I’ve been caught too many times without the proper knitting tool.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put a work-in-progress aside because I couldn’t find a tapestry needle, stitch holder or some other tiny object that I needed to finish the piece. And then I uncover the project 5 months later, unfinished and unloved.
Recently I received the cutest small project bag, so I began taking my knitting with me to work every day. You never know when you’ll have a few extra moments to add a couple rows during a lunch break!
Knitting somewhere other than my home was new to me, so I needed to decide what tools were essential to carry in this small bag at all times. Here’s what I find most helpful to keep with me in my knitting adventures.
8 Things To Keep In Your Knitting Bag:
1. Combo Ruler / Needle Gauge Reader
This one sits at the #1 spot for so many reasons. It’s necessary for gauge swatching, measuring your progress along with pattern instructions, and I know I can’t be the only one who often forgets what size needle she’s using on a project…
Plus it’s a combo tool, which saves sacred space in your project bag. I love my little wooden one from Revival Yarns in Athens, Ga.
Bad at keeping track of where you are in a pattern? Need to keep a count of your rows? Then you need a pencil!
I’ve tried to keep my row progress in my head for too many years, and I have to say I’ve never had much success. I end up spending too long going back and recounting rows and matching up stitch charts.
And a pencil can serve as a makeshift cable needle, if needed. Another combo tool!
3. Stitch Markers
Did I say that I’ve tried to keep too many details in my head before? Because the start of a row in the round was always at the top of that list. But it’s only because I could never locate my stitch markers!
Easy solution: put a small case of them in your knitting bag.
I also love to use them to mark my starting row when I sit down to knit. At the end of my knitting time I can look down and see just how many rows I managed to get done. This can be a HUGE boost of confidence if you think you’re a slow knitter or if you’re knitting a seemingly endless scarf and feeling like you’re not making any progress. You are, I promise!
4. Small Scissors
This is on the list not so much to remind you that you need scissors, but specifically small scissors. Invest in a petite pair so they don’t take up much space in your bag.
They don’t need to cost much at all. I think mine came from the scrapbook department at a craft store and are like two pincers. They definitely wouldn’t pass security at the airport, so I’ll have to remember that when I travel. But for everyday use I love them!
5. Tapestry Needle
A tapestry needle may not come in handy until the end of a project, but I’ve left numerous projects unfinished with just the ends to weave in. And it takes me 3 months to finally get out a tapestry needle and weave them in. So trust me on this one, weave in as soon as you’re done. Easy peasy.
6. Extra Knitting Needle
I like to have at least one double pointed needle of the same size (or at least close) as my work-in-progress ready in my bag. It can serve as a cable needle or an extra needle to help pick up a dropped stitch, if that happens as often to you as it does for me.
7. Stitch holder
I admit that the stitch holder is probably the least used tool in my knitting project bag (unless I’m working on a sweater where the arms are worked later). But when you need a stitch holder, nothing else will do!
The simple fact is that stuffing your beloved sweater or hat in your project bag without needle point protectors means risking some fallen stitches at some point. Now, I could’ve put needle point protectors on this list, but I honestly don’t use them. And who wants to carry more than what’s needed in their bag?? I just wrap up my project carefully and cross my fingers for a smooth unveiling when I’m ready to knit it again. And sometimes a stitch holder is needed at that unveiling…
8. Small Lotion / Balm
All of the woolen and cotton and alpaca and (yes) acrylic goodness that you’ll be working with can take a toll on your hands. Keeping a small tube of lotion or tub of balm will keep your hands happy and hydrated. The backs of my hands get really dried out in winter. And that’s especially true when I’m knitting. This tool may not be directly related to your knitting, but it’s essential to a thriving knitter. As you can see in my photo at the top of this post, I actually keep a plan scented lip balm on hand for this.