she's a threadhead


There’s been a lot of conversation lately about rotations – the number of projects individuals are working on and the blocks of time which they dedicate to each. I know some people alternate stitching on evenings vs. weekends, while others switch it up every day or week.

I have a slightly different method. When I’m at home, I generally dedicate all of my craft time to a single large project. Occasionally, I might work on multiple small projects and shift my attention whenever I start to feel bored or guilty. But that’s rare, I try to not have too many things on the go, because I hate it when projects get left behind.

However, my most dedicated time to work on crafts is while I’m on the go. I almost always have a project with me, when I’m making my semi-daily commute from one side of Toronto to the other. I like working on my journeys because it keeps me from becoming overly nervous in a packed streetcar, and allows me to see those two hours of my time as productive.


Above is the current piece of needlework that I’ve been lugging to and fro. Longtime readers may remember it from last summer. This canvas is going to be the front of a double-sided pillow for my pal, Andrew. I’m not too keen on the derogatory statements, but they were specifically selected by him. This project travels around in an ugly, repurposed lunch bag given to me by an employer when her kids were done with it.

This kit also includes the yarn which I’m using for the background, and a small pair of children’s scissors. I prefer using cheap scissors while I travel, so that I’m not overly upset when they get lost or fall on the floor.
On a similar note, the projects which I take on public transit are stitches that are in need of large blocks of colour. I don’t like having to reference a pattern while I negotiate leg room. While I’ve seen quite a lot of knitters on the TTC, so far I’m the only stitcher.

Do you take your crafts on the go? Do you have any tips or tricks to share with me? What do you use as a project bag?


9 Comments on “WIP – COMMUTER”

  1. waffumonsta says:

    Hmm, I do take my cross stitching projects with me in a Barnes & Noble tote bag. Usually I only take it if I know I’m going to be waiting around wherever I’m going. Like the doctors office. I recently had to go with my mother for a 3-hour surgery and did some stitching in the waiting area.

    I also take the tote when I’m going to work. There are times when it’s not busy at all and I can take my things out and stitch comfortably.

    The only thing I do is keep my things in one of those big ziplock bags. I keep my thread/pattern/needles in the bag(s) and I put my fabrics in a pillow case. That way I can protect some of my things for whatever may happen.

    • eadouglas says:

      Thanks for your response! I have to wonder, does your tote bag fit into your regular bag? Or, do you just carry your wallet and stuff in it? I’ve been trying to figure out a way to carry more detailed projects which doesn’t end with me carrying a back pack of craft supplies!

      • waffumonsta says:

        Oh no. My tote bag is bigger than my regular bag. I bring both with me, but the regular can go inside my tote one if I wanted. I have a regular, and quite old, tote bag that’s big and has one small compartment on it. There’s actually a lot of tote bags, not just the ones for crafts, that have separate compartments. You can put anything you want in them and still have room.

  2. I take on-the-go cross stitch projects in a small canvas tote – maybe 8″ to a side – that I picked up at AC Moore with the eventual intent of waste-canvasing something interesting on it. Any project that won’t fit in that bag is probably too large to be easily portable. (I don’t use a hoop if I can avoid it, so a bag that small is viable for a wide range of projects.) I keep the floss for the pattern in a small ziplock bag. Since I only put skeins on a bobbin when I first use them for a project, the ziplock’s contents are often a mixture of bobbins and loose skeins until the project is in its final stages. In that case I also bring a ring with spare bobbins and a black Sharpie to mark the bobbins before I wind on the floss.

    • eadouglas says:

      I understand the need to carry floss, but I end up feeling that carrying bobbins & sharpie is too much baggage! I want to, eventually, sew up some pretty project bags from scrap material… we’ll see if that ever happens, haha. Why no hoop? Are you into qsnaps?

  3. heypaula21 says:

    I take stitching with me when I go to work at the 911 center. I live in a rural area, so my commute is in my own vehicle, not on public transportation. It would be great to have that 2 hours a day as crafting time, but I use it to listen to audiobooks, so I feel a bit productive at least. I use zippered project bags for my projects. The primary reason for this is that I have numerous projects in various stages; I just can’t stick to one or two at a time. Occasionally I feel overwhelmed by the number of WIPs I have, and then I concentrate on culling the herd :). I generally don’t worry about size with projects I take with me because I have plenty of room at my console. I do take projects that are easy to put down and pick back up though, for obvious reasons. “Just one more stitch” or “I’ll just finish this thread” doesn’t work too well when an emergency line is ringing lol.

    When I travel, though, either for work or on vacation, I generally take smaller projects with me, just because they’re just plain easier to manage in a variety of situations.

  4. […] Then the goods arrived. The aida cloth was huge. Bigger than anything I’d ever tried to stitch before, bigger than my goddaughter. But it was too late, as far as I know you can’t return craft supplies. And I had already paid for an absurdly sized cross stitch .pdf. So, I started working on it… a little. At 30′ by 36′ this project doesn’t really fit into my travel bag. […]

  5. […] with the misogynistic overtones of this piece, but it was a requested quote and I no longer have to bring it out in public – so there ya […]

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