From time to time every knitter wants to work away from home, and she or he will need a knitting tool bag full of essential supplies (and some other things that maybe aren't necessary but are nice to have nearby) just in case.
Here are some thoughts on what's essential, what's helpful and what's merely nice to have with you when you venture away from home with your knitting. Your needs, of course, will vary depending on your project. This also assumes you're already packing your project itself and any pattern you might need to complete the project.
Knitting Tool Bag Essentials
- Scissors: For trimming yarn ends when you finish a project. Note: scissors may not be allowed on airplanes, so consider a pendant that can be used for cutting but doesn't look scary instead if you're flying.
- Yarn needles: If you think you'll finish your project while you're out, a yarn needle is nice to help weave in ends.
- Crochet hook: Even if you don't crochet, it's the best tool out there for picking up dropped stitches
- Point protectors: Even if you never use them at home, point protectors (that's the little red rubber thing in the picture) are great for helping keep the stitches on the needle when traveling. Working on a project with double pointed needles? Try a work in progress tube made to hold all the needles together.
- Measuring tape: There's nothing better to help you keep track of your progress.
Less Essential But Nice Knitting Tools
These are items you might not need for every project, or for every part of every project, but that you might find handy.
- Stitch holders: If you need to place some live stitches on hold in the process of knitting, a stitch holder is great to have (you can also just use a piece of yarn, preferably not the same yarn you're knitting with).
- Row counter: If your pattern involves a repeating stitch pattern you need to keep track of, a row counter can be a big help (or just use a piece of paper to mark down when you finish a row or what row of the repeat you end on.
- Cable needle: Useful for working cables, of course, a cable needle can also hold a dropped stitch in place until you work back to where you can fix it.
- Knitting clips or straight pins: If you're going to be doing any finishing outside the home, you'll need something to help hold your pieces together.
Nonessential Knitting Tools
If you have a lot of room in your bag or are going to be doing a lot knitting or plan to be away from the house for a long time, there are a few other things you might consider bringing along.
- Hand salve: Lotion or hand salve is great to have on hand if your hands get dry, cracked or tired.
- Emery board or nail file: Keep your ragged nails from snagging your yarn, and keep a file on hand to smooth down rough spots on bamboo or wooden needles.
- Ergonomic gloves: If you have repetitive stress problems from knitting, some kind of stress relief gloves can be very helpful.
- A notebook: Good for jotting down notes about a pattern, keeping track of your place in a pattern, or designing your own knits on the go.
- Extra knitting needles and yarn: Because you never know when you might encounter someone who wants to learn!