Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Since Guido asked for guidance

Last night I read Guido's post about his lost knitting tool bag, so here for edification is a picture of my tool bag (overstuffed) and several pictures of the contents. I got the bag at (I believe) the 5th anniversay Granite State Knit-In (no they don't have a website, let me know if you want info) so that's about 10 years ago, and I think it's a bank deposit bag, printed with the logo. Incredibly durable, tough, made to last. I think the outside is vinyl with a woven interior glued to it.

And here are the contents dumped out. Not much different than how it looks when I open it up. Most of what's here doesn't get used very often, the rest gets a lot of use. Would I take it out? No, because I'm one of those people who overpacks with a purpose - I really think I might need it.

Shown here are the mostly flat bits. I have 3 cards from the old Patternworks (one is a duplicate that was a giveaway) for calculating how much yardage for a project (bulky to sport weight only), how many skeins are needed for how many yards if there are so many yards in a skein (pick quantity on left side, quantity on right and see where the line between the two points intersects the scale line in the middle. The cards have other useful bits of info on them - universal care symbols, metric/us needle sizes. There's my calculator (get solar and the battery won't go dead on you from something constantly turning it on in the bag), a Susan Bates classic needle hole gauage and 2" window swatch measurer, 1/4 inch wide metal tape meaures (won't stretch, get the 10 foot length rather than the 3 foot and it's guaranteed to measure just about anyone) and cutsie post-its (no, that really predates Dolores. I got that at Jordan Marsh, folks.) On the right are a pair of the fingerless hand support gloves in size 3.

Here we have mostly long thin things and things that cut. Crochet hooks are slowly being replaced. I have a friend who "used to crochet" who was going through a stressful time with doctor appointments for herself and her invalid husband more than a year ago, so I got together all the hooks I had, some varieties of yarn and suggested she try keeping her hands busy. She hasn't looked back and recently took up knitting. I'm slowly replacing the hooks, mainly as I need a particular size for a project. There are also writing implements (I should throw out the ones that don't work), a giveaway ruler, and cutting implements. The string is perle cotton in size 3 -- the thin type. This is one of the handiest things in the bag. It can be tied in a small bow on the right side of material to be a marker, it can be cut long to be a stitch holder for an entire sweater for trying on purposes, etc. I still have the blue in there for some reason, but I've switched to the white in recent years on the theory that white perle cotton has very little danger of transfering dye to a light color yarn.

This picture shows a fairly random grouping. Point protectors and needle guards, cable needles (I seem to prefer the flying bird style), some buttons I have no idea why I'm carrying them around, machine washable labels for sewing into gifts that I can't find anymore of. (If you know of a store carrying them, let me know, please!) Yarn needles -- why do I have 5 in there? Counters I haven't used in ages.
Stitch holders. Why so many? No idea. Different sizes for different purposes (the tiny ones are great for kid mitten thumb stitches). Again, the only excuse is that my tools are acquired over many years and much gets put in and little gets removed.

As usual, at the bottom of the bag, stitch markers. Quite the collection, eh? Not much else to say about them. Colors help for some purposes, size does matter. And how come, despite the quantity, the size and color you're looking for is never to be found?

One last thing -- for absolute bare-essentials toolwise, I keep these in each purse-like object I have. Measureing you can usually kludge or guess, but how often do you need something to kitchener with? I keep a yarn needle and a fingernail clipper on a piece of perle cotton. I can cut and I can deal with ends/finish toes whereever I am., which was important when the commuter knitting was the perpetual sock. Best thing going.

So that's what you've got in there. Talk about a breeding population of stitchmarkers!
Now I know who to ask if I need a notion I forgot to bring. ;)
Thanks Patience for the tour of your notions. It does make me think about what lurks in every knitting notions bags
I've been wondering if other people carry around as much stuff in their knitting bags as I do in mine. Apparently you do, but you've got me beat for sheer volume.
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