At the end of every Spring we pack away our sweaters to make room for tanks, and move our boots to the back of the closet so we can bring out our beloved flip flops. Then, we take some time to update our makeup bag, making sure there is plenty of lip balm and sunscreen, before finding our notions bag. This is where the real, more important, seasonal transition begins.
Just like our seasonal wardrobe update, our knitting transitions as well. We change from bulky wools and chunky knits to lightweight fibers and lacey knits. To accommodate for this change we update our notions bag accordingly. Enter: our overflowing notions stash.
Some may say that the notions we collect are simply an extension of our yarn obsession, but we are quick to argue that there is a method to our madness. Sure we have a bajillion stitch markers to balance out the ones we lose (the couch steals them, I swear), but if you look closely there is a strategic mix of removable, decorative, silicon, and metal markers. Yes, strategic. And there are other strategic notions in there, too.
During the winter months, our bag is filled with tools to help build hats, socks, and sweaters, like a pom pom maker, double pointed needle case, and a cable needle. In our pretty, leather cases, we keep handy fun holiday stitch markers, pom pom makers, and cable needles. We also bring out our wooden Florida needle gauge since it keeps us thinking warm thoughts.
Summer, on the other hand, brings out notions that are fun, yet practical, to make on-the-go knitting more convenient.
Looking to update your notions bag for the summer? Here a few tips to get you started:
Add brightly colored stitch markers. Whether knitting in the car, at a baseball game, or at a beach, brightly colored stitch markers are quick and easy to recover when you drop one. An extra consideration is to use silicon or plastic markers so if they happen to get sandy at the beach, you can easily rinse them off in the ocean.
Invest in a tool to fix mistakes. Summer knits typically involve lighter weight yarn and lace work, so be prepared for those inevitable dropped stitches or misread charts. We keep our bright pink Fix-A-Stitch tool at the top of our bag for this very reason. It’s the perfect size to scoop up fingering weight yarn and get back on track.
Swap the bamboo and wood for plastic, silicon, and metal. There’s nothing like knitting on a road trip or knitting poolside while on vacation. Using plastic and metal notions (needles, too!) will ensure that any coffee spills or splashes from the pool won’t warp or ruin your wood and bamboo notions.
Trade the double point needle case for a circular needle protector. Double points are great for knittings socks, hats, and sweater sleeves, but in the summer, lacey shawls are best knit on circular needles. Our metal Needle Keeper is a simple but super effective needle holder for circular needles. It keeps stitches from falling off your needles, which is important if your WIP is tossed from bag to car to suitcase to home.
Goodbye Wool Wash, hello Stain Remover. Blocking your work is always important, but not all summer knits require a trip into the wool wash. Instead, in the summer we keep a pack of stain removing wipes in our bag to spot clean our WIPs should they fall victim to an on-the-go misstep.
Pack highlighter tape. Lacey, summer knits typically feature a chart in their pattern. If you’re like us and are always picking up and putting down your work, highlighter tape is a surefire way to keep track of your current stitch location. We love Yarn Valet’s Stitcher GPS and hate to leave home without it. Alternatively, you can use an electronic row counter or a mobile app to keep track of your progress.
Trade the pom pom maker for a crochet hook. Since fewer beanies are worn in the summer, there is a reduced need for pom poms. So leave that pom pom maker at home and pack a crochet hook instead. It will help you add some more summer appropriate flair, like fringe or tassels, to your work.
And our favorite summer time accessory? Our Sip 1 Koozie. Because what better way to drink and knit than with a knitting themed koozie?!
What is your favorite summer notion?!