimize the amount of room i take it up – especially w/ the crowded seats.
    late night/non-crowded trains – anything goess – preferably something a little more complicated to help keep me awake.

  63. Leslie M

    I like to have socks to knit when I travel. They are usually just one ball of yarn and can be tucked into a purse, briefcase or pocket for easy access.

  64. Debra H

    It seems I do hats while traveling. And when I get there, inevitably, it gets gifted to someone who has to have it. That’s when 2nd project comes out for the return trip.

  65. Jodi Geers

    Socks are always the easiest for me to take on the go. I also have a loopy scarf boa that I’m making right now that really lends itself to travel.

  66. GinkgoKnits

    I actually like scarves. A pattern that is simple enough to remember (lots of easy four row texture stitches to choose from) and a yarn that is a light worsted of lighter means I can fit it in my bag and work on it at odd moments (and those odd moments add up to a scarf that I would have found too dull to knit). I love just pulling on both circular needle ends so the the stitches are on the cable and can’t drop off the needles. I can have my scarf stuffed away within seconds without ever fearing a dropped stitch.

  67. Jen

    Anything small-ish on circular needles and socks – easy to keep your elbows in and easy to stop and jump off the bus when you get so involved in your knitting that you almost miss your stop… !

  68. Bessie

    My on-the-go knitting is almost always socks. And I’ll take them anywhere…3 weeks of canoe-camping in swamps, touring Ireland, car tripping for the day to visit the future-in-laws…no trip is safe. Plus-I’ve never had tiny bamboo dpns raise the curiosity of airport security.

  69. Kristie Hammond

    Socks! I knit everything from mittens to sweaters, but my first and most enduring knitting love will always be socks. I can’t imagine not having a basic pair on the needles to grab and take with me!

  70. Angelbis

    My favorite transit project used to be socks, but I can’t seem to get into socks these days. Maybe part of the issue is I’ve not been knitting simple sock patterns anymore… So, my latest favorite transit project (and conference call project for that matter) is a shawl – damson – lots of garter stitch before you get to the lace border.

  71. Jennifer in Ann Arbor

    I like socks for their compact portability, but I also like a hat or scarf, as well (whatever can be done on smaller needles is good). Just working on my second pair of socks now, and it takes me forever and a day, but I’m enjoying the process.

  72. Jo Anne

    I usually carry a sock project. Sometimes it will be a hat. I usually try to have something on circular needles after several episodes of dropping a double point and frantically searching for the lost needle.

  73. Liz

    My favourite transit-knitting project is simple sockinette socks, or a really easy memorizable pattern (like the jaywalkers).

  74. Sara

    My favorite traveling projects are dishcloths. Of course.. I’m still kind of a beginner, so my projects are limited to the following: scarves, scarflettes, dishcloths, and toy mice. Hehe.

    Current project: Harry Potter dishcloth for my mum!

  75. Susan

    Ive only just started knitting, so scarves are my traveling partner now – but hoping to branch out to socks soon. Just casted on to dpn’s for the first time today!!

  76. Val Champ

    I like to knit baby boy things for my grandson first, and if he doesn’t need anything then next in line would be socks, especially on nice short needles. They are my favorite!

  77. Christie

    Socks, always socks. I keep a pair in progress in the car in case I have wait time at an appointment.
    (I love that bag too!)

  78. Abby

    It’s unoriginal, but my favorite transit projects are socks.

  79. Hats! very portable, very quick, and there’s enough patters out there in the innerwebs to satisfy the need for variety.

  80. Favourites transit patterns are plain stockinette socks (I can even knit them standing if I have to) and I like doing sleeves–since I don’t really like doing sleeves in general, I get them done when I’m not in prime knitting time.

  81. My fave project to knit while travelling is socks. Usually while driving (not me of course…) to the east coast of the US to visit the fam.
    These project bags look super!

  82. Usually socks or a scarf, but if there is lots of stockinette stitch and no pattern involved I have been known to lug a sweater around.

  83. Elaine

    I start a lot of projects in transit, but only manage to complete scarves and hats on the bus!

  84. Marissa

    Socks, hats, mittens, fingerless gloves! Love the small bags. Just perfect for socks!
    Marissa

  85. Yvonne

    Small simple 1 skein shawls have been a favourite on the go knitting this year – socks until I get to the gusset – still a newbie at socks so have to pay attention to this part of the pattern – very spiffy bag.

  86. Northmoon

    I’m a member of the socks crowd.

    Occasionally I’ll take a beginning sweater or shawl project, but once they’re further along they get too bulky if the streetcar is crowded. Socks are perfect travel knittng.

  87. Alexa

    I am a fairly new knitter so I usually just take whats handy on my needles. Even though, i am 13 and my parents are divorced so I often times just take my bag everywhere because I have nothing else to put it in.

  88. Meg

    I’d have to say, I’m torn between socks or a scarf. Both are compact projects that can usually be completed without a pattern. (Maybe socks. Maybe.)

  89. LeslieC

    I usually have a simple scarf on the needles but the best thing for me to knit on the go is a discloth. It can be really mindless or just a super big practice swatch but either way its portable and useful.

  90. Karen

    I’d vote for socks, or simple knitting, like stockinette sleeves, etc. A nice scarf in a simple lace pattern also is a possibility.

  91. I always have socks with me when I’m on the go, but have yet to find the perfect handbag to carry them. I can knit the best part of a sock while waiting for the teenager to shop for skinny jeans!

    But there’s an unhappy attrition of dpns of traveling socks for some reason. I have visions of office cleaners getting them stuck in a big vac and cursing me to the heavens.

  92. My on the go projects are small christmas ornaments or cowls. Right now I’m making a scarflet.

  93. Janetcc

    Anything in the round, but not colorwork (ask me how I know this, actually don’t I don’t want to relive bad memories).

  94. Barb

    Socks, scarves, hats are the best since they are small. But really anything but an afghan is portable, right?

  95. Susan

    Occaisionally I’ll knit a scarf on the go if it’s not too bulky, but I always have a sock in my bag. Perfect bus knitting!

  96. Brenda Fujikawa

    Socks – sooo portable and quick to show progress!

  97. daphna epstein

    In transit, I usually like to knit socks, small neck warmers, or fingerless mitts.

    Daphna

  98. daphna epstein

    In transit I usually knit socks.

    Daphna

  99. Recently I’ve been knitting poppies (for the British Royal Legion) and pompoms for Christmas decorations … also like to french knit too …

  100. Cathy

    My on the go projects are scarves with simple knitting. I’m really a novice knitter so I stick to simple patterns. But I always having a scarf to knit while commuting on the ferry to and from work.

  101. Socks are my go to project for knitting on the run. Usually simple plain vanilla patterns.

  102. Nancy from Mass

    Love that bag! My favorite on the go item to knit is a wool winter hat. easy enough to carry around without having to study the instructions.

  103. Aj

    I will take any project out with me. I have two small children and all their stuff to tote around so what’s one more thing :-) Plus if they both fall asleep in the car and we are not on a tight schedule I can just pull into a quiet parking lot and knit for a few.

  104. Patricia

    Hi I’m looking for Adult hat pattern with earflaps for my Mother so I can give it to her for Christmas so I can knit it on ym knitting machine . thank you

    PS. let me know soon .