My local small-town grocery still offers paper bags, which I sometimes get because they're so darn useful afterwards (not to mention for carrying in the groceries--less trips to and from the truck). I often throw a ball or skein of yarn in one of those, and when I'm not working on the project, it sits on top of the yarn.
I'd rather spend my money on yarn and stay low-tech. Meanwhile, those pesky knots are KNOT fun. Generally, they are placed (on purpose, I think) in the most inconvenient places!