If you have been knitting or crocheting for any length of time you’ve probably gathered an assortment of accessories related to your craft. These bits, bobs, and general doo-dads are commonly referred to as notions. I happen to practice both knit and crochet so I have twice the amount of notions as the normal person, and I wouldn’t be caught dead without them! My notions pouch has traveled to many states and through many households in various bags ranging from purses to diaper bags. So after nearly 20 years of crafting (and trying every notion out there) I thought I would share the must-have tools that I keep in my knitting bag.
The particular pouch that I’m using is a cute one from Hobby Lobby, but I’ve used anything from a pencil pouch to a toiletry bag to hold my notions. I switched from a fat-bottomed pouch to a narrower one when I retired my old knitting bag and bought my new one. I wanted to be able to slip it into the side pocket and this one is perfect for the space. The one I had previously (which I actually really liked) is from Amazon.
Scissors or Snips
I’ve had so many pairs of tiny scissors over the years and I’ve learned one important thing about them: the blades MUST be tightly seated and very sharp to work properly. Good friction between the blades is necessary for cutting the tiny threads that yarn is composed of. Right now I’m carrying a pair of thread snips which I absolutely love using for yarn.
So. Many. Stitch. Markers.
I couldn’t possibly name every type of stitch marker in this post! My favorites are locking stitch markers for crochet and the gasket-type round markers for knitting. I have a tactile sensitivity to using rigid stitch markers – they really just irk me as they scrape across my needles – so I love these soft plastic markers for any and all projects. They come in many sizes and are super affordable.
Mini Crochet Hooks
I use these in knitting mainly for picking up dropped stitches or as a cable needle. They are by far the most superior way to pick up those cheeky stitches that will inevitably fall of your needles, and I carry 3 sizes in my pouch in preparation for any weight of yarn I may be using.
While scrap yarn can be used for holding stitches, I like to carry flexible stitch holders in case I start a sleeve or a heel on the run.
I like to weave my ends in as I go – not leaving those spaghetti strands of yarn waving around willy-nilly – so I use my tapestry needles fairly often. I have a few different types for different applications and I keep them in a handy Clover needle case.
Interchangeable Needle Tools
You never know if you’ll need to tighten a needle mid-project, so I keep an extra set of pins and rubber grips in my pouch. After I needed them (and didn’t have them) a few times I just put together a small pouch with interchangeable needle tooling inside and tossed it in my pouch. I’m sure you can purchase a set of these tools in a set, but I’ve just put together a set of spares from my multitude of circular needle sets.
I use gauges constantly as part of my normal crafting and also for my pattern writing. These include a Knit-Chek gauge, one other knitting needle gauge, the Ann Budd knit gauge, and a WPI ruler – this last one measures yarn weight by wraps per inch. It’s probably overkill for the average knitter or crocheter but I like to keep my projects consistent and yarn weights can vary greatly regardless of what they say on the label.
This is a tool specifically related to sock knitting but it’s a great tool to have. It works for other projects like mittens too. I’ve had one for many years and I leave it in my bag so I have it within reach.
I have a project binder (more on that another time) that I carry in my project bag so I don’t have a notepad in my notions bag but I do carry a pen and a pencil just in case I don’t have one tucked into my binder.
Labels (and a needle & thread)
This may seem unnecessary to have on hand all the time but it’s saved my butt countless times! I often find myself finishing gifts at the last minute and I almost always am attaching labels while traveling. I like to put my personal touch on every project I produce so this is important for me to have.
For a more complete list of my favorite knit and crochet tools check out my Amazon shopping list. And please share with me your favorite notions in the comments below – like most crafters I’m always looking for a nifty new notion! Say that three times fast!