Putting my new Crafter's Tool Butler into action coincides nicely with my new year organizing kick.
This was a Christmas gift from my parents, who probably didn't even know what it was, and just stumbled across it on my Amazon wishlist.
That's ok, as sometimes I feel the same way about the things I buy for my dad.
(Well, I usually know what they are, but can't fathom why he needs, for example, 3 different iPad cases.)
Regardless, it was a good random pick on their part, as I've been eager to get my hands on the Tool Butler since it debuted last year.
I've never been happy with my efforts to organize my most essential knitting tools. There seemed to be no single organizer that would hold all the bits and bobs I used most, without approximating the size of my house.
Most recently, I'd been using this little box: . . .
combined with a mish mash of assorted "necessities" in this bag:
You can see, the bag is a mess (I found my missing US6 16" circular needle in there!), and the little box never really worked for me. I guess I can't complain, since I paid all of $5 for it, but it really wasn't quite big enough to hold the items I wanted at hand, and the little compartments never stayed closed, resulting in a lot of stitch markers falling on the floor to become cat toys.
So my goal was to see how much of my essential stuff I could fit in the Tool Butler, and still zip it shut.
The front section of the Tool Butler is divided into smaller compartments:
I personally feel this section could use a few more small, zip compartments, to separate stitch markers, yarn needles, etc., but I think that's a personal preference.
It also has a little card to record your needle inventory, should you be so organized.
I am not.
While perhaps intended for DPNs or needle tips, the compartments are great for tucking tools into: scissors, crochet hooks (if you have a small selection, as I do), pens, and stitch holders, for example.
I happily squeezed quite a few tools in, including some pattern magnets, and used the zip compartment for smaller notions: stitch markers, safety pins, yarn needles and yarn cutter.
The back section has a number of pockets, presumably for storing circular needles:
The pockets are mesh, so you can see what they hold fairly easily, and the zippers seem sturdy (time will tell).
I already have a fair needle storage solution, so I decided to use them for other things. I'm happy to report I fit in several small boxes of blocking pins, a roll of highlighter tape, a couple of tape measures, a notebook, and my Knit Picks interchangeable cables, which I've been searching for a home for.
With my Tool Butler packed tight, I really feel I have all the most essential items at my fingertips--no more wandering around the house looking for knitting tools, or re-packing a small project bag with the things I think I'll need for a trip. It fits quite a number of must-have tools and notions in a portable and attractive organizer, so I can just pick up and go, knowing anything I might need is in there.
It's easily small and light enough for long-distance travel too--no more worries about finding yourself in Zimbabwe without your yarn cutter or tape measure.
(I make no promises about your ability to get it through airport security. You're on your own.)
You could certainly also use it to organize your knitting needles, assuming your collection isn't too extensive. And I'm sure non-knitters could put it to good use as well--sewing, art supplies, lock-picking . . . options abound!
The Crafter's Tool Butler is available in 4 colors, and retails for $55. You can pick one up here.
Tomorrow, we'll talk about the essentials you should have in your knitting organizer!