This is not so much a look back, but a look inside. Something I have developed over time is the contents of my notions bag. It has gone through many stages. Starting out with not much in it, to bulging at the seams, to a now pared back version of what are my essentials. There is quite a lot jammed into this little bag, but everything is there for a reason.

Let’s take a look…

– Tapestry needles – a small plastic case with needles of varying sizes for darning, weaving in ends and grafting

– Zip lock bag of spare yarn – for holding stitches, inserting the spot for an afterthought heel and emergency stitch markers. I keep it in little butterflies in the ziplock bag to stop it getting tangled

– Measuring tape and safety pins – both fairly self explanatory and always come in handy (my marathon running husband has even been happy I take my notions bag with me everywhere as he has needed extra safety pins for his events bibs)

– Emery boards – for fingernail snags but also for needle snags (small rough patches on wooden needles or small imperfections that sometimes occur on the cables of circular needles).

– Three bags of stitch markers

  • a set of the plastic locking markers for holding dropped stitches or marking increases and decreases
  • pretty markers; mostly small gauge with beads and some cute dangly sheep – I generally use these ones for marking the beginning of a round, sleeves, back/front etc
  • larger, closed rings; that I use for marking pattern repeats – a little repurposing with these ones – they are the rings from old bras that I cut the rings out of

– “Stabby things” – this metal container (also repurposed, originally the case for a stylus pen) holds all my pointy things. Two different sized crochet hooks. A cable needle. Needle threader. Fold up scissors – they take up less space, and if left in a bag with knitting will not snag or cut accidentally. A tapestry needle. I also include in this case a small measuring tape, two stitch holders (not pictured, as they are currently in use on a project I will be talking about on the blog in the next few weeks), a few stitch markers and a pencil. I can then grab this case out and put into a small project bag knowing I have the essentials.

My preference for pencils are these mechanical ones. They do not require a sharpener, draw a precise clean line and have a retractible tip.

The final thing in my bag is the cute little container pictured below. I think of this as my mini notions kit and is perfect for throwing into an “on-to-go” sock project. Light, compact, and useful. In it there is a length of yarn for a lifeline or afterthought heel, a locking stitch marker and a few elastic rings to use as stitch markers.

So, these are the essentials for my notions bag. What do you keep in yours? What tool can you not do without for a project on the go? I think I am at the point that I have the contents of my notions bag set, but interested to see what other people use as there are always new ideas and different ways of approaching things.