Lion Brand Notebook

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4 Essential Tools for Your Project Bag

November 17th, 2010

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For every knitter & crocheter, every project brings with it a couple of basic needs: the right size hook/needle, rows to count and keep track of, and of course, ends to weave in. To help you with these basics, here are 4 essential tools that you will want to keep in your project bag (I know I certainly get a lot of use out of these tools), available at LionBrand.com and in your local stores:

Needle gauge: Often needle/hook size numbers get worn down or are just hard to read (or with DPNs, the needles are often unlabeled). Keep a needle gauge in your bag to and simply stick your needle through the various holes to see what size it is. Plus, the 5-inch ruler on the edge, makes it a tool that does double-duty! This tool will work for crocheters too, giving you the number and metric sizes, but if you’re wondering which letter it is, just remember this useful tip from our friend, designer Lily Chin: H = 8 and they sound similar. Working forwards and back, you can now figure out which letter your hook will be!

Row counter: Keep a row counter handy when working on projects where you have to keep track of the pattern repeats or number of rows. Turn the dials every time you complete a row. These Lion Brand row counters even slip onto your circs or straight needles so they don’t get lost! Split-ring stitch markers are another great tool for keeping track of pattern repeats. Slip them on your needles every ten or twenty stitches for place patterns. Since our stitch markers having this neat split-ring design, they’re also perfect for slipping onto the first stitch of your crochet rounds or even slipping onto mistake stitches in your knitting that you want to fix when you come back around to them!

Large-eye blunt needles (or tapestry needles): Essential for weaving in ends, seaming together garments, kitchener stitching your socks, or embroidering facial features onto your amigurumi, every knitter & crocheter needs blunt needles in their bags!

Finally, I like to keep a couple of extras like a pair of small scissors or a yarn cutter and a small crochet hook (useful for fixing mistakes on knitting projects too!). Whether you want to have a set for every project bag or whether you move them from bag to bag, these tools will help to keep you on track, no matter the project.

What are the tools that you always keep in your bag? Leave a comment and let us know!

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  • Valencia

    I have a small, retractable tape measure, fabric glue, a small notebook with pen for notes, craft support gloves and moisturizing lotion. I also put my stitch counter on a long chain and wear it around my neck when I’m crocheting.

  • Sierrapelonacrochet

    In addition to all of the above, I also keep some safety pins in my bag.

  • Paula

    Cable needles, crochet hooks and point protectors for knitting needles

  • Ohsobroke

    A small container of “Glide” dental floss. The floss can be used for life lines, or even stitch markers in a pinch, and the container has a cutter on it.

  • Medicinehollow

    I carry a pencil pouch with the recommended items + tape measure,scissors,various crochet hooks ( for Cast On ),pen,tablet,coil-less safety pins,stitch markers,stitch holders, and a variety of other things.

  • Iris

    In a plastic pencil box, I have a tape measure, a pen for circling size instructions on patterns and for making changes.
    When knitting ribbing ,for example 2 inches, I count how many rows it takes to knit 2 inches, and I write it on the pattern. This way, I don’t have to measure again for another garment piece.
    I also have a memo pad, stitch holders and safety pins, point protectors, small scissors with pointed blades, yarn needle, row counter ,stitch markers and a cable needle if needed.

  • Tamms

    I have a little pad of sticky notes….can be used as row minders. Also, a tube of Chapstick for when I’m biting my lips trying to figure out a difficult pattern.

  • http://www.tstitchesandcrafts.webs.com Tstitchesandcrafts

    Yarn and more Yarn (Sometimes I think I try to carry with me my whole collection!) You never know when you may be inspired to start something new! My current project… right now a hat I am crocheting. Knitting needles, Crochet hooks, 1 or 2 roughly 12 inch pieces of scrap yarn to use to mark my rows, pen and paper and a few other misc. things. BUT my favorite item is my scissors. I carry folding scissors. Like these…. http://www.createforless.com/products/popupProductLargeImage.aspx?id=101998&picid=152749&idt=i
    I found mine low priced in my local dept store camping section. They have the round loop on them designed for a key chain. My large eye needle and my folding scissors are on a piece of scrap yarn tied together. I never loose them that way. Plus no pointy scissors to jab through my bag.

  • Cupoftea

    I’ve had the kind of counter like the one here, I bought one that you just click and it is the best. I’ll usually pack my car fun bag with what I need for the project I’m bringing. Most of the time it is the yarn, the pattern, hook, and scissors. I try to bring a simple pattern so as to minimize what I need. A zip-lock bag works great and I leave it in my bag for the next time. My car fun bag is a tote bag that I put in a book, tissues, cough drops, a bottle of water, crochet stuff, camera, and whatever else I might need for that particular trip.

  • Ilehlia

    I use a plastic food storage container with a lid that has 4 flaps that snap tight. It’s see-through, and can’t come open on its own. It contains yarn needles, a crochet hook, scissors, stitch holders, needle gauge, retractable tape measures, cable needles, a pen, and bobby pins. I use them to keep track of what row I’m on – just slide them down the page to underline where I am. One of the tape measures has a square magnet on the back, and I stick my metal yarn needles to it. A few safety pins and paper clips, and some of those tiny plastic spring hair clips, that look like butterflies – good for holding pieces together for seaming.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_53FSWZXZY7AJEWF7SKXCATR4VE Robin

    I tried bringing dental floss and let me share what I learned the hard way — get unwaxed!! I used waxed in a provisional cast on and what a mess. Now I carry a length of crochet cotton or sock yarn. One item that I end up using a lot in my traveling projects is a paper tape measure I received in a cheap sewing kit ages ago. It folds to nothing and is very handy. Although a needle sizer/ruler is useful it can be a little too big for my in-the-purse bags. I also usually carry some medium coil-less safety pins – they can be used for markers, stitch holders, and even as emergency cable needles. As well occasionally needed for fixing fashion emergencies!

  • lacart

    In a zippered crochet hook case, I keep a selection of hooks: 8 aluminum, 3 steel, and 4 plastic. In the other slots I keep a selection of different sized needles: tapestry, sharp, and large plastic. I have two different tools for loom knitting. Other things: tape measure, scissors, stitch markers, pencil, paper, hook gauge, row counter, a knitting stitch holder though I rarely knit, and a bag of pin backs because I make a lot of pins. This container is nice because I have all my hooks and needles on display, and everything else rides along inside the zipper, making a very portable item to grab as I work on different projects throughout the house and beyond.

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  • Dyanitokala

    Foldable¬†scissors are a must. They’re compact and when you fold them they won’t go through your bag bottoms or sides. Most are super cheap too. Just be careful when you fold them, I’ve cut myself before not paying attention.

  • Gigi3grandkids

    If you have an android smart phone, I found the greatest free app called County (and a paid version called County Plus) — it’s a smart row-counter, and it lets you track where you are on multiple projects!¬† You can name your project, and set various options to suit you, and then just tap the screen to increment the counter.¬† I love it.

  • Gwynydd1

    safety pins and scissors….pen and pencil…tape measure…

  • Gwynydd1

    also crochet hooks and rug hooking tool

  • katie

    what is a large-eye blunt needle can anyone help or have a photo of one

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