Notions

7

I was all set to do a progress post, since things are moving right along. I’m a little over half-way through charm, and the ruffling along the edge is quite fetching. I’m also finished the gusset decreases in L’s socks, so it’s a straight shot to the toe now, which means (I hope) this last part will fly by. Unfortunately, the light today is terrible, so instead of posting bad photos I thought I’d pull out this post I’ve had in my back pocket for a little while.

There have been some great notions-related posts in the last little while, and even though  knitters seem to carry around all the same stuff, I’m always fascinated to see what bits and bobs other people use: do we use the same stitch markers? Is there some little thing I don’t know about that’s going to change the way I knit? etc.

I can’t be the only notions nerd out there right?

notions1

I got my notions pouch at City of Craft, a bi-annual craft show featuring local artisans that is seriously the shopping/inspiration highlight of both spring and winter (the Christmas one is coming up and I cannot wait!). This is from Bookhou (she also has an Etsy. Ahem.) and made with some of their linen off-cuts. I love it.

Also, it holds way more than it has any right to.

Click to embiggen, if you like.

Click to embiggen, if you like.

Starting at the top, left-to-right, we have: A baby sock that holds a little ball of waste yarn; nail scissors (perfect for yarn and small enough to carry on airplanes); large stitch holders; Post-Its for making notes and then sticking them to patterns; a circular stitch holder (by Clover), which is the best discover I’ve made in ages; a random button; a safety pin; Dragonfly Wings solid hand lotion, from Dragonfly Fibers; a crochet hook; a stitch counter; an array of stitch markers, explained below; a highlighter and pens; my knitting thimble (technically a Coin Thimble); a fancy stitch marker; plastic cable needles; metal cable needles; a hair elastic; darning needles; and an emergency tampon (zero relation to knitting, obviously).

I do also have a needle gauge/ruler (this one, actually), but it’s a bit too big to fit in there, so I keep it in my needle roll or in a project bag, depending on what I need it for.

notions3

I have a love-hate relationship with stitch markers because, while I won’t dispute their usefulness, I always find they get in the way. I find the stitches on either side of the markers tend to be looser than the others (double so when purling), so I prefer small markers to large ones. The little triangles are perfect for anything on a sock-sized needle (up to about 3.5mm) and the small flexible rings are what I use for anything larger (up to 4.5mm). The larger flexible ones don’t see much action, but they’re good to have around. The locking stitch markers are by far the most versatile and were the first ones I bought. I use them when casting on a million stitches (to mark increments), to mark the right side of the work when knitting garter stitch, to catch the occasional dropped stitch, and on and on – I usually have on clipped to the drawstring of my project bag too, just in case.

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While I would very much like to switch to a no-cable-needle method of cabling, I haven’t made myself learn it yet, so I still use cable needles. The plastic ones (the white one in particular) got me through Burrard and it really wasn’t until the all-over cables of Saltburn that I started to get fed up. None of the plastic ones were small enough, using an extra dpn works, but it also gets in the way, and I was at the point of using a darning needle (seriously) when I discovered the metal Addi cable needles. These were more expensive than the plastic ones, but definitely worth it. They’re easy to use, come as a pair (2.5mm and 4.5mm) and don’t get in the way. I’m still going to teach myself no-needle cabling, but in the meantime, I’ll use the Addis.

And that’s more or less it. Except, well, the sock. The baby sock (using the yarn that would have been the toe of these socks) holds a little ball of waste yarn. I used to keep my waste yarn balled up and loose in my notions pouch, but of course it unwound itself and tangled around everything. This way, it stays tidy and out of the way, and it’s a good way to use a baby sock prototype.

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So, what do you consider essential notions? How do you organize them?

Dramatic update photos early next week, I promise!

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7 thoughts on “Notions

  1. knittingmydayaway

    I have a tiny little bag with scissors, needles, teo cable needles and two stitch holders. I have in the past bought cheap stitch markers but lost them. As markers i use scrap yarn and make a loop to go on the needle where needed. I dont like dpending much money on the extras, dont even buy needles unless i really need them……guess Im kinda cheap huh??!!

  2. lawlady1

    I would be interested to know where you found the very small triangle stitch markers; otherwise, not much different from my travel pouch, though yours is a bit better-stocked. I tend to take only what is applicable to the project at hand.

  3. ginsthings

    I laughed at the emergency tampon! I used to keep mine in a travel sewing kit bag, kind of similar set up, that used to live in my handbag. It was easier and more discrete than leaving it free.

  4. Audry

    You baby sock idea is brilliant! I always end up with the waste yarn all over my notions bag. Eventually I get fed up and leave it out, which inevitably means that the next time I’m out of the house I’ll need it.

  5. Pat(ricia)

    Wow! Nice treasure trove of essentials and bits – hadn’t really considered what it is I carry around – which isn’t much – so this has given me ideas about some of the necessities I should have with me if carrying knitting. Lol – and I love the tampon – made me smile like mad – it’s always about priorities and essentials – because one never knows 😉

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