When it comes to the tools I use everyday - I get pretty passionate (and opinionated). If I find something I like, and that works well for me, I want to tell everyone about it! So I figured, it was time for a blog post, so all of you can check out some of the items that make my work life better!
Let's start with something that has been near and dear to my heart since I was a wee one. I use to use my allowance every week to buy school supplies. What can I say - I've just got a thing (or what some would call - an obsession) with pens and notebooks. I find it so satisfying to have a shelf lined with notebooks that I have filled with notes, recipes, journal entries, patterns - all in my own handwriting. I also have at least one notebook and one pen with me at all times. (Okay, if I am being honest - more like 3 notebooks and an entire pack of pens.)
So, my current faves??
1. Frixion Erasable Pens - I am the kind of person who had a "messy" notebook and a "tidy" notebook in high school. I couldn't stand bad handwriting, or crossed out lines - so I would rewrite everything nice, neat and organized into my tidy notebook after taking speedy notes in class in my messy book. These pens solve that. They are truly erasable - but still good quality pens that write smoothly! Major bonus - you can get a pack with 24 different colors! Whoop whoop! (Thank you for introducing these to me Melynda!!)
2. Dot Grid Notebooks - Woah Mama. In love. So tidy. So fun. Perfect for knitters! Without the confines of lines (horizontal or in grids) you can make each page what you want it. Perfect for sketching, writing, graphing - whatever you need. I am also a huge Bullet Journaling fan (thanks to Annie!), and these are ideal for that. (Again- thanks for introducing these to me Melynda!!)
3. Knitter's Graph Paper Journal - as many of you already know, knit stitches are not a perfect square - they are more like a rectangle. So when it comes to charting out designs for color, cables, lace and texture - if you don't want it to be distorted, you need knitters graph paper! These journals from Fringe Supply Co., are perfect! Not only are they affordable - they also have super handy hand drawn notes in the front and back covers (needle charts, graph keys, ect.)
4. Fashionary Sketchbook - My drawing skills aren't quite as advanced as my knitting skills. But that whole "I like my notebooks tidy" issue, means I want tidy sketches, as well! Enter the Fashionary Sketchbook. Each page has 3 faint dot-lined female figures. They are faint enough that you can easily write over them, otherwise they are perfect to use as a guide to draw out garments and accessories on a model. Perfect for designers, but also great for those of us who desire a handmade wardrobe, or plotting out outfits.
Let's talk project bags. I love to keep all of my individual projects tucked away in their own special bag. That way I don't lose anything, I've got everything I need for that project and I can just grab and go! I am not a monogamous knitter - I tend to have 2 to 4 projects on my needles at all times. When I am heading to my knitting group, I just pick the easiest one to work on while chatting and I am out the door. At home in my studio - having everything in their own bag, helps me keep organized! I also usually keep a row counter in each bag, that way I don't get them mixed up and end up on the wrong row in my project!
My absolute favorite bag is the Field Bag by Fringe Supply Co. This is a seriously well made bag. It is sturdy, stylish, and functional. I love the simplistic design, and useful details. It has a sturdy bottom and sits upright on the table, so I can utilize it like a yarn bowl. It has a drawstring and handle for easy portability. Pockets!! I've mentioned how I like to keep everything I need for a project all together in one bag - now I have space for pens, pencils, stitch holders, scissors, stitch markers, row counter, notebook, scrap yarn and spare needles. Seriously - I just can't say enough good things (which is why I own four - no joke.)
My "I use these for every single project" notions.
1. Lantern Moon Sheep Measuring Tape- I've had this little guy for probably 14 years. I love him. He brings me joy every time I use him. Every knitter needs a tape measure - might as well make it a cute one! (You can probably find this at your LYS! Support small business if you can!)
2. Clover Row Counter - There are all kinds of row counters out there and this one is by far my favorite. Again, I began using it way back when I first started knitting. I have tried others. Simpler ones, and fancier ones - and I just find this is the best for me. The "click" helps remind me that I pushed it so I know I am not forgetting rows, and it's sturdy. I have a couple so I can have one for each project. (You can probably find this at your LYS! Support small business if you can!)
3. Chibi Tapestry Needles and Holder - As you can tell from the wear and tear, I also got this when I was a relatively new knitter. Nostalgia and functionality holds its place in my top fave tools. It does exactly as it is suppose to, and I like its now worn look. There are some much more modern holders available these days, so go with what fits your style - but for me, this guy is perfect! (You can probably find this at your LYS! Support small business if you can!)
4. Stitch Markers and Pouch - I got this as a gift from my friend, Marlee, and I adore it! The brass stitch markers are perfect for many different needle sizes, and the pouch is just so special. Little pieces like this (especially when received from friends) add so much joy to my work days.
5. Sharp, Small Scissors - (not pictured) I use small, gold handled embroidery scissors that I keep in my notion bag. They are probably about 10 years old, and still sharp and easily portable. And pretty - very pretty. I don't think you can get that particular set anymore, but there are sooo many options out there for all different kinds of styles. You can find them at your LYS, Fringe Supply Co., and any craft store.
So there you have it! Some of my all time, and most used, favorite tools. These are the workhorses of my collection, that I am utilizing every single day. I really like to "use" my tools - I am not gentle. So to have high quality, durable items, is really important to me. I hope you found this useful!!
To help you build up your own hard working tool set I am SO excited to announce that Karen of Fringe Supply Co. has offered a $50 gift certificate to her shop (does not include shipping costs) for one lucky winner!!! To enter, simply leave me a comment below carrying on the discussion! What are you favorite tools? Are their items you want to see a post about? Let me know! And don't forget to include your email address in the body of the comment so I have a way to reach you if you win! Giveaway is open until March 13 at midnight.