Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How To: Set Up a Project Bag

How to: Set Up a Project Bag .. and Why You Should Use One

So, your're all psyched up for your next project!

You grab a corner on the couch with your yarn skein and hook and get busy .. The phone rings, the kids come running through all covered in mud, the cat insists on sitting on your crochet lap, the phone rings again, one child is hungry and another is wet (or worse). You finally get to settle back in with your project .. wait, where's my hook?  Well crud, just get another one .. ummm, what size was I using? Check the pattern .. right, now where did the pattern go!

Sound Familiar?

Let's take away all of that stress for you, it's easy to do.

Start with a far too often overlooked yet vital piece of any Crochet Project .. your Project Bag or Basket.

I like working from a basket..this one is my favorite.

It is large enough to hold a lot of yarn, all my tools and the finished project as it grows..and it isn’t too large to carry around from room to room easily.  Besides, my Mother made it and it has held my crochet in progress for many years, so it is “well seasoned” to the task.
If you foresee traveling with a project, don’t use a basket. Go for a large tote or bag instead. This allows you to sling your project bag over your shoulder for easy carrying and the bag also sits nicely between your feet in the car or on public transport. A bag will also keep your project clean. while out and about.

 It is important to keep all your things together in one container, whatever you choose. Otherwise, you will find all your tools scattered and strung about. Trust me .. the first time you get up to go to the kitchen or chase after the kids, you will take your crochet hook with you and return to your crocheting without it.

Don't carry around your entire collection of hooks for just one project. If you are like me, you will have multiple projects going at once, so you will need a 'project tool kit'.

I like to use bags, not metal or plastic pencil boxes or similar, because you can store it with your work and there are no sharp corners or latches to snag or otherwise damage your work in progress in the basket.

These two are my all-time favorites:

[caption id="attachment_3580" align="alignleft" width="150"]Drawstring Bag for Tool Kit Drawstring Bag for Tool Kit[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3581" align="alignleft" width="150"]Small Zippered Bag for Tool Kit Small Zippered Bag for Tool Kit[/caption]

Whatever you keep your project tools in, make sure it has a secure closure so the contents cannot spill out.

My Tools are simple..

  • small paper & pen to quickly make notes or write down ideas that come to me while I’m hooking
  • highlighter,  marker or colored ink pen .. be careful using this around your white yarn :). Use this to mark the rows on the charted pattern as they are completed..helps keep your place
  • 2 crochet hooks in the size your project calls for .. always have 2 because you will almost certainly lose one before the project is complete and having one handy instead of hunting another down from your craft room makes it ‘not a big deal’
  • 1 size E crochet hook .. I use this for hiding 'tails' or yarn ends
  • nippers or scissors

Optional Tools :

  • nail clippers and / or a nail file .. clip or file down unexpected thing that your yarn is snagging on
  • magnifying glass
  • hair clip or ponytail holder .. I always want to put my hair up after I get started. They also make decent stitch markers in a pinch
  • cell phone .. at least keep it handy because if you are working on a large project you will find yourself covered with project, multiple skeins of yarn, child or pet and tools which you will have to find your way out from under, without messing up what you are doing, to go answer your phone across the room.

Your Pattern…

I like to copy or print the project pattern and keep it with my basket.

[caption id="attachment_3582" align="alignleft" width="150"]Small Clipboard / Pattern Small Clipboard / Pattern[/caption]

Use a small clip board to keep it from getting lost or thrown away.  Clipping it to a board also lets you make notes and adjustments on that copy pretty easy. Plus you can mark each step as you finish it so you can mark it and step away. When you return to your project you can easily see where you left off so you know where to begin without scanning the pattern or counting stitches.


You don’t have to put ALL of the yarn for a large project into the basket at once.  Do keep at least 2 or 3 skeins of each color handy so when one skein ends, it is simple to reach into the basket and tie on the next one.

[caption id="attachment_3583" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Project Basket Project Basket[/caption]

That’s it!

Place everything into your basket or other container and you are good to go!

If you have other project solutions or suggestions to add .."use your words"!  Leave me your input in the comment box below!