Carrying It All

December is a pretty busy month for my family.  My father-in-law and I both have birthdays at the beginning of the month, and my husband and I have a close friend with a birthday at the end of the month.  Our wedding anniversary is just two days before Christmas, then we have several family gatherings to attend.  By the time we get to New Year’s Eve, we’re pretty much partied out.

Of course, the nice thing about being a teacher is that I get two weeks off of work this time of year.  So, even though we are really busy, I always find time for my hobbies.  As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the better part of our vacation knitting and crocheting.  I’ve slowed down a bit since we got home, but there have always been a few moments of down time to pull out a project.

One of the best gifts I got this year was a sturdy velveteen project bag that my mother made for me.  It’s big enough to carry around even my largest projects, though I tend not to work on anything larger than a baby blanket these days.  in fact, just yesterday, when we went to my in-laws to celebrate Christmas, I put the Sólás Caomh blanket in my new project bag.  I only had time to crochet a couple of rows, but babies take awhile to arrive, so a few rows at a time should still get this blanket done with time to spare.

When space is an issue, I also have a little cloth purse that I can throw my smaller projects into.  (Another bag that my mother made for me made of two layers of cotton/linen.)   The tightly woven cloth means that I can put my double point needles in there without worrying that they will work their way out through the fabric.  I’ve currently got my first Ambrosia sock in that bag.

The added benefit of keeping my projects in these bags is that my yarn tend to avoid getting tangled.  No matter how careful I try to be, when my skein is sitting right next to me, out in the open, the end of it always wants to tangle up.  When the skein is in a bag, the fabric shelters the skein and keeps the yarn from shifting as it loosens up from that perfectly formed ball, which means I can knit or crochet to the very end of the skein without having to stop to untangle a knot.

If you don’t sew, and don’t know anyone who does who could make you your own project back, fabric shopping bags work just as well.  I’ve developed quite a collection of canvas bags as well as those other lightweight bags that stores are now selling as a substitute for fabric bags.  (Most places I’ve seen sell them for just a $1–a much better price than the prices on official “project bags”.)

Every one of my projects gets its own bag.  (See, I told you I had quite a collection!)  Then, when I’m on my way out the door, I can just grab what I feel like working on.  I know that everything I need is already in the bag…hooks, needles, yarn, pattern instructions, stitch markers, and a small pair of scissors (the kid ones that you can buy by the dozen that have a blunt nose so that they don’t puncture the fabric of the bag).  I find that I do a lot more knitting and crocheting when I don’t have to go hunting for everything I need.

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