Knitting Tool Bag Essentials

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

One question I'm asked a lot by students is: "what accessories and tools should I have in my knitting bag?" 

While the contents of my tool bag look like I'm prepping for knitting doomsday, there are essentials that every knitter should keep with their active projects. Nobody wants to pause their knitting session because they forgot to grab a pair of scissors. So...

Here it is, folks! A list of quintessential items for your knitting bag. I’m not talking yarn, needles, and patterns (we already have that covered, right?). I’m talking about the goodies that prepare you for (almost) anything you’ll encounter in a project or pattern. No more panicking that you don’t have a measuring tape! Stitch markers at the ready? Bring it on! I’m such an accessories person that a good project becomes a great project when one of these sheep stitch markers greets me at the beginning of every round. Use a pencil case or cosmetics bag to hold all of your gear and you can easily transfer your tools from one knitting bag to another. Marvelous! 

Here are the items that are crucial in your knitting bag:

Scissors – find a nice, sharp pair with a sheath to protect you from injuries while the scissor isn’t in use. Slip-N-Snip Scissors

Stitch markers – an assortment of sizes and styles is best. Get fixed rings in a variety of sizes for lace knitting. The lock-ring style can be used on the fabric itself as well as on the knitting needles. Lock-Ring Stitch Markers

Tapestry needle – my favorite tapestry needle for seaming and weaving in tails is the Chibi by Clover. The bent tip makes seaming a breeze! Clover Chibi 

Tape measure – use a flexible tape measure made of fiberglass or flexible plastic/fabric that measures in inches as well as centimeters (for European patterns). 60 Inch Tape Measure

Crochet hooks – an assortment is good for fixing mistakes. Try to get hook sizes that are close in size to the knitting needles you typically use. Example: if you tend to use a lot of worsted weight yarn, an “H” hook would be a good one to have. Susan Bates Silvalume Crochet Hook Set

Stitch holder – I like the double-ended stitch holders from Clover but the basic metal safety-pin style stitch holders work well, too. Double-Ended Stitch Holder

Needle gauge – Needle gauges verify knitting needle sizes and usually have a tension measurer, too. Be aware that there is a slight discrepancy in sizing for European 4.0 mm and American US 6 knitting needles. If you use European needles (Addi Turbo), get the Addi Needle Gauge and if you use American needles, get the Susan Bates Knit-Chek

Needle stoppers – if you ever work with a lot of stitches and worry about them falling off the needles, it is a good idea to keep a pair of needle stoppers in your bag. Point Protectors

Row counter – row counters, when necessary, are an incredible tool! Clover Mini Kacha-Kacha Row Counter

Spare yarn – for placing large amounts of stitches on hold, for working a lifeline, etc.

Highlighters – in multiple colors, highlighters can help you organize different instructions in knitting patterns. I especially love using them on charts and written patterns that use multiple stitches. Sharpie Highlighter Set

Button needles – small, blunt-tip tapestry needles are great to sew buttons on with. Clover Tapestry Needles

Going for some extra credit? Here are a few other items that are useful depending on the projects you tend to knit: cable needles, yarn bobbins for intarsia, calculator, large eye beading needles for beadwork, pom pom makers.

 

The Knitter's Pride Pattern Holder in small or large is also a great accessory. The magnetic board keeps your patterns upright as you knit and you can move the magnet to keep track of rows. This is particularly helpful for chart knitting! 

 

Happy knitting!

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