“Jackson Magnet smelled just like the
first day of school. Pa Lia could smell new shoes, new pencils and
Lia's First Day, Jackson Friends Series, Michelle Edwards
All month our local newspaper has been bulging with circulars
from stores advertising their special stock of essentials for
academic success. Shiny and colorful and ever so tempting, they
seem to be sending me a personal offer for a fulfilling year
Every August, it's always the same. Merely by passing a
back-to-school display, I'm filled with a deep longing for an odd
array of alluring stuff that I don't really need, like a box of 64
color crayons with a built-in sharper. Over the years, to satisfy
my cravings, I have tried to find good uses for assorted
supplies. If you are like me, and you can't resist joining in on
this seasonal excitement, here's a short list of affordable items
that are highly adaptable to a yarncrafter's needs and
conveniently sized for a range of project satchels.
My favorites have a hard marbleized cover and are college ruled.
Their sturdy binding and ample sheet count make them ideal for
jotting down and keeping track of your knitting thoughts,
accomplishments, and plans. Like the notebooks I used in grammar
school back when paste still came in jars with plastic applicators
wands, the inside of the notebook's back cover still sports
multiplication tables and conversion of liner measures from metric
to inches--handy for pattern ciphering and everyday handwork. If
you like designing and mapping out an original pattern, choose the
Computation Notebooks with graph paper.
Make notes on your patterns with a wood and graphite beauty like
the Dixon Beginner --a robust version of the classic Ticonderoga
pencil. With a generous pink eraser on top, the Dixon Beginner
acknowledges that mistakes and changes are part of the learning
process. And don't forget, in a knitting emergency, wood pencils
can be called into service as a spare set of needles. A short
pencil stub could pitch in as a cable stitch holder.
Sharpies are perfect for marking, identifying, and organizing your
patterns, yarn, and wood needles. These pens are permanent,
waterproof, and write well on a variety of surfaces including:
plastic containers, Ziploc bags and pencil pouches (see
below). You can find them in a range of wonderful colors and
Cute, safe and functional, these scissors work well for yarn
snipping and all other basic cutting needs.
Did you just finish your first pair of socks? Are you now reading
with ease the lace chart that you once thought only Mensa members
could decipher? Did you contribute to the preemie hat drive? Maybe
you mastered steeks? Record your accomplishments in your notebook
and proudly award yourself a gold star. You earned it!
Excellent for checking gauge, measuring hats, socks, and other
smaller items. Will not stretch, or rust.
Wonderful storage for your double point needles or crochet hooks.
Keep a separate one for each needle or hook size. Choose the 11.25
by 6 size in a clear plastic or unadorned versions.
Spiral Bound Index Cards
A dense or complicated pattern becomes easier to follow if you can
break it into doable steps. Divide and cut up your pattern
according to your personal learning style. Paste it down, page by
page into the spiral bound index cards. Leave the backsides blank
to add your notes and annotations. Each book can hold several
patterns. Assorted sizes are available.
With a cotton candy pink or a purplicious purple, highlighters
switch on color to transform a black and white Norwegian mitten
pattern chart into a more readable version. Employ your
highlighter to color code and separate out repeats and tricky
stitch changes on a long line of a lace pattern.
Simple and basic like our hooks, needles, and yarn, this list
presents us endless possibilities to create. So when the school
bus comes chugging up your street next week or next month, pull
out your project and your new school supplies. Take notes, cut and
paste, highlight. Work on, and every now and then, remember to
give yourself a gold star.
If you are feeling flush and having fun with your shopping, help
stimulate the economy and help others, too. Check with your local
schools and area shelters about their school supply wish lists.
Offer to fill a backpack with everything a school kid might need.
Inspire a young artist and splurge on the box of 64 color crayons
with the built in sharpener. Slip in a handmade cap or a pair of
mittens. And a chocolate bar for a sweet new school year.
Getting back into the school groove, sitting down to work out a
math problem or a clarinet piece can be lonely. Why not craft the
scholar in your life a little pom pom study buddy? Maybe on their
break, they’d like to make one, too.