What’s In a Bag, a Knitting Mom’s Perspective

I knit everywhere. I knit at the park. I knit in the car. I knit at dinner and during movies. I knit in the school yard, waiting for my twins. The “Mommy Purse” for knitters is an essential item in my life.

You might think that I only knit small projects. Or, that I carry around a recyclable grocery bag full of yarn. Sorry, I’m not a bag lady, and I hate to have limitations.

If you want to knit on the go, but feel frustrated for space or organization, here ya go:

Namaste is by far, my favorite purse/knitting accessory designer. They design with clean lines and vibrant, solid colors. Their stuff is also made to last. It is a bit pricey, if you are on a budget. I usually email the link of what I want to hubby, before any major gift giving day. It helps us both.

The Laguna
I have my knitting in the front section, along with my needles. This bag hold a full size men’s sweater or a baby blanket. The middle, zippable section holds my notions, and the back section holds everything else.

what’s in the bag?

20130511-111335.jpg

1. On the needles is the front of an Aran sweater

2. Note cards- smaller than a magazine or book, some are blank, others hold patterns. The pattern cards are highlighted to correspond with the large markers on my needles.

3. 12″ ruler- when you need to measure, regardless of surface area available (i.e. park benches, laps, etc.)

4. Measuring tape (carefully rolled)- when a ruler just won’t do

5.Namaste Mini Cozy- it stores my double pointed needles (dpns), pens, and crochet hooks. I suggest keeping some dpns with you, along with a crochet hook, for corrections. I dropped a stitch on the Aran pattern. Due to the twisted stitches involved, I had to go 5 stitches wide, 4 rows down to pick it up. Dpns allow you to recreate, line by line, complicated patterns, without frogging or tinking back 4 whole rows. Although, sometimes, it is just easier to go back.

6. Headphones! – for me, as a solo knitter, these are a must. I knit in a lot of different places. Noise abounds. Also, I use music to set the tempo of my knitting, kind of like playing a musical instrument or running to a set pace. I have a cordless set in order to keep wires from tangling with my yarn. The white pair is my back-up, when I forget to charge the cordless. Caution: do not wear headphones while watching your kids and knitting. There’s only so much multi-tasking that I encourage. 🙂

7. Spare bag- that little purple thing with a zipper is not a mini umbrella. It is a spare cloth bag. It can carry 20 or so magazines or paperback, knitting books. You never know when that little thing comes in handy, until you don’t have it.

8. Hair notions- I usually have a hat, sunglasses, and some kind of hair containment tool. My red hair, manages to get into my knitting, my husband’s clothing, just everywhere! I try to keep it to a minimum. Hats and pony tail holders also help keep the elements (wind and rain), from interfering.

(Hubby emailed me, two months into a sub deployment, to let me know that he found my hair while showering, in a most private place. I don’t have to do things to ensure he doesn’t forget about me. My hair goes with him. Imagine my eyes rolling :0)

8.Knitting Buddy- another Namaste product. It is lined with magnets, to hold your needles, scissors and metal markers in place. Needle ends, plastic markers and stitch holders/cabling needles. The case comes with a divider, which I use to keep notions on one side or the other from falling out. Whether or not I keep my purse with me, this little case is usually within two feet of knitting, at all times.

9. Wallet- I still haven’t found the perfect wallet. This one is supposed to fold up nicely and has two buttons for you to choose from, for when you need to expand it. Yeah, I can’t close it. I’m a pack rat. Receipts, business cards, membership cards, and insurance cards. I can’t wait for all those cards to go digital. Larger wallets annoy me, smaller wallets just won’t do. This one fits in the pockets to my hoodies with my phone, for when I don’t want to carry a purse, but it is far from ideal.

10. Snack- yes, I bake. I happened to have a brownie in my bag. (THC free!) I usually keep something for when my boys get hungry. They don’t usually stay in my bag for long and need constant replenishment.

11. Neo to Go- With three boys, it is just a no-brainer.

12. Keys- yes, really. You can see the carabiner clip on my keys. My keys have my keys, pics of my boys, membership cards (pervasive/invasive much?). The clip allows me to hang my keys on my purse or on my belt loops. I hate digging for my keys. I also need to have my hands free to hold the boys’ hands, carry groceries, or talk. Sebastian made me a little beaded chain to help me dig my keys out of my purse, but the carabiner works better. You can buy them in 2-10 packs, different shapes and sizes from $1-20, at dollar stores, craft stores, or even grocery stores.

(Yes, I am a Cowboys ‘fan’. It’s a familial requirement. It has also garnered friendly attention. Sports connections, Texan connections, have helped in more than a few situations. Discounts, unasked for at stores and restaurants. Breaking the ice at social events and while waiting in lines.

Key tags are used to identify you with groups in society. It allows an anonymous and yet familiar identifier. You’d think in Raiders’ land, it would make me a pariah, but everyone loves the Cowboys for their losses, as much as the wins. )

Additional items that make an occasional appearance:

-Nook tablet- it holds patterns and books. When I am working on an easy repetitive pattern, I Nook and knit. Unfortunately, people interrupt you, in amazement or curiosity. Then, they must blather on. To be fair, some of the people that interrupt, are interesting.

I am hoping to replace my Nook with an IPad for my birthday. I love my Nook, but so do my kids. A laptop is too large, and the apps I want, are only available thru Apple.

-Yarn bag-

20130511-103332.jpg – If I am working multiple projects, or a project with multiple yarns, this is a great accessory. It has a carabiner for outside the bag carrying, or I can smash it into my larger bag. It’s also great for carrying an extra ball. I very rarely knit straight from the skein. I ball my yarn for better tension and less knots. I hate fighting the yarn tangles that occur towards the end of a skein. This little bag is by Creative Couture, and ran me about $5 at Michael’s, after coupons. Well worth it!

-Knitting magazines- I keep these in my Denali, Blue. If I’m thinking, planning, or just looking to get the creative juices flowing, I grab a few magazines. Sometimes, a girl just needs to look and touch, turn and fold pictures.

One last thing- a smartphone. I used to have a Samsung Galaxy, with a slide out keyboard, used in conjunction with my 4th gen iPod. All my emails, posts and typing requirements were done on my phone. My iPod had all my knitting programs, camera, and row counters. The Android market still hasn’t expanded to fit my knitting needs, whereas, iTunes has. It was not productive to need both with me at all times. I broke down and bought an iPhone.

It isn’t perfect. I only have the 16 gig, and it’s already full. I am about to explore all the memory iCloud options to see how I can remedy this issue. I hate the on screen keyboard. I am constantly hitting ‘shift’ and ‘space’ while typing. I miss my arrow keys to navigate my typing. I think I would rather have those buttons on the side. I’m still learning/playing with Siri, to see if she can increase productivity and cut down on the amount of time that it takes me to type.

My kids love having their own iPod, and I like having my most important knitting tool and reference guide with me at all times. We don’t have to fight over it anymore.

**** ****
Anastasiamw’s blog, For The Knit Of It, has a post called “Knitting 101: Tools of the Trade”. I tried to reblog it, but I’m not sure if it made it over. It’s a great post. She has good pictures of just about everything you need and the descriptions to go with.

(I’m still trying to learn the ins and outs of this app and my phone. I’ve edited this post 5 times, and no matter how often I hit update, stuff keeps disappearing, or deleting corrections! $#*+!!)

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