Today I thought I’d share what’s in my work-horse notions pouch and why. Of course I have lots of notions and tools and needles stashed away for specialty tasks, but this one pouch is the one I alway grab when I’m on the go. It contains 90% of what I need for just about all kinds of knitting. Join me as I unpack my pouch and get all excited about the bits and bobs inside. (I can’t help it, I’m nerdy that way, what can I say?) You will notice that the items are highlighted; I’ve linked to Amazon should you wish to get said item (or a reasonable facsimile since some of my item are actually decades old) for yourself.
The first thing you are no doubt noticing is that I’ve got all of my goodies in a clear plastic make-up pouch. Not very glamorous or cute at all, is it? Well, I tell ya, it’s functional and that’s the name of the game. I tried a cute handmade cloth project bag with an adorable print for a while but it was dark inside and my small items were hard to find. It was so aggravating to dig around in it and peer into the dim corners. So I switched back to my old clear plastic pouch where I can easily see what I’m going for. Whew, lesson learned. Save that cute project bag for some sock knitting on the go, you want practicality for this job!
Ok, then…let’s unzip, unpack and see what’s what, shall we?
There’s at least one tape measure in my bag always. You absolutely must measure from time to time so treat yourself to the best of the best tape measures. This is my favorite of all time: the Clover retractable sewing tape measure. It’s inexpensive, solid and well-made, the tape does not stretch out of shape and the retraction happens quickly and evenly. At 6.99 on Amazon (5.49 if you have Amazon Prime) it’s the deal of the century. This would also make a good stocking stuffer for your knitting or sewing friends; one simply can’t have too many good tape measures!
Here’s my favorite tapestry needle that I use for weaving in ends. I’ve had it for forever, it came from a combo pack of different odd needles (the other needles I never, ever, use but I saved the packet, by gosh, you’ll see it in the last photo). I love it because it has a nice wide eye and is blunt; perfect for knitting yarn of many weights. I have it stuck in an old gauge swatch so I can always just grab it. Luckily, you can now purchase just the needles, you don’t have to buy all those unwanted weirdo needles.
It may be a notions pouch for knitting, but it’s wise to have a few sizes of crochet hooks as well. These are indispensable for picking up stitches on slanted or rounded edges or saving and retrieving dropped stitches. And they don’t take up very much room, so why not?
If intarsia knitting is on your list to try, you will need some yarn bobbins to hold the different colors of yarn that you’ll be using. Trust me, these guys will make this challenging technique much easier. Do yourself a favor and get a couple of different sizes: large and small. I’ve segregated them into their own little pouch as they were not playing nice and were hanging up on everything else.
Speaking of little pouches, another one is perfect to hold your stitch markers. I use flat, closed plastic rings most of the time. Occasionally, I’ll use a marker that opens to designate a spot in my knitting. These things get lost or fly off somewhere like nobodies’ business so better get 2 packs just to make sure you have some when you need them.
Here’s a recent addition to my notions pouch: a cheat sheet for the Kitchener Stitch most commonly used to close toes in socks. I put this card together for a recent in-person event I attended and sold my patterns at; they were quite popular. The photo is, of course, Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener who was quite concerned with the well-being of his troops. Many of his soldiers suffered from blisters or worse on their feet because of the way their socks were closed at the toe with a technique that left a raised ridge. For a soldier, this is a very serious issue as blisters rapidly develop into more serious and painful foot conditions that can limit mobility. Kitchener saw the problem, learned how to knit and then developed this closing technique that left no irritating ridge so it was named after him. Or so the story goes, anyway. I alway have to look it up to make sure that I’m doing the steps in the right sequence even though I’ve made a gazillion socks.
I’ve got a couple of pairs of scissors in my pouch, but to be honest, I pretty much only use the orange Fiskars scissors. The smaller pair is too sharp and pokey to be in the pouch without its case so I just grab and use the Fiskars for all of my snipping.
Sometimes I just look through my pattern books or individual patterns getting ideas. I usually end up with a big stack of the books next to me as I’m searching for that one pattern that’s right for the next project. Sticking a mini post-it note is a great way of marking pages. I find I use these mini post-it notes a lot: sticking them under the line of a graph I’m following or for making tic marks on when I’m recording the pattern row I just completed and I don’t want to mark up my printed pattern or notebook. Or you can go with actual page markers for a smaller stickie thingie.
Here’s an odd box of hand made stitch markers and a couple of knitting needle point protectors. That’s actually a misnomer; knitting needles don’t really need to have their points protected. What these things are used for is to prevent a work in progress from slipping off the needles. You just jam the rubber, or silicone or whatever, protectors onto the needle tips when you put your work down for the day and there will be no unfortunate surprises the next day after your fur baby has gotten into your knitting basket and wreaked havoc. I don’t actually use these that much, but I’ve got them if I want them.
These items might surprise you but they are must-haves in any knitting notions collection. There is nothing more annoying than having a hangnail or a rough finger nail that catches the yarn as you knit. Take care of that little problem right away with some emory boards or a nail clipper. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve got several cable needles of different sorts stashed away but this is the only one that is honored enough to be in my notions pouch. I stick it in the blue gauge swatch you see behind it so it, too, is always easy to grab. Love this design, its the one that works best for me.
There you have it! Those are my bestest goodies that see me through almost all of my knitting. Hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip through my necessary notions pouch!