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When I was a kid and we would go on family road trips, my mom would always have my brother, sister and I pack our own "things to do" bags, the contents of which were to keep us occupied for the duration of the trip. I think it was genius of her to have us each pack our own bag, to meet our own interests and so that it was our own fault if we got bored. Sometimes she would save up little treats - booklets of crosswords or puzzles, magnetic board games, etc. - and hand them to us that morning before we all piled into the car; something extra to add to our own stashes.

This whole concept has carried over into adulthood for me. I never go anywhere without my "things to do" bag which includes at the bare minimum my mp3 player and knitting, sometimes a book and a second knitting project too. Thanks to my mom, I have a healthy dislike for boredom and know how to prevent it.

I just packed a new "things to do" bag last night with (so appropriately) a knitting project for my mom in it. I've never knit her anything really pretty, just one pair of functional socks, so I think it is high time I knit her some lace. My mom has the prettiest silver hair, and I think this Sterling color of Gloss Lace will look really good on her. I'm going to use the Juno Regina pattern from knitty.com.

I'm curious - what's in your "things to do" bag? Do you carry knitting with you everywhere?

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Comment by geri on October 14, 2008 at 10:22pm
I always have a small project in my purse - usually socks and if travelling, usually pack two or three other knitting projects 'just in case...'. I am fortunate that I do not experience motion sickness and can knit in the car while someone else is driving. Ziplock bags are a wonderful invention. In fact, whilst going through security before getting on a flight last month, the security person found a little tube of hand cream loose in my purse. She told me it had to be in a Ziplock bag so I just threw it in with the sock project I had in there and she sent me on my way. If I'm WAY early getting to the gate because of getting through security so fast, I'm happy to pull out a project and get some knitting done. Long flights are enjoyable when I listen to a knitting podcast while knitting. Of course, I try to google all the yarn shops near my destination and usually buy some souvenir yarn or a pattern. When my husband and holidayed in Cuba (we Canadians can do things like that) the bathroom toiletries at our resort came in a wonderful, zippered, clear plastic 5" x 8" x 2". I dumped out the shampoo, soap, conditioner and hand lotion and that became my purse-sized project tote. Now the travelling socks have a nice soapy smell from the previous contents of the tote.
Comment by ice on October 9, 2008 at 1:41pm
Always! Have a neat suede "big" bag (for Fall & Winter) and a Big white Tote (for Spring and Summer) that holds 2 knitting projects + my scketchpad and pencils and other necessities such as my digital camera and phone. Everyone in the family knows i dont leave home without it.
Comment by Gail on October 9, 2008 at 9:01am
Sheet bags, comforter bags for larger projects, clear toiletry bags for sox and small items, and I bought a huge clear bag with zipper at Soar in MI last year that worked great for a mitered square sweater and all the little balls of yarn. I too take a bag of something everywhere I go anymore.
Comment by dealonnia on October 9, 2008 at 6:08am
I always carry a things to do bag even when I am the driver just in case that I get where I am going and get bored or have a few minutes to do something with my hands besides hold them in my lap. My bag has gum or mints, Ipod, magazine that I haven't totally gotten finished with, and project new or current and a small wallet with what my husband calls "rat hole money." In case I need some money in an emergency or find something new to buy.
Comment by Mrs. K on October 8, 2008 at 11:39am
Thank God, I'm not the only one! I really did start thinking I was getting old before my time!

Yes, I take my knitting with me everywhere I go - be it dog walking or commuting to and from work. So far I mainly had a baby project with me. One jumper or cardigan would take around a week to finish. And I just love to see the joy and wonder in my friends faces when I give it to them. But I now start knitting more for myself again to get rid of my stash - just so I have a reason to build up a new stash afterwards.

Also, thank you for your memory of the TO DO bag. This is exactly what my mum made us kids to do when we used to travel as kids. And growing up abroad we would usually travel 7 hours to see our families at least twice a year. For a kid, impatient and hyperactive like me, that used to be a torture - at least if we didn't pack well. Or sleep.

Now I have special bags (around 2 or 3 so I can make up my mind what project to take as I usually have at least two or three going at the same time any time) sized around A5 and with either stiff bottoms or sides so they won't fall over and pour out all the contents in the most inappropriate places.
Comment by PurlGirl on October 7, 2008 at 8:15am
I recycle those sheets bags too!!! It's great to see at a glance what's in there (and show off a little knitting once in a while.) I usually have some knitting with me (socks) and especially if I know I'll have a few uninterrupted minutes, I bring whatever project I am obsessed with at the time!
Comment by Elenor on October 7, 2008 at 2:36am
I was a missionary kid. So road trips were pretty serious for my family. I have been in 45 of the lower 48. My Mom would have us pack things as well as have our school work. I always read because I didn't get into knitting until I was about 18. I still have that habit and I always carry something with me because you never know when you will have time to sit and do a few stitches. I normally carry a project in those large gallon zipp locks. They keep everything together and nice and neat.
Comment by inactive on October 6, 2008 at 10:26pm
Yeah... I carry my knitting with me at all times. And my 'things to do bag' had to be downsized.... I got a little obsessive about boredom.... LOL I took my back pack with me EVERYWHERE. My chiropractor kept telling me to quit, but I didn't listen, so he took my bag from me. After he weighed it, and it totaled somewhere around 25 pounds and lectured me for around 30 minutes, he had made his point and I promised to downsize. LOL I now still take a back pack at times, but I try to keep it (at MAX) under 10 pounds. Everyday kinda thing, I just grab a couple of things and shove them in my purse (hehe, one of my purses.) which FYI, never weighs more than 1 pound. :D
Comment by Bonnie on October 6, 2008 at 7:19pm
I love the fact that you have your project in a clear bag. I have started to put my 'projects to do' in clear bags as well with the yarn, pattern and all accessories. I had saved the zippered bags that sheet sets' come in knowing that I would eventually find a use for them. I checked out the stole pattern and think it is very elegant. Please post a picture before you give it to your mom.
Comment by Donna on October 6, 2008 at 3:26pm
I always take too much stuff with me when I go somewhere. Knitting/crocheting, books, mags, sometimes art stuff...etc. I am manic about finding great bags to haul my goodies in! My mom just told me that she has old airline bags...the round ones...up in the attic. I can't wait to get them. How fun to run around with old Pan Am, United, TWA vintage bags! I recently thought to use a wine carrying bag, the kind with six compartments, to stand skeins of yarn in. Works great! As for what I keep in these bags...hmmm...I like to have lots of projects going at once (I bore easily), so I have a big project, like right now it's a wrap made with Suri Dream, double stranded, simple, w/sections of garter and stockinette, very thick, soft and warm. Also, some crochet freeform scrumbles in the making are in the bag along with all the balls for the colorway. And a practice piece that is just for working on my continental stitches, which are coming along quite well. I am hoping to add socks to the bag, soon. It's my new quest. I just LOVE a bag full of goodies and love to take them everywhere. :) Oh, I also carry a miniature manicure set for those occasional nail problems that snag yarn; a small change purse that holds my measuring tape and a key for my cables. A tiny scissors. Pretty soon I will have to switch to a full size suitcase with wheels. LOL

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