What’s in my bag?

Sometimes I’ve been asked about what kind of stuff I have for my work? Stuff is a loose term, I’ve got all kinds of stuff. But I do have some things that I must have for crocheting, knitting or other yarn work. Like most artists, I need the correct tools. 1.) Crochet hooks. I have lots of crochet hooks, but I need ones that will do the jobs that need to be done and that means having a variety of sizes and styles. If I’m using bulky yarn to make an awesome winter hat, a size 2mm hook will do me no good. Same as if I’m working on an amigurumi, a 9mm hook, not so much help there either. So what size range do I have? fullsizeoutput_3545Currently I have hooks from 1.40mm to 10mm. I’ve been looking at some smaller ones for lace, but haven’t gotten to around to purchasing any yet. I’ve also got Tunisian/Afghan hooks; hooks in aluminum, bamboo, ergonomic and comfort handles. Oh and one really large wooden one with double hook ends that is rather old and I’m afraid to use else I might break it. 2.) Scissors. I admit, I’ve got the Lexus of scissors, but with all the work I do, it’s a must. I have Fiskars Micro-Tip Easy Action scissors. These babies have a sharp blade, spring action to open the blades and a lock to prevent accidental cuts. The spring action is great, with all the strain simply from the needlework, one less thing I need is pressure from snipping all those yarn pieces. 3.) Measuring tape. For obvious reasons, measuring objects, pets, projects, etc. It’s always a handy tool. 4.) Stitch markers. I don’t live dangerously when I crochet or knit, I use stitch markers! I have a variety of types including the plastic clips to some lovely metal and beaded ones that help me mark my place as I go on detailed projects. 5.) Gauge marker (knit-check). I do check my gauge when it is critical to the piece, I have limited supply or I really want to match the pattern exactly. If I’m not that worried, or am purposefully making something larger/smaller, then I won’t use the gauge. But this is necessary to ensure that the number of stitches per inch listed in the pattern matches the number of stitches per inch that I’ve just made with the yarn. Gauge is an important part of fiber art that is often overlooked or ignored, but I think it’s something that should be taught along with other beginner techniques. 6.) Knitting needles. These would be up near my hooks if I knitted as much as I crocheted. But I do have quite a bit of these. I’ve got double ended, sock needles, circular needles, short, long, bamboo, and aluminum needles and the row marker to help count rows when I’m working, because if I don’t I always lose track of what row I’m on.  7.) Tapestry needle. A must!!! You can’t weave in all those ends without one for either crochet or knitting so you better have 3-4 of them in your bag. These items are the basic tools. If you want to start with fiber art, a good way to begin is start with one medium range size aluminum hook, measuring tape, scissors, tapestry needle and some stitch markers. After a while, with new patterns and trying new stitches, your collection of hooks and needles will grow (and grow) to where you’ll have a good amount of tools to choose. I’m sure there are plenty that I could still find to add to my bag, but that’s the fun part of learning as you go.

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