I have been crocheting for almost thirty years, and over the years I have discovered several tools that has made my crocheting experiences a lot easier. Today I have decided to talk about the tools I like to keep in my crocheting bag. These “crocheting gadgets” are not really required to finish my project usually, but they most certainly make my crocheting experience more fun and easier to enjoy. This post will be a little longer then usual because I want to spend a little time looking at each accessory. So bear with me a little. Keep in mind that I am only stating my opinion on each item and my preferences as how to use them.
Since we are talking about what I like to carry around with me, I thought I would talk about my wonderful crocheting bag first. (pictured above) It was a gift from my husband about eleven years ago and I would be lost without it. It measures 13″ by 14″ and 10″ deep making it a perfect fit for me, as well as strong and durable enough to tote around.
It has a big roomy center pocket to carry the projects in and on the outside six separate pockets to hold 6 skeins of yarn. When I am going to teach a class, I usually carry 5 skeins of yarn and one water bottle so I can grab this bag at any time and know it has everything in it. The best part is that the yarn feeds though the inside of the bag! This was the selling point for me. This way when I am done with my crocheting projects, I can now safely put my project into the center pocket and zip my bag and go. No more worry about losing something in an open bag and no more tangled yarn or having my yarn getting caught in the zipper.
Keeping everything in one spot has it advantages. I do not waste time looking for my supplies, because I only have one spot to look. Secondly, I do not lose supplies, I still have my original hooks from when I started crocheting when I was 20, and happily I have never bought a hook twice. I can say that this is partly because the bag enables me to keep everything in its place and when I am done crocheting, everything fits nicely inside the safety of my bag and this is convenient and easy for simple organization.
Besides the 6 pockets for the yarn, there is a large inner pocket I always carry my current project and my pattern in. I also like to copy my pattern and place it into a plastic sleeve, like the kind you find easily in the school supply section of a Wal-Mart store. (pictured above) By doing this I do not have to carry my books around with me, which keeps them always looking nice and readable. I can also can use a dry erasable marker on the plastic sleeve making all the marks I like without actually marking up the original pattern. Then I erase the sleeve when I am done and throw the copy away.
Before I ramble on and forget, this was a bag we found on the Internet that we have long since forgotten who the company was we bought it from. It had the initials S.S. If any body recognizes it please let me know. I know several people who would love one, but I do not know where to send them or have seen a bag like it. It came in three different sizes and two different colors I received the medium size, and the dark green color.
Now lets explore the inside of the bag. I have one inside zippered pocket. It goes along the one entire side in the interior. Although it is sewed to accommodate hooks, I keep pens here along with my a “Trim-A- Tool and Fringe Maker” accessory and a pair of scissors. (pictured abovef)
“Trim-A-Tool and Fringe Maker”: The Susan Bates® Trim Tool is a handy tool for creating fringe, tassels, and even rug yarn, quickly and easily, in uniform lengths that you control! This handy tool can be adjusted easily to make Fringe from 1½” to 15″ in length, Tassels from 3″ to 6″ in length, and Latch Hook Rug Yarn in the standard 2½” , or in the length you desire. (taken from the Susan Bates Web sight)
Scissors: I prefer small scissors, easier to carry. My friend, Linda, made a plastic canvas caring case for me to keep me from absent-mindedly poking myself reaching in the bag. I only use these scissors at the end of a project when I am weaving in my ends. These scissors never leave my bag and their sole purpose is for cutting yarn. This way I do not have to worry about them getting borrowed for another house hold use and being misplaced or damaged.
In the first side pocket I keep the following:
“Lion Yarn” web sight had the hook organizer of my dreams and I bought it about two years ago. It is called the Lily Combo Needle Case. (pictured above) It is large enough to hold all sixty of my hooks, and still has room for more. It holds my regular hooks as well as my circular ones. The case also has enough room for my two gauges and a zippered pocket to hold the horizontal bars for my Hairpin Lace looms. Before this case I carried three cases for all my hooks, now I just have one. The only negative thing I can say about this item, is that when I open it I need to lay it on a flat surface or sometimes some of my hooks will slide out. But I never have this problem when it is closed.
I also keep size 30 and 50 knitting needles to help me crochet the Broomstick Lace and a 12 inch ruler in the side pocket with my Combo Needle Case. (pictured above)
Second Side Pocket, I keep a tupperware case that was designed for office use here and I keep the following in mine: (pictures above)
The Clover Locking Stitch Markers and Susan Bates Stitch Holders (safety pin and round style). I prefer the locking stitch markers for two reasons: first they do not fall out as easy and they seem to last longer then the other ones I have used. The larger stitch holders I keep around for when I need to mark larger areas or when I need to mark several stitches at once. The round ones I like to use when I am using the double ended hook or the Tunisian Crochet hook.
A yarn Cutter Pendant is one of my favorite pieces. (pictured above) It has a rotary cutting blade integrated inside the pendant. I love this item. I wear it around my neck so it is readily handy whenever I need it. I also keeps scissors out of reach of my preschool grandchildren. It also rids me of the problem of always losing my scissors under my chair cushion.
Larger steel needles used for weaving yarn. (pictured above)
Safety pins, push pins and paper clips that I keep for use in my crocheting class.
A Clover needle case where I keep my steel yarn needles for sewing in my ends. (pictured above)
I also keep post it, (pictured above) they are great for helping me keep track of where I am in my pattern. They can be moved as I progress, they stay in place when I am done for the day. And I can make notes on them if I need to. And if I need to give a student a note I always have paper.
Susan Bates Pom Pom maker which I am glad I do not make a lot of. (pictured above)
A strip of magnets for when I crochet refrigerator magnets.
A measuring tape for when I am crocheting clothing items.
A rug hook (pictured above) that I use when I am making fringe or need to pull several strings of yarn through an opening at once. I have found it is easier then using a hook because it contains the yarn making it easier to pull it through without losing some of it.
The only thing I would suggest you keep around to help you (that I do not keep in my crocheting bag) are Crochet Stitch Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. (pictured above) I have completed a lot of patterns thanks to these books. Sometimes it just helps to read a special stitch two different ways.
I hope you enjoyed your tour through my crocheting bag. What are some of the things you like to keep handy for crocheting experience? Would love to hear from you.
Until next week, keep those hooks flying.