Here is part three of a series on [bmore crafty] – The Essentials. One of my favorite questions to ask knitters and other crafters is a no-brainer: “what tool can you simply not live without?” In this series, I’ll be chatting about some of my go-to knitting tools, references, and related products that seem to make my life easier and give me more enjoyment of the craft. I may mention specific brands or publications, but I was in no way compensated for these posts. I want to share my favorite things with you and hope you’ll share some with me, too.
Until very recently, whenever I carried knitting with me, I was either lugging around a huge case of notions or I was without them altogether. I never gave it much thought until I was working on my Effortless Cardigan at a friend’s house and realized I had no scissors, no darning needle, and no waste yarn in order to divide for the sleeves. Even though I Macgyver-ed my way through that situation, it started to sink in – why don’t I have a notions kit that I can toss into my purse, project bag, or knitting tote?
(cue infomercial voice) Everything you need inside one tiny pouch!
So, I finally assembled a kit of my own. In mine, I include the following: a good pair of scissors, a needle gauge, a cable needle, a tape measure, a double-ended crochet hook, darning needles in a Chibi case, extra stitch markers, Knit Picks interchangeable needles cable key and end caps, and a stitch holder. All of these items fit into a 5″ x 5″ ripstop nylon pouch.
The best tool kit, in my opinion, is small enough to fit into a small project bag, but comprehensive enough to cover you in most knitting situations. I often put this case in my Yarn Stuff Sack and I’m ready for a knitting meet-up. And also – a mini kit like this will pass through TSA carry-on luggage checkpoints at the airport, as long as your scissors have a blade shorter than 4″.
I’ve been tweaking the contents of my kit over the last few months, but this version seems to have everything I need. For example, until a dropped stitch fiasco on my Daybreak, I never thought to carry a crochet hook. Now, I don’t like to leave home without it. Similarly, I don’t knit cables all of the time, but a cable needle is a great stitch holder in a pinch. After going through these sorts of situations time and time again, I swear by my mini tool kit.
Have you ever been in a jam because you were without the necessary notions? Did you find a way around it or have to set your knitting aside for later? Do you have a mini tool kit of your own? What’s in it, and what notions will you never leave the house without?