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Travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

The Swift in Cork - Tom Bihn 11

The Swift in Cork is a shoulder bag specifically for knitters and crafty types, designed by Tom in collaboration with the readers of Knitty® magazine. The tote-bag design allows its contents to be easily found: you'll never have to waste time searching inside deep caverns for small lost items. The Swift in Cork is made out of real cork fabric from Portugal. Cork fabric is a durable, handsome material made from real cork bark. Cork fabric holds up exceptionally well over time, and the darker sections of its pattern will deepen and become richer with age. Cork is known for the sustainability of its production. Harvesting of the cork bark is performed by hand and does not harm the tree. After harvest, a new layer of cork bark will grow, and the tree will be ready for harvest again ten years later. Oak woodlands in Spain and Portugal, known as dehesas or montados, have been used to produce cork and graze livestock for hundreds of years, making them a haven for wild birds and the endangered Iberian Lynx.

Pet/animal hair does not stick to Cork and the "lining" of the Cork fabric is very soft and nonabrasive to fibers. And due to the natural variation in cork, no two Swifts in Cork will be alike.

The Swift Story:
In 2005, we held a contest with Knitty® magazine and asked their readers to tell us everything they would like to see in the ultimate knitting bag — from colors, materials, and style of bag to functionality, accessories, and size. We received a flood of entries and suggestions. Tom made a few prototypes and sent them off to the editors of Knitty® for review; they responded with their ideas and thoughts. And, when the final design was ready for debut, the editors of Knitty® held a naming party. Many great names were suggested, but the winning entry was chosen because it has significance to knitters but doesn't designate the bag as solely for knitting: it's a great bag for all kinds of crafts, and many folks will find its clear pockets and stuff sack useful features in an everyday bag. Special thanks go to Amy and all the editors and readers of Knitty® magazine: we (really) couldn't have done it without you.

Inside the Swift in Cork are two clear urethane pockets backed with our Japanese Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric. The pockets mirror each other, and they close with strong #8 YKK zippers. Above one of these pockets you'll find an O-ring with a key snap attached. On each end of the bag's interior is another O-ring. The O-rings are designed to allow you to clip the included Medium Yarn Stuff Sack (Clear Bottom, in Steel) to the left or right side of the bag. And, of course, you can clip additional Yarn Stuff Sacks to the O-rings.

The included Medium Yarn Stuff Sack (Clear Bottom, in Steel) is made of the same Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric that backs the clear urethane pockets of the Swift in Cork. This Yarn Stuff Sack can accommodate a large ball of yarn. It has a drawstring top, and it includes a feature knitters will immediately notice as indispensable: a triangular clip open/close grommet to feed yarn through. The clear urethane bottom allows you to quickly see what the Yarn Stuff Sack contains.

Additional Yarn Stuff Sacks, available in a wide variety of sizes and colors, are available for purchase here.

The remaining interior of the Swift in Cork is devoted to space: lots of it. For custom organization, add Clear Organizer Pouches or Clear Quarter Packing Cubes. A button closure secures the top of the bag, which, unlike a zipper, won't fray yarn or projects. The handles are the ideal length for carrying in hand or on the shoulder, with the highest quality PORON® foam padding them.

A smaller version of the Swift in Cork — The Little Swift in Cork — is available. Also available are the Swift and The Little Swift, both available in a variety of fabrics and color combinations.

Knitty® is a registered trademark of Knitty magazine, used with permission.


Cork fabric from Portugal
.016" clear urethane inside pocket fronts
200 denier Dyneema®/nylon ripstop inside pocket backs
#8 YKK coil zippers on pockets
PORON® foam handles


Made in USA
100% finished seams


Dimensions: 7.5" x 12.5" x 13.5" / 190 x 320 x 340 mm
Weight: 1 lb 3 oz / 545 grams
Volume: 950 cubic inches / 15.5 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)

Videos and Customer Photos

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel.

View customer photos on Flickr.

External Reviews

As reviewed by indigodragonfly:
"This bag holds A LOT! To give you an idea of how much, I’ve filled the main compartment of the bag with 8 balls of yarn, the finished Tilted Duster and a copy of Knitting Nature, along with everyday things like my wallet and glasses. The bag is fill about 2/3 of the way to the top. I wouldn’t want to put much more in it, because it would make access to the pockets a little difficult. Yes! The pockets. The bag has 2 big zippered pockets with a clear vinyl front so you can see what you put in them. The back of the pockets are lined with the Dyneema nylon which has a dark grey background and white grid. Very easy to see what’s in the pockets. I use one pocket for everyday items like my glasses and cell phone… " Read the full review.

As reviewed by Lapdog Creations:
"Swift's spacious tote design was well thought out, allowing for easy access to what you put in - and want to take out without calling in the search hounds - the bag. Nothing is going to get lost at the bottom or in a tiny dark corner of this bag - not even the dog treats! The entire interior design has been devoted to space and organization - two more factors in finding my perfect knitting bag." Read the full review.

Want to read more reviews? Here's our complete list of external bag reviews.

people who have the The Swift in Cork say:

Swift in Cork - Perfect
"I just received my pre-ordered Swift in Cork and - WOW. It's bigger than I was expecting (which I like) and the swath of cork trimmed in black is beyond beautiful. It stands upright on its own and the handles are more than long enough to slip over my shoulder, even with it filled. It is simply a stunning bag. I ordered the Swift even though I don't knit primarily because of the cork but also because I wanted a bag to throw a couple of books in, maybe my little Acer Aspire One, my Kindle, or any of my other take-alongs. My stainless water bottle sits perfectly in one end, held in place by a small carbiner-esque clip, with plenty of room to spare for all my other goodies. " — posted by Foggy Morn

Swift Steel/Steel Ballistic - LOVE IT!!!!
"Just received the regular size Swift in Steel/Steel Ballistic, and I can't say enough about this color combination! The steel is much darker than shown on my monitor and that was a pleasant surprise. It is gorgeous - a very rich color. I can see this bag not only as my knitting bag but also my daily carryall. I added the Guardian Dual Function Light, two colored key straps with 2 clear organizer pouches and a tall yarn sack. What else can I say - it's perfect!!! Hope to see the Little Swift made in this same combination. Thanks, Tom Bihn!" — posted by Wishnfarm

Swift another winning TB bag!
"First look out of the box it seemed smaller than I expected. But once the 15 skeins of yarn for the afghan went in and my Vogue Knitting book and folder with patterns and all the misc. tools of the trade into the clear pockets and my active projects in the quarter packing cube, the Swift filled out nicely. Mine is ballistic and holds its smooth shape well as I kept packing in more and more yarn. I'm really pleased with how much it holds. So much nicer beside the chair than the old brown grocery bag." — posted by Skylark

Read more customer reviews posted in our forums.

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The Swift in Cork

This design has been retired: that means we don’t make it anymore. While it was once much appreciated, it has decided to step aside so that there’s room for the new designs that we are continually developing. Stay tuned…

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Swift: $90.00
Clear Organizer Pouches
Clear Organizer Pouches: $9.00 - $16.00
Clear Quarter Packing Cube
Clear Quarter Packing Cube: $30.00
Key Strap
Key Strap: $4.00 - $6.00
Yarn Stuff Sack
Yarn Stuff Sack: $14.00 - $20.00
3D Clear Organizer Cube
3D Clear Organizer Cube: $30.00
The Little Swift
The Little Swift: $80.00