My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Be Prepared, Part Two

Several of you commented on and/or asked for details about my purse, pictured in yesterday’s blog post. This:

It’s a new one — I bought it a few weeks ago when The Loopy Ewe had a 20% off sale. It’s an Offhand Designs bag and it is the Tonya bag, in the “Hip to Be Square” fabric.

As I write this, The Loopy Ewe has only one Tonya bag in stock — in the “Ebony and Ivory” fabric, pictured here. I almost purchased that bag instead of the one I got — I was torn between the two fabrics as I love them both.

I love this bag and have been carrying it since acquiring it. It’s a mid-size bag — the dimensions are 14″H x 15.5″W x 5 “D — and it holds quite a lot of stuff.

Here are the details of the bag, shamelessly lifted from The Loopy Ewe website:

  • 24″ double velvet straps
  • Circular frame closure
  • 2 outside side pockets for keys, phone, or notions
  • 2 inside pockets
  • 2 inside pouches
  • Inside zipper pocket
  • 4 protective feet
  • Faille lining
  • Handmade in the San Francisco Bay Area

I love Offhand Designs bags and have several of them. They are extremely well-made and all (at least all of mine) are a wonderful cut velvet fabric. They all have lots of inside pockets, making organizing one’s stuff a breeze.

Anyhow, I’m pleased that so many of you got some good ideas for an emergency kit based on my post yesterday. Even if you live in an area with a lower likelihood of terrorist attack or dangerous weather, it never hurts to be prepared.

At the risk of really flogging this topic, here is a complete list of the essentials I have in my purse.

Keyring — on this keyring are house keys, office keys, computer anti-theft lock keys, and a tiny flashlight with a very powerful beam.

Wallet — I have an all-in-one checkbook wallet combo that I mentioned a while back in my blog. It is made by Lodis and has a surprisingly slim profile considering everything I pack into it: checkbook, cash, driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, postage stamps and a whole lot of other bits of paper with important information.

Cellphone — I have a web-enabled cellphone (LG Voyager) that works on the Verizon network — I can get and send email and text messages, browse the web, use a GPS function, take photos. Oh yeah, it also works as a phone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

iPod Touch — this connects to the internet wherever there is available wifi. It also is loaded with a number of useful applications — some that were preloaded, some that I acquired and loaded on it.

iPod — my everyday commuting iPod with earphones.

Digicam — a Canon Powershot SD 7700 with an 8 GB SD card. A small camera that takes great photos.

Prescription medications.


Subway farecard.

A sock-in-progress in a small bag.

I also have three little pouches acquired from Splityarn. In them are the following:

  • An SD card reader for easy transfer of photos without the need for a camera cable.
  • Two flash drives loaded with important documents.
  • Extra cellphone and camera batteries. I always carry charged extra batteries with me. You never know when you are going to be in an emergency that involves long conversations on your phone.
  • Moo cards
  • A few doses of Sudafed and Claritin D
  • Ponytail holder
  • Lip balm and lip gloss
  • Chibi w/ tapestry needles
  • Tape measure

There you have it. The WendyKnits list of essentials. This is what I carry on a day-to-day basis to and from the office. Fully loaded, my purse weighs 5 pounds, so that is not too bad. I need to pay attention to the weight of what I schlep everyday, so I have the smallest most compact version of everything I need.

Here is Lucy’s carrier:

It has a picture ID of Lucy on it, and on the back end there is a zippered pocket, where I’ve put copies of Lucy’s rabies certificate, pet license, etc.

And here is Lucy:

I’ll go back to knitting talk in the next post. Honest.


  1. Aww, cat! She’s so pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Well, Loopy Ewe -used- to have one Tonya bag left. They’ll be selling it in five, four, three, two… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I wish I could get down to a little purse, but I’m such a packrat – I’m terrified that I’m going to need ______ and not have it…so I carry around way too much stuff.

    Imbriums last blog post..Why didnโ€™t you tell me?

  3. How ’bout emergency supplies for Lucy? A can or sample packet or two of food and a little bowl/cup for water? We had a huge storm here a couple years ago and I became all too aware that the “3 day rule” was really NOT going to be enough of a supply of anything in a real emergency in the Seattle metro area (anything from a volcanic eruption to a major ‘quake to a tsunami – all are actual possibilities here!). I tend to keep more of the cats’ supplies on hand because fuel and human food supplies are the priority in those situations and someone caught with the last cup of kibble and nothing else in the house for the pets might be in trouble.

    The Tonya bag looks awesome!

  4. Your preparedness is something to aspire to.

    LittleWits last blog post..Brendan 50/50 Raffle

  5. Lucy also needs an emergency kit. For mine, I try to make sure that I have extra food and meds, alcohol pads, latex gloves, cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide, syringes, small scissors, gauze.
    Thanks for sharing, Wendy. I try to carry a very small bag, but perhaps should think in terms of a go bag for me.

  6. I just love Lucy’s “mug shot” in the last shot! Now how come my purse weighs more but I’m not as well prepared as you??? I’ll have to do something about that ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I love the idea of the identification tag for the carrier and will be adding one to my cat’s carrier pronto. Thanks for the great idea.

  8. wendy darling, don’t hate me, but THIS might be your new goto bagsite:

    these HAVE to be the best bags in the universe – EVEN for knitting!

    margarets last blog post..It Really IS Everywhere!

