What’s (in) your bag, baby?

When I was in the Navy and wanted to knit my husband a scarf, I had no idea what to do.  I hadn’t knitted in quite awhile (my last project was one baby sock before boot camp) and had to re-teach myself how to purl.  I asked my mom for an easy scarf pattern, went to the store and bought myself the needles it called for and a skein of Red Heart.  I sat down to begin and said, what do I do now?  What do I do when it’s done?  How do I know when to stop?  What if I drop a stitch?

Thankfully, my mother, who is one of my personal knitting gurus, predicted these questions, and more that I didn’t even think of.  A few days later, a package arrived with the kit to end all kits.  It came with point protectors, stitch markers, a crochet hook, a really cute tape measure shaped like a sheep, all in a hand-knitted bag  (or at least I think it did, it was awhile ago).

Now that I am a little farther along in knitting, and people have started asking me advice (which still astounds me) I thought I’d put together a list of items I have deemed “essential” for a knitter’s bag.  Most of the items are things that I have forgot at knitting meet-ups and swore heavily that I forgot them.

Things you need:

  • Stitch markers or waste yarn:  I often find a contrasting piece of yarn works great as a stitch marker since I don’t have to move it when I’m knitting in the round, but that can easily be replaced with the safety-pin type markers.  Many people, myself included, think they’re too good for stitch markers, but they are necessary for knitting in the round and dang useful when you need to keep track of hundreds of stitches.
  • Crochet hook- very handy for picking up a dropped stitch, crocheting a border, or weaving in ends, although I prefer using…
  • A yarn needle
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch holders if you are knitting socks, mitts, etc.
  • Some form of row counter, either physical or an iPhone app
  • Scissors

(A note on iPhone apps:  there are a few knitting apps, but if you’re already on Ravelry, the only thing you really need is a glorified calculator.   A good free app like this is StitchMinder, or its sister, KnitMinder Lite.)

Of course, if you don’t want all those things floating loose in your bag (or a little compartment), you can buy the handy dandy (and TSA approved) Knit Kit! I haven’t been able to buy one yet, but it would have made knitting while I was flying easier.

Also,  this is not everything you’ll need while knitting, just while on the go.  That’s a different list for a different post.

Did I miss anything?  Comment with things you can’t go without when you’re knitting on the go.

-Purl Girl


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. meimei
    Aug 22, 2009 @ 05:48:49

    I totally second EVERYTHING in this post!

    That row counter would’ve helped me so much when I was doing the crocheted baby booties on the plane, just so I could keep myself from elbowing my seatmate whenever I relied on the stitch markers. Otherwise, if I’m knitting/ yarn-crafting in a public place with more elbow room (eg. Starbucks or the waiting room @ the doctor’s office) I would just write down the rows and take a running tally. Right now, I’ve got a four-row repeating lace pattern going with my current project, so I have to mark down how many times I repeat each row by writing them out on a piece of paper and doing hash marks.

    Also – and I only found out about this from our knitting group – nail cutters are TSA-friendly and can cut yarn in a pinch.


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