I am a squirrel. I have so many needles and hooks and stitch
markers and stoppers and and and and. Like a good squirrel I hide them
in our whole flat: under cushions in the living room, on my desk, next
to my sewing machine (which is not so weird or?) but also on a cupboard
in the kitchen and on our dinner table. Not every bit of these crafting
tools will surface again. Not all of them find their way back into
homeland (aka „the tool box“). But what are you expecting from a
squirrel… aren’t they considered to forget their well buried nut
storages immediately after turning around?
For years now I dye my hair a brownish red, so that nobody can mistake me for another animal. Thankfully I do not have to live in a park, but in a nice apartment. And my diet is also a bit more varied than nuts, seeds and buds (although this sounds considerably like a ‚clean diet‘).
Inspired by @muscara I will grant you a glimpse into the depths of my knitting and crochet equipment. I will show you all tools I really need and in which kind of cases/bags I store them, so that I can grab them for a adventurous knit in the wild (read: surviving boring train rides) but also fight my squirrely nature and avoid utter chaos in my rooms.
I will start with the best. You know, some years ago I was an avid crocheter and knitting seemed like an impossible task. Conforming to my crochet addiction I still have many more cases which are for storing crochet hooks (which are wider than knitting needles because I prefer hooks with a rubber handle). The case I am the proudest of is a roll up case I crocheted myself. I used a vibrant mercerized cotton and a fan stitch pattern. I still love the colors and the amazing stitch definition. But the real wonder is its inside, which was a gift… I know I must explain. At this time, I not only admired people who could knit, no I was equally impressed by people who could sew (I still am) and I desperately wanted to sew my own crochet hook case. So, I bought this lovely matching fabric in red and green and imagined myself stitching this case myself. Which never happened as I didn’t knew how :-DDD My mother had pity on me and squirreled away the fabric (you see, the squirrelling runs in the family) and brought it to a seamstress to make a tool case form me. I got it as a Christmas present and its still my most beloved case.
It is so practical for me as it has not only pockets for the hooks and pencils, but also has little loops so that I can attach stitch marker. And stitch markers are THE TOOL for me. I use them for everything. To attach notes on a knitted/crocheted swatch, to pin finished parts of clothes together before seaming them, to secure a spare ball of yarn, to mark raglan increases and lace changes or simply to secure the life loop of crochet fabric (as the markers are perhaps destined for). I mostly use two varieties of stitch markers (I have others, but I do not like them :-D). First the big crochet stitch markers from Clover and secondly the soft rubber ring markers from Boye. A big hurray for me as both varieties can’t be bought in the shops near me – I am good in liking things which I either cannot afford or cannot buy in a shop.
Back to the markers. The Clover markers are up today the most robust
markers I encountered. I have broken so many others and as they are made
from plastic, I want them to hold forever (and not produce even more
waste). The Clover markers are made from hard plastic, but their closing
mechanism is so springy that they rather open than break (if I use to
much force/pressure). As written above, I use them for everything …. The
Boye ring markers seem to be completely unloved from the internet
knitting community, but for me they are perfect. I use them solely to
mark pattern changes or in/decreases in knitting. The markers are made
form a soft translucent rubber and they have an opening mechanism. And
this is the crucial feature for me: I am sometimes a bit inattentive
(squirrel … you remember :-D) and so I forget to take the rings out of
the knitting. I don’t know how many ring markers I had to break apart to
free them out of my knitted fabric. Also, they are small and do not
disturb the knitted fabric by creating a hole.
Back to my cases. As you perhaps guessed a have
a huge amount ofsome more to fit my hooks and needles.
The second most used case is this neon orange pencil case. It is completely unpractical as for example darning needles or dpn‘s escape secretly through the zipper opening if I do not pay attention. No idea why I use it. It may be the color. With a bit of force, I can press pencils, markers, scissors, darning needles, a tape measure, hooks and needles into this case. Just in case I always have a crochet hook 4 mm and 6 mm and a 3 mm knitting needle in this case (together with the rest I just listed up).
Now I bring the bigger guns in, cases I use when I go on a teaching weekend, which I take with me when I will work on several projects. For this occasion, I also love pencil case variations which you can find in many designs. Mine are with two compartments and adorned with cats 😀
These cases accommodate up to 12 hooks or even more needles. They have loops for interchangeable cables and little pockets for stitch markers, darning needles etc. For me the stoppers to secure a knitted fabric on an interchangeable cable are essential as are these little hearts which are used to slide and secure the stitches on a knitting needle. So, you can find several of both in my bigger cases. (You can see the heart stoppers in action on the photo with the yellow and the lilac sweaters)
Even bigger is my I-go-into-vacation-and-will-finish-a unrealistic-number-of-projects box. In this way I transport my projects, cases, notebooks and spare wool (you never know if you need to cast on something new :-DDD) I probably am better equipped with wool and tools than with clothes in my vacations 😀
Now we are nearing the finish line. Besides the heavy-duty cases I also have some small boxes full of hooks in usual sizes or which I have double. And there is this box full of circular needles, sock needles and unloved brands which I store in their original bags. I mostly use interchangeable needles, so these don’t get as much use.
Wow, sigh, double sigh… this post is much longer than I anticipated although I tried to hurry up and shorten myself near the end :-DDD
I would love to hear of your tools and preferences and how your store
your crafting tools. Are there things you always take with you? Do you
have strange dislikes against some brands or materials…?
Let’s talk hooks and needles <3
Oh… and as always nobody sponsored me, I must buy needles and hooks myself. So Clover, Addi or Boye, if you wish to bribe me, feel free :-DDD
Thank you @crosheille for iniciating and @muscara, @shanibeer, @marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday on steemit. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community. You can read more comments on this post on my steemit blog.