I admit it, I’m a sucker for “What’s in my bag” videos over on youtube. So here are my essentials for crafting. Note that some of these are not knitting specific, but more for creating in general. And you know, just generally handy things when I’m on the go.
This little flamingo pouch lives in my knitting basket so I always know where its, but it’s portable enough I can move it around the house to keep it with me while I’m at the sewing table or watching tv in a different room. It’s a sturdy nylon cosmetic bag someone gave me ages ago, and I’ve been using it pretty much daily since. Inside, it holds everything I need for my crafting except the yarn. Sometimes, I even stash a pair of sock needles inside.
The first and most important thing in the bag is this manicure kit. Again, I got it ages ago–I think back when I was working at Marshalls. It came with the nail file, cuticle pusher thingy (the flat piece of metal that’s pointy on one end), cuticle scissors, and tweasers. Of course, it also had nail clippers, but those got lost/broken a long time ago. I do usually like to have a pair in my knitting bag though, just in case of stray hang nails or the odd broken/torn nail that needs smoothing out. But for now, that is the purpose the nail file and the scissor serve, among other things. I’ve used the file to smooth out rough spots where the cats chewed on something, and of course to keep my nails from snagging on anything.
These kits are extremely slim, so they can be hard to find replacement clippers for. Instead, I fill that spot with tapestry needles, and the occasional sewing pin. I also have another tool here that was made for changing out the band on watches. It has a two pronged fork on one side and a flat stick on the other, and is great for prying fiber out of ball winder gears, adjusting tools, and just generally useful to have around. I’ve also used it to fix my glasses in a pinch.
The scissors are pretty obvious; these snips are pointy, light weight, and sharp. The tweezers are, again, good for pulling fiber out of places it shouldn’t be, and managing other small objects. The thimble doesn’t actually live in this case, but I find they can be good to have on hand, and I also use this kit when I’m sewing.
Next I have two small crochet hooks for picking up stitches. The one on the left has a wood handle and two different sized ends. Really, I only need one of these tools, but the light up crochet hook doesn’t fit in my regular hook storage, so here it shall stay. I got that ages ago; I think it was a freebie that came with something else. Alas, it no longer lights up.
In the upper right of that photo, I have some garment labels I got from Knitpicks. I got them as a joke after making sweaters for my parents for Christmas 2020. I still have a few left, so for a while they are going to be sewn into all of my gift knits. Really, they should be stored in my yarn cabinet with the rest of my lesser-used tools, but these are small enough I don’t want them to get lose, as that is mostly for yarn and larger tools, books, etc.
Below that is a tin of stitch markers and progress keepers. I have a wide variety here, from individual plastic rings to handmade pieces, to locking stitch markers. The tin and the blue locking stitch markers were freebies with an overseas knitting magazine I got from Joann’s (as was the double ended crochet hook, for that matter), and it’s super handy.
Last, we have a needle gauge. These aren’t as important to me as they used to be, as all my needles now (thankfully) have the size printed/engraved on them. Mostly I use this for comparing sizes–what is a US 7 in millimeters? How close in size are a US3 and a 3mm? Which hook is about the same size as a US4 needle? It also has a short ruler which is good for checking progress and gauge. I think this was another magazine freebie, but I could be wrong.
So those are the things I keep with me when I knit, crochet, sew, or otherwise create. As a bonus, I also have a measuring tape bracelet I got for Christmas. It has inches and centimeters on it, wraps twice around my wrist, and now that it’s broken in I can get it on and off with one hand (the leather was a little stiff at first). I use it pretty much every day, and if I’m not wearing it, it also lives in my basket. I’m not sure where it came from, other than someplace on etsy. Here it is helping me measure out one of my WIPs:
It’s about 17″/44cm long, so it’s a good length without being unwieldy, though if you’re someone who knits a lot of afghans it might be a bit short for you. It’s good for things like sweaters, though.
And that’s it. What tools do you always have handy for your craft of choice? My dad never goes anywhere without a utility knife and a tape measure. What tools are universally useful? What are more specific to your trade/craft?
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