How to Pack Your Yarn Project Bag

We recently looked at the 13 best crochet and knitting project bags. The right bag is durable, has a lot of pockets, doesn’t snag your yarn, and also looks cute. But once you have the right yarn project bag, how do you pack it?

How to Pack a Yarn Project Bag - Tricks of the Trade

3 Key Ways to Pack a Yarn Project Bag

Of course, there are a multitude of ways to pack a yarn project bag. It depends on your bag, your project, your personal supply preferences, etc. That said, there are three basic approaches to a well-packed yarn project bag:

1. One Project Per Bag

One approach that many people love is to have multiple yarn project bags. Then they pack one project into each bag. This is especially popular during the holidays, when you might plan to craft a lot of things in a short period of time. By keeping everything that you need for the project in one bag, you give yourself the ease and convenience of always being able to pick up and work on it.

Tips for Packing One Project Per Bag

This approach is great for people who are organized enough to know exactly what they want to work on. Here’s what you’ll pack in your yarn project bag:

  • Print the pattern out. Put it in a plastic sleeve protector. That will go in the bag.
  • Using the pattern details, figure out exactly which yarn you need for this project. Pack all of the yarn. (Note, if you are working on large projects, your bag may only fit a section at a time. You might have a larger bag where you store everything, transferring what you’re currently working on into the smaller portable bag.)
  • Pack the exact crochet hook size and knitting needle that you need. If you have not checked gauge for the project, yet, then you may pack slightly smaller and larger hooks and needles, too, until you guarantee that you’re carrying the right ones. After all, you don’t want to take your project bag on the go only to find that you don’t have the right tools to get the gauge correct for the project.
  • Check the pattern to see if you will need any additional supplies. Is this a project that requires stuffing? Will you need a tapestry needle to weave in your ends? Pack all of the extra supplies in your yarn project bag.
  • Notes for yourself. It’s always helpful to have a small notebook in your project bag. You can give yourself notes including the deadline that the project is due (for example, a holiday date you’ve set) or where you leave off in the project so that you can easily pick up where you left off next time.

2. Option to Work on Anything Bag

Okay, the reality is that you can’t take your entire yarn stash and put it into one yarn project bag. So at some point there’s a limit. But the idea here is that instead of having a project bag for one specific project, you have a bag that includes supplies for different types of projects. This is the kind of yarn project bag that you want to keep in the car, perhaps – so that you always have something to work on if you find yourself stuck somewhere with unexpected time on your hands.

Tips for Packing a General Yarn Project Bag

If you want to pack a bag that gives you options, then how do you decide what to include? (More importantly, this means deciding what to leave out.) Here are some tips:

  • Choose a large yarn project bag with a lot of pockets. You want to include as many materials as you can but make it easy to find things within the bag.
  • If you are bi-crafty, then determine whether you want a single yarn project bag that contains both crochet and knitting supplies or you want one of each.
  • Pack a selection of yarns you commonly use in a variety of projects. Ideally, you’ll choose yarns that mix and match well, since you don’t know in advance what you might want to make with the yarn.
  • If you have the room, pack yarns in 2-3 weights (fine, worsted, and bulky, for example). However, if space is limited, choose the yarn weight that you use most often and stick with that.
  • If you have the room, add one “special yarn.” Most of the time, you’re going to use go-to staples from your yarn bag. However, if you find yourself in a stressful situation and needing some extra self-care, then it’s nice to have that one special skein of yarn to pull out and dream something up with.
  • Pack a small, but varied, selection of crochet hooks and/or knitting needles. Match the hook size to the yarn; for example, most people crochet with a size G or H crochet hook when working with worsted weight yarn. While there are exceptions, this is the way to go with a yarn project bag.
  • Add anything extra that you typically use when knitting or crocheting. Measuring tape, scissors, tapestry needle, stitch markers. This is the project bag where you need variety so pack a little bit of everything.
  • Should you include any patterns? If you have some patterns that you think you might like to try then go ahead and print them out and include them. Generally, though, this is the type of project bag where you’l pick it up, grab a yarn, and starting crocheting or knitting something really familiar like a granny square or brioche yarn project.