  9. I travel alot and my little ham ( Chico ) travels with me. He is a very small (2 1/2 lb) 3 year old short-haired Chihuahua. I’m required to have a current health certificate for airline travel. Although the ID tag you have on Lucy’s carrier would be extra reassuring to me. Where did you obtain it, if you don’t mind me asking. I can totally relate to the attention that your Lucy receives. Some days I feel like I don’t exist
    when Chico and I are out in public!

  10. Okay you’ve convinced me. Tomorrow I start carrying the messenger bag again. It’s big enough that my small purse will fit inside. Since I can drive my car to work, I’m able to take my purse out when I don’t want to tote the messenger bag around and have essentials in the car. Gotta go knit.

  11. I Love my Zelda Grand bag. It’s just the right size for my smaller knitting project. I would also like a larger bag someday. My LYS carries various Offhand Design bags, so it’s nice to see them in person before buying. I agree, they are made very well and worth the extra money you pay.

    JoAnns last blog post..I’m Ready; Bring on Winter

  12. Offhand Designs is having their annual holiday fundraiser (read: SALE!) right now!!

    I have three of their bags (including the Tonya), and they are all fantastic.

    sequinKs last blog post..cuckoo for,…

  13. What’s a chibi?

  14. Aren’t you using your Purse Pleaser? I love mine.

  15. wow you are so damn organized!

    kathleens last blog post..brrr cold here in NE Pa

  16. I’m still envisioning my sister trying to stuff Dementia (aka Trixie) into her carrier in case of an emergency. She’d have to drive straight to the ER to be stitched up afterward. Hef, on the other hand, just saunters in when it is left open…….but he’s dumb as a bag of rocks.

    Cindy in Happy Valleys last blog post..This is so accurate…..

  17. Theresa in Italy says:

    Offhand Designs bags are terrific, and you are so well organized! I think my bag weighs more but I’m not quite so well prepared for an emergency…

  18. wow, that is really a lot of stuff! definitely good stuff to have, but 5lbs is a lot on one shoulder! people always make fun of me and ask if i have bricks in my purse ๐Ÿ™‚ usually i have my WIP, a P&S camera (no extra batteries or SD cards), a book, and TONS of toiletries.

  19. Michele In Maine says:

    Wow – you give new meaning to the slogan “be prepared.” I love the backups for backups. My primary backup system involves extra tubes of lipstick….

  20. My tote/”briefcase” also carries a couple of granola bars, Lifesavers, a couple of those “teabags” for coffee, and some emergency chocolate…

  21. Oh wow. I love split yarn.
    Recently I made a rollup to carry all my knitting/crochet/craft on the go needs.
    Lucy is cute as always.
    My purse generally contains most of what you’ve listed and then teabags and a notebook with all my patterns in it thus far.
    And Moo Cards are great! I’ve heard excellent things from other people about them. :3

    Cookis last blog post..null

  22. Amazing..all that and your bag still only weighs 5 lbs! I need to take a chapter from your book, cuase my purse is smaller (I have the Eddie Bauer citibag, which crosses over the head, therefore taking the weight off my shouder — nor more shoulder bags for me) but I think it still weights more… and it’s not even big enough for a sock in progress!!!

  23. You are very technologically advanced. By comparison, the contents of my purse would make one think I lived in the 19th century ๐Ÿ™‚

    Marys last blog post..More grey relationship talk

  24. Nice bag! I operate my backpack with the idea of “If I was on a desert island, could I survive,” so there is a wide range of supplies (including some food/drink most of the time). My bag can weigh anywhere from about 5 pounds to more than 20. It’s all the extra projects I carry around!

    Seanna Leas last blog post..Gotta collect them all

  25. Girl, you are so ready for anything! I want to be Wendy when I grow up!! Thanks for all the great ideas. I just might get myself organized! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Danieles last blog post..Lots of progress, but no ceegar.

  26. Love the organization, and I’m especially envious that you have found items you like all in the same color; black is always classic. I especially have the worst time trying to find a wallet I like. My little pouches are each of a different fabric texture, so it’s easier for me to find the one I want. All my ’emergency’ knitting notions and my little bit of cosmetics and meds fit in one small silk pouch. It’s amazing how many little things you can put into one of those fold-over flap plastic envelopes that Clover split-ring stitch markers come in.

    Pets to Lucy – and we haven’t turned on the heat either, though this is California. Down to mid-50s at night.

    CatBookMoms last blog post..Pattern Notes, or How to Decorate a Mitt

  27. hey wendy, since you’re enjoying apple “i” products, you might want to consider switching to the iphone.. you’d be able to combine a few of those which is very nice. I’ve had mine iphone for about a month now and I have to say it’s quite awesome to have absolutely EVERYTHING in one small package. (wow.. they should pay me for sayin’ that ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    mias last blog post..Shocking

  28. I wish I could pare down to just the things you carry. I need all of those plus snacks (in case of low blood sugar and for the kidlet), crayons and paper, calculator (I like to have an idea of what I’m going to have to shell out at the till) and the all important juice box or two.

    I bet that bag would hold all that and a diaper or two for when the next one comes along.

    Dorothys last blog post..Sort of Ribbed.

  29. You are One Prepared Woman. Good for you.

    kmkats last blog post..Maintain radio silence.

  30. I also live in the DC area – so I keep a lot of what you do handy. I always have plenty of ID on me – ’cause some buildings in DC don’t let you in without it!
    I just wanted to add something to your post – maybe you can mention it ๐Ÿ™‚ You indicated that people were amused that you had a camera ready, but I think that’s a great idea. I always recommend people keep a small disposable camera in their cars, it can