Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's in your wallet....?

Did I say wallet?   I meant knitting bag....

Inspired by episode 124 (Essential Knitting Tools) of the KnitPicks (KP) Podcast, I set about creating four identical notions bags.   The idea being, it will not matter which knitting bag I have with me (there are only two going at the moment).  I will always have my favorite notions right at hand.   Moving clockwise, beginning at the top right hand corner, these are my must-have knitting tools:

  1. Bent Tip Needles (KP) -  for weaving in those pesky ends.
  2. Locking Stitch Markers (KP) – Probably my most used item
  3. Point Protectors – I rarely use these but I know that if I leave them out, they will suddenly become absolutely necessary.  
  4. Split Ring Stitch Markers (KP) – I use these when I am casting on a lot of stitches.   Placing them every 50 sts makes the whole counting thing much easier.
  5. Gingher Snippers – Of all the scissors/snippers I have tried, these are my favorite.   They are a bit pricey but last forever.
  6. Lace Marker Tin – I used to use small Altoid tins but then I found these Sunshine State, Lisa tins at the airport and just had to have them.   In it I keep:  1) Those uber-cheap white plastic ones from Walmart and/or Hobby Lobby (Ideal for lace knitting);  2) Beaded stitch markers that I make myself and use to mark the beginning of the row when knitting in the round.  3) KnitPicks Key for attaching cable to the needle when using KnitPicks Options (which I do, almost exclusively).  4)  A rubber needle gripper.  These small rubber discs make it easy  to securely tighten Option's join.  Plus, sticking the key through it makes finding it much easier if it falls to the bottom of my bag.
  7. Tape Measure – For accuracy I prefer metal tape measures, but these are lighter and fit better.
  8. Needle Gauge (Addi) – There are others but I vastly prefer this one.
  9. Stitch Holders (Clover) – These come in different sizes/colors but I find the blue ones to be most useful.
  10. Double Ended Crochet Hook Set (KP) – Four crochet hooks give you Eight sizes.   The smallest ones are good for picking up dropped stitches while the others are handy to have around if, like me, you often crochet your edgings.
  11. Notions Bag – I searched high and low before finding something that I really liked.   This is a 8” x 5” cosmetic bag.   It fits all of the above plus a small pad and pencil (added these after I took the picture).   I like that it fits flat against the side of my bag and I love the kiss-lock closure.
All of these tools are available, in some form, at your local big box crafts store.   Unless otherwise noted, I buy mine from KnitPicks. They are less expensive and I am partial to their signature colors (purples).   I am considering adding a 30” US1 circ to each bag for picking up stitches and knitting socks magic loop style (I am a 5 dpn girl but sometimes it is more practical to switch to a long circ).

Further inspired, I put together two mini notions bags with an assortment of stitch markers, KP key with needle gripper, a bent tip yarn needle and a yarn cutter disk.    I keep one in my purse (where I always have a sock progress) and one in the small bag I carry at Disney (where the other sock lives).

So that's it for me.   What's in your wallet tool bag?

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