Friday, January 18, 2013

Your Knitting Organizer: What do you really need?

Whether you use the Crafter's Tool Butler I reviewed yesterday, a spare project bag, or a ziploc bag, you probably find yourself toting around some knitting miscellany on a fairly regular basis. But what do you actually need to keep on hand? And what can you safely stash in your craft room / office / behind the sofa for irregular use? Here are my suggestions.

Knitting bag essentials:

Stitch markers (A lot. More than any one could ever use.)

Stitch holder, or small length of scrap yarn (Holding mitten thumbs and other live stitches)

Key for your interchangeable needles--or two! (These disappear like socks in the dryer; I wish I knew where they went. You can use a paper clip in a pinch.)

Yarn needle (Seaming, kitchenering sock toes and weaving in ends)

Crochet hook (Provisional cast-ons, dropped stitches and other such emergencies; Knit Picks also sells this emergency fix keychain, which is fabulous.)

Needle and thread (Buttons)

Scissors and/or yarn cutter (Scissors are more flexible, but harder to travel with; finishing projects, steeking and opening stubborn plastic packaging encountered in every day life.)

Needle gauge (NEVER guess what size needle you have in hand!)

Tape measure (Measure gauge, lengths of knit fabric, and yourself.)

A small notebook and pen (Always be ready to take notes on your project; if you modify anything, you'll want to write it down. Target actually has a lovely selection of pocket-sized notebooks. I may be slightly notebook obsessed.)

Lip balm (Chapped lips are no one's friend.)

Emery board/nail file (I've had to stop knitting before because a rough nail kept snagging the yarn; very frustrating.)

Hand cream or lotion bar (Rough hands can also snag delicate yarn; they also feel icky.)

Reference guide (Not a tome, like Principles of Knitting; just a wee pamphlet with basic info, like this one.)

Yarn stranding guide (if you do colorwork.)

Cable needle (if you use one; though I highly encourage learning to cable without one!)

Pattern magnets (if you're a paper pattern user / chart reader.)

Of course, there are other tools we use on occasion, like sock blockers, sweater stones, and ball winders, but those can safely be left in your craft space to be unearthed as needed. You could really hurt your back trying to haul around a swift.

What do you recommend knitters keep in their tool kits?

1 comment :

Sava said...

It looks to me like you've covered all the bases here. The things that I most often need that I don't have are a cable needle (taking stitches off the needles even for a second frightens me, so I stick with the needle method) and stitch markers, both of which you remembered!