3. The Bag for Traveling

So, either you pack a yarn project bag with one very specific project or you pack one with as many options as you can fit. What’s left? The other time you might want a project bag is when you’re going to be traveling. In this instance, you’ll often pack your yarn craft supplies as well as other materials. In particular, if you’re taking a plane ride, then you’ll want a carry-on that fits all your travel needs as well as your yarn project.

Tips for Packing a Travel Project Bag

  • Choose a small yarn project bag. You will pack it inside of your larger carry-on.
  • Pack light. If you’re going on a long trip then you might pack one of the other types of project bags in your checked luggage. But for the flight (or train or bus or car ride), pack light. Pack what you need but few extras.
  • Choose a one-color yarn project. This helps with packing light. You don’t want to do a bunch of color changes on a plane. So pack 1-2 skeins of the same color yarn (or same colorway) to work from.
  • Pack 1-2 hooks / needles. You might want one plus a matching one as a backup in case you lose yours during the trip. After all, if you drop your crochet hook underneath the car seat on a road trip, it’s nice to be able to reach right into your bag and grab your back up.
  • Print your pattern. If you’re working off of a specific pattern, print it out. You never know if you’re going to have the WiFi access that you think you will to access a pattern online.
  • Review TSA guidelines if you’re flying. Most airlines let you take crochet hooks, knitting needles, and sometimes small sewing scissors on the plane. However, you never know. Check the guidelines in advance. Err on the side of caution by choosing plastic or bamboo materials and a thread cutter instead of scissors.
  • Pack the other items that you need for the trip in the larger bag. Snacks, tissues, hand sanitizer, a book … whatever you carry on the trip should also be part of your travel bag. The yarn project bag just goes alongside it.

Extra Tips for Packing a Yarn Project Bag

Those are the three basic approaches to keep in mind. Knowing the type of projects you’re likely to bag up can help you a lot in choosing the right yarn project bags. You’ll know if you need a large or small bag, one with a lot of pockets or just a few, etc. Here are some additional tips for organizing and packing a yarn project bag:

  • Take advantage of all of the bag’s compartments and pockets. This doesn’t mean adding materials that you don’t need (knitting needles in a crochet project bag, for example.) Instead, it means figuring out the best space for each item and assigning the item to that space. Then everything has a place and you’ll know how to get to it easily.
  • Some people pack their crochet hooks and knitting needles into cases. Then, when grabbing a project bag, they also grab a case to go with it. In other words, the case filled with all hook / needle sizes easily transfers from one bag to another.
  • Plastic or reusable bags are your friend. Even when a bag has plenty of pockets, you might find it helpful to store certain things together inside of plastic or mesh bags. For example, corral your yarn for one project inside of a large bag by putting it all in one plastic bag inside the project bag.
  • Stitch counters / row counters are helpful additions to project bags. It’s easy to lose track of where you are in a project when you’re crafting on the go.
  • You might want a system for feeding yarn out easily. Some project bags have built-in grommets or other systems for this. Otherwise you can rig up your own system or add a yarn bowl to your project bag.
  • Leave some space in the bag. If you’re going to have to put your WIP or FO back in the bag then you’ll want to make sure there’s enough room for it. Or if you happen to buy an extra ball of yarn on your travels, then you want space for that. More than anything, you don’t want to feel like your bag is so overcrowded that you can’t easily use what’s inside of it.
  • If you also use your project bag as a purse, then have a separate compartment for the extras: keys, breath mints, cell phone, etc. All the non-crafty things need to have their place as well.

Find Your Own Way

All of these suggestions can help you figure out the right way to pack your own yarn project bag. But ultimately, you do you. Figure out what you need most in a bag, then choose a bag that works well with those needs. Play around with different ways of packing your bags and do what works.

Just because many people find it helpful to have a printed pattern in the bag doesn’t mean that’s right for you. Just because a lot of people find it easier to have only 1-2 crochet hooks on a plane doesn’t mean that a crochet hooks case filled with ten hooks isn’t right for you. Take these tips as a starting point and then adapt them to what’s suitable for your needs.

Want to get an idea of how other people pack their yarn project bag? Fiber Flux, Oombawka Design, Moogly and others shared their project bag favorites with us. Click on the image below to check that out:

inside knitting and crochet project bags

Join the Conversation:

We want to know what you keep in your yarn project bag. What tips do you have for organizing a bag? What have you tried that’s worked (or hasn’t)? Share in the comments below to keep the conversation going.

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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