It’s no secret that I like to have several projects going at a time. This suits my personality beautifully even though it may not work for everyone. In the past this has led to one consistent problem. I would sit down to stitch, sometimes away from home, and realize that I was missing a key piece of equipment. Maybe I forgot my hook or was it the pattern this time or something equally vital to the next step.
Today I want to share my solution to this problem. Project Bags. Each project I am working on gets it’s own bag which contains everything I will need to complete that project.
I start with the bag. It might be a reusable shopping bag, or a canvas tote. I’ve used bags from the thrift store – after washing them. Anything that is the right size will work. I don’t like plastic grocery bags, even for small projects, because they are too noisy. My favorites are the reusable shopping bags from Joann’s. They come in two sizes and are sturdy, yet inexpensive.
Into this bag I put all the yarn I need. I also add the pattern. I prefer to use a copy of the pattern, so the original doesn’t get damaged, but that doesn’t always work out. Pattern copies are placed in sheet protectors for added stability.
Next comes a pouch for my notions. Some of these are fancy pouches made for the purpose, others are inexpensive bags. I have several that were designed to be pencil pouches that I bought at the dollar store. The only requirement is that it is large enough and sturdy enough to hold all the necessary notions for this particular project.
I’m in the process of packing several of these pouches with all the various notions, so I have them ready to go when building a project bag. The equipment included is a tape measure, a yarn needle, a pair of scissors, a bunch of stitch markers, and a pen. I buy knitting needle point protectors to put on the points of the scissors. Of course, I will also need a hook, but that will be added when I know what project this will be for.
Yes, this means buying multiples of most equipment, but it is worth it to me not to ever find myself unable to work on a project because I am missing an essential piece.
The final piece is a notebook. This is where I keep track of what row I am working on and other information, like which size hook I’m using. I had been using random pieces of paper for this, but these had a tendency to wander. When I started using the notebook, I had one with all my projects in it. I bet you can guess what happened next! Now, every project bag gets it’s own notebook. Every year at back-to-school-sale time I buy a couple dozen of these notebooks. I use them for many purposes all over the house, so adding them to my crochet equipment was both natural and inexpensive.
Once it is all put together, I can confidently grab my bag and head out the door, or even to my favorite stitching spot on the couch, and know that I won’t have to get up to hunt down a tool or forgo stitching because of a forgotten item.
How do you make sure that you always have what you need when you’re ready to stitch?