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Friday, 23 March 2012

What’s in your knitting bag?

Are you a neat tidy knitter with a bag to match, a ‘several-projects-in-my-bag’ kind of knitter, or perhaps you have a bag that resembles something akin to a black hole of unravelled yarn and unlabelled needle tips? Whatever kind of knitter you are (or are thinking of becoming) your knitting bag says a lot about you. Of course if you are going to take your knitting out and about it’s also essential to have, well, the essentials but what are they? Let’s take a look at the contents of two knitting bags and what they say about these knitters.

Knitter One – A knitting addict, often suffers with acute and enthusiastic start-itus. Loves simple patterns for garments and accessories, tends to have at least 4 projects on the go at any one time.

Contents of Bag:
Two projects currently still on needles. The first is two half knitted sleeves of
striped deck jumper – this knitter always knits two sleeves at the same time, or two legwarmers, gloves - you get the idea. (Toft Tip: Whilst this method doesn’t exactly save on time it does mean that you are less likely to suffer with second sock/sleeve/legwarmer syndrome and therefore never complete a project) Don’t mention her 1 and only 2 ply cable honeymoon sock (the yarn for the second is buried under a pile of ufo's!). This method allows you to ensure the length of each piece is perfectly even and using circular needles is a must in order that you have enough room for both items. They can also easily be put down without risk of losing either piece.

The second project is a small knitted and felted bag that a crocheting but non-knitting friend has asked this knitter to work up in 100% wool – she found this at Unravel and in return she is crocheting a chain scarf (who got the best deal there?!).

1 deluxe set of KnitPro Symphonie Interchangeable knitting needles with extra size tips, 3.75mm 12mm and 15mm – practically every needle you will ever need in one handy case with different length cords (also added a 30cm cord to the collection), plus stoppers for the easy change between projects. Perfect for knitting anything whether circular or straight, lots of stitches or just a few! Since this set is several years old she’s labelled the needle sizes – newer sets have the sizes printed on the needle tips.
2 pairs of fixed circular needles
1 pairs of rosewood and mother of pearl tipped knitting needles size 4mm (brought on a whim at Unravel)
1 crochet hook (4mm) – useful for picking up dropped stitches and crocheting of course.
Scraps of yarn to use as markers etc
The e-mails and telephone numbers of her knitting group ladies
Handcream and lip balm

1 small zipped case holding the following;

Tape measure

1 pair of sewing scissors
1 cable needle (5mm)
1 DPN (lost it’s set)
Needle size gauge
1 row counter
2 metallic stitch holders
Various stitch markers
Pen for making notes on a pattern

Knitter Two: A meticulous Toft knitter, a perfectionist when it comes to working out a pattern, she's integral in working up samples for Toft’s beginner knitting kits. Recently discovered a love of sock knitting and can sometimes be heard to cry – ‘not garter stitch again!’

Two projects currently on needles, one baby jacket in cashmere and a child’s sock (the second is yet to be cast on) in a wool nylon mix. Like our first knitter this knitter likes to have several projects on the go and this is in addition to her Toft knitting!
One ball of
Toft sock yarn in Oatmeal ready to knit another pair of socks whenever the fancy takes her, in fact this is the second of two balls and the lace knee high socks are currently on DPNs at home (in her stay at home knitting bag!)
1 pair of chunky knitting needles often used by her children with scraps of yarn as practice pieces (Toft Tip –
chunky alpaca yarn is great to learn to knit with as it knits up quickly and it’s nice and robust for tight tension newbies)
1 notepad and a pen for pattern notes
Set of 4 DPNs for sock knitting
2 pairs of scissors
Small zipped case containing the following;
Tape measure
1 mint
Needle size conversion gauge
1 cable needle
Leftover fine yarn
2 stitch holders
1 crochet hook
Sheephead stitch counter
Various stitch markers

So there you have it an anthropological look into two knitters bags and perhaps a little insight into their personalities too, or are we just reading too much into this?! Let's face it, it’s just an excuse to talk knitting and be nosey! Share your knitting bag photos here on via
Twitter or our Facebook page.

So now that Spring seems to have sprung what projects are on your needles? For us we feel it’s time to get some lighter knitting on the needles like a pair of socks, a lacy scarf or our new easy tunic vest all of which can be worn year round.

Crochet is also great for summer especially if you are new to this craft, beacuse what could be better than using up oddments in your stash to practise and hone your technique with small test squares that could be made into a blanket for example. If you haven’t got the foggiest where to start with crochet though why not book yourself on our Introduction to Crochet workshop on Saturday 7th April, spaces are filling fast but we can squeeze a few more in! Another popular summer workshop and passtime is felting (it's so lovely to be able to take this outside in the spring weather) and we have some spaces on our alpaca felt workshop on Saturday 14th April .

Our workshops are proving to be even more popular than usual this year, which is fantastic since we will soon be able to run them in the nearly completed Toft studio. We’ve added to the subjects too, this year we’re also offering alpaca fleece processing, a must for alpaca owners and handspinners alike and a quilted patchwork workshop both of which are available to book online now for September.

To celebrate the opening of the new studio in the coming weeks, we are planning a Craft Open Day on Saturday 4th August. If you came to our 5th birthday party last year you'll have some idea of what to expect, come and join us for craft taster sessions like knitting, crochet and felting, plus tours of the farm and lots more. No need to book, just turn up at Toft Manor, CV22 6NR from 10am!
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