I also have the pink tweed messenger bag, and I love it! However, I did find it a little large for an everyday tote for projects. The bag is VERY roomy, and I can fit multiple projects, patterns and "stuff." I got it for Mother's day a year ago, and I haven't had any problems with tearing, etc...
You probably need the messenger bag AND the knitters satchel! (me too!!)
"Pinup Queen" by Annie Modesitt from Stitch N Bitch