A lot of knitting bloggers are sharing their project bags at the moment, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon and showing you how I organise my knitting related bits and bobs.
I don’t have a project bag as such. Instead, if I travel anywhere with my knitting, I tend to chuck the project in a sturdy Ziploc bag and throw it into the large shoulder bag that also holds nappies (=diapers), toys, snacks and whatever else I need.
While this works very well for the project itself, I found the system a bit lacking if I wanted to bring any other items, such as scissors or stitch markers. What’s more, I found I never tended to have the actual bit or bob I needed. And actually, even at home it was always a nightmare trying to find the item required, as things end up spread around the house, falling behind the sofa or being grabbed by a toddler. You get the idea.
About a year ago I solved this issue at last, when I spotted this wonderfully cheerful wash bag in a local shop.
It’s made by Paperchase, which is a UK brand so probably not available in the USA, where most of my readers are, but this particular bag appears to be discontinued now anyway and it should be easy enough to find something similar.
The bag is very nice and sturdy, and folds out to reveal three zippered compartments.
Inside are what I consider to be my knitting essentials.
In the picture:
- Yarn labels. I keep the ball bands/labels of the yarn of my current projects in my tool kit so it’s easy to find the important information. You probably can’t tell in this picture, but I scribble down gauge notes on the labels after swatching to keep that info handy too.
- The gold coloured cardboard tube is one out of a set of DPN storage tubes. I store my sock needles in there. It keeps them safe and stops them from getting lost. The other two tubes in the set are for keeping a small project on DPNs safe when storing. I highly recommend these. One of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
- Basic sewing supplies. The little plastic tube has a selection of sewing needles. I’ve got black and white thread, safety pins, a needle threader, a seam ripper, some safety pins and the bronze tin has pins in it. These are not strictly knitting related, but you’d be surprised how many wardrobe malfunctions you can fix at the drop of a hat with these items. My mother has always carried a basic sewing kit with her wherever she goes and it’s a good habit I’ve eventually copied. The pin tin, by the way, was my grandmother’s; I feel privileged to have her sewing box, a lovely wooden one which was made for her by my carpenter grandfather. I hope to pass it and the items in it on to one of my own two daughters eventually!
- Crochet cotton. I use this for lifelines, making stitch markers, stitch holders, provisional cast ons and generally tying things up. It comes in handy all the time.
- Tapestry needles; one blunt, one sharp tipped
- The little key thingy for tightening the needle/cable connection on my Knitter’s Pride interchangeable needles.
- Tape measure
- Writing materials; pen, pencil, eraser. I always carry a notebook as well, but that doesn’t fit into the bag. The notebook is used for writing down all sorts of things, not just knitting related stuff. It’s the academic in me, I think, to always want to have a notebook at hand.
- Crochet hook. It’s a 3.5 mm (=US E) which is a nice middle of the road sort of size that does just fine most of the time for picking up stitches and the like.
- Cable needles. They are two of an original set of three made by Clover. Unfortunately, the toddler hid the smallest one somewhere. It’s been lost for months and I’ve little hope of recovering it at this stage. They are quite nice though.
- Not pictured above is my Knitter’s Pride needle and gauge sizer (I realise I’m starting to sound like a Knitter’s Pride add. I assure you I don’t have any stake in the company. My LYS carries a lot of their stuff though, I use it and I like it. That’s all.). It’s not in the picture with the rest of the stuff because I’d forgotten that I’d been using it just before I took the picture. It’s really an essential tool in my kit. Without it, I would probably have to buy new needles for each project as the markings indicating the size have worn away on most of the ones I have. In addition, it’s perfectly designed to measure gauge on a bit of knitting. It’s got a clear bit in the middle with the 10cm/4 inch that most swatches are to be clearly marked out, so you can put your knitting flat and put this thing on top. Here, it gets a picture of it’s own:
And there you have it. My knitting kit. It goes with me everywhere, and I wouldn’t be without it.