What’s in your knitting bag? Knitting Bag Extas

A sometime series on What is in Your Knitting Bag? This one is Knitting Bag Extras.

Once you have your bag, and your notions bag, and all the tools, toys, and accouterments that you absolutely MUST have to survive as a knitter you enter the joy filled zen-zone of the lovely and unnecessary knitting bag extras.

Now to be clear, what you consider an extra, and what you consider a necessity might be a bit hazy and might change day to day, and project to project.  These are some things that I think of as extras, but treat as necessities because they make my life so much easier.

Nails and Lips

Knitting Bag ExtrasI tend to have long-ish nails.  More importantly, I often end up with hangnails, snags, chips, dents, and other nail and cuticle catastrophes.  Well not catastrophes as far as my nails go, but as far as their interaction with my yarn.

A nail clipper for when things really go wrong, and file to ease the smaller annoyances are very useful!  That particular nail file (metal with diamond dust) is also useful for taking care of burs on needles – but be very careful and go slowly and carefully – removing a bur and creating a larger one often go hand in hand!

I also like to have some kind of chapstick or lip balm, just in case. My mother carries lipstick, whatever works for you!

Hands

Knitting Bag ExtrasSpeaking of lotions and potions – balm for you hands is never a bad idea when you are knitting.  Some fibers tend to stick to even just regular skin abrasions (Silk, I am talking to YOU!) and a bit of balm can go a long way toward easing that annoyance.

Be careful that you don’t get something that is too goopy – you don’t want to soil your project, or be so wet and sticky that you can’t work for a while!

Some products are made specifically for knitters, so do a little research to find what works best for you.

Soap and Water

Knitting Bag ExtrasSometimes when you knit away from home you don’t have access to soap and water.  Which can be annoying after someone hands you a melty chocolate cookie that tasted great but is going to look awful in your white alpaca shawl project!

Those little testers or samples of waterless hand cleaner are perfect for this and fit easily into your notions bag.  I love this long slender water-less hand cleaner!

Other times there is a plethora of water, and it’s HOT but everyone else is a coffee drinker! (How sad!!) I always carry a teabag – you know, for teabag emergencies!

And of course band-aids. For that type of emergency.

Highlighters and Lifesavers

Knitting Bag ExtrasHighlighters are sometimes all that stands between you being a part of a great conversation and a huge knitting catastrophe.  Little mistakes (like looking at the number for a size S when you are making a size XL) that you would never make at home in the quiet of your knitting boudoir are easily and often made in the middle of exciting and important conversations (“She said WHAT to WHOM?”).

In this type of situation of world of teeth gnashing can be avoided by carrying a small highlighter.

Need to hold some stitches, mark a drop stitch that you will have to sew in later, put in a life line? Enter the lowly and under-appreciated dental floss.  I reco going with the unscented, just saying.

And those rubbery things they put on kids pencils? They work great keeping extra needles together in the bottom of your project bag.

Hair Clips

Knitting Bag ExtrasThese are magic.

Sure you can use them to hold back hair, but they also work most excellently to hold your shoulders as you sew them together, or sweater sides, or sleeve edges.

They also can mark the right side of your work from the back, or the beginning of your circular round when you do two at a time on magic loop.

My own personal favorite trick is to use them to mark where I started knitting on any particular day.  Then at the end of the day, or the meeting, or the party I can see how far I have come.  Or how much I chattered instead of knitting.  It’s good to foster a sense of accomplishment, even if I do talk too much!

More clips

Knitting Bag ExtrasThese will also do the job of holding things together, but a trifle less invasively.  They clip and hold but don’t dig into the cloth, so if you are using a fine lace yarn this type of clip might be a better option.

 

Knitting Bag ExtrasNeedle Holders

No, I am not talking about a holder for the needles you use to weave in your ends, but a holder for the needle you KNIT with!

This magic little toy (called a Poke Me Not) will hold the end of your circular needles so they don’t let stitches fall off, don’t let the ends poke into your knitting bag or yourself, and make is easier to find your needles in the mass of sweater in your project bag.

Knitting Bag ExtrasAnd because the Poke Me Not worked so well, I got more!

The Lose Me Not (with repair tool!!!), the Lose Me Not (needle size), and the Lose Me Not Mini (stitch marker size).

They have worked wonders! I even got an extra of the long Poke Me Nots and keep my crochet hook and dental tool in it.

Knitting Bag ExtrasWhen I am doing a lace weight project with tiny needles I often find the Poke Me Not a bit ungainly, but I have another magic tool in my notions bag.

The Lace Needle Stitch Stopper is perfect for those delicate projects on tiny needles, You know, the ones with 300 sts per row of lace that if I drop a stitch I am going to have to rip all the way back to kingdom come, yeah those ones!

I use this little piece of magically engineered orange plastic and all’s right with my world.

Broken Needle

Knitting Bag ExtrasOdd as that might sound Mum and I have broken circular needles that we keep handy.  This one was a size 2 I think, and it broke in my hand, cause I am hard on bamboo needles smaller than size 4. I don’t mean to be, but apparently I am: this is not the first small broken wooden needle along my knitting journey.  But this one we kept.

We sanded off the broken end carefully, and now we use it to hold stitches.  It’s much longer than any stitch holder I have.  It’s much easier to use than a piece of yarn, so it comes in handy.

It’s also great for picking up stitches – it’s so much easier to pick up stitches with a needle smaller than the one they dropped off – you just have to be mindful that it has no stopper on the end.

Knitting Bag ExtrasCandy

Because sometimes everyone just needs a little sugar. Or a breath mint. Nuff said.

Show us Yours!

These are the things that I don’t consider vital, but that still make my knitting life a bit easier or pleasanter.  Is there something I missed, or another use for something I included? Share your pictures in the comments or visit the Spinfoolish Facebook page and show us your non-essential joys!

Click here to learn more about What is in MY knitting bag.

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