I just received a lovely new knitted wool hat from my mum. My mum knits while she talks, as do lots of other knitters. Knitting is an extremely popular hobby practiced by millions of people worldwide. The Knitting Guild Association is a good resource for all things knitting. Knitting originated with the Egyptians in the first millennium A.D. While initially a male-only occupation, most knitters these days are women. With the invention of the knitting machine, knitting moved from vocation to hobby.
Knitting’s popularity has waxed and waned over the centuries, but it is on the rise these days. My mum is English and she told me that in certain seaside communities in England, women would develop a family specific pattern for sweaters so that if a fella was lost at sea, he could be identified by the pattern on his “jumper”. Many women knitters join virtual communities that revolve around knitting such as Ravelry, known to its fans as “Rav.” Novice knitters can get started by watching knitting podcasts such as Manic Purl Podcast and the Savvy Girls Podcast. Ladies who get together in England to knit and discuss yarn, patterns, techniques and the faults of their husbands or significant others are known as “knitting circles.” In American, these groups have the more colorful name of “Stitch and Bitch” groups.
When my mum was up over the holidays, she was knitting madly. She kept her wool in a rather shabby fabric shopping bag. As a result, her wool, patterns and needles were always in a jumble. I suggested she needed a better knitting bag, a knitting bag made in my home town by Tom Bihn. The bag is the Swift. Tom designed the Swift, a tote/shoulder bag for knitters, after holding a contest in 2005 with Knitty® Magazine.
The Swift is available in multiple colors and three different fabrics; the Swift depicted above is in cork. The Swift has two clear Urethane pockets backed with Japanese-made Dyneema ripstop fabric and close with #8 YKK zippers. Keeping your different yarns separated is simple in the Swift through the use the clear bottom yarn stuff sack system. The Swift has two “o-rings” with a key snap attached. You clip clear bottom yarn stuff sacks to these o-rings. The yarn stuff sacks can accommodate a large ball of yarn. The sacks have drawstring top, and a very handy snap open/close grommet through which a knitter can feed yarn. Imagine your efficiency once you get the Swift! You will be making hats for your children, your aunts, your uncles, everyone in your immediate family. And because you are buying the Swift which is made here in Seattle, you will also be doing something important for members of your extended American family as well: providing them with gainful employment. Oh damn, I dropped a stitch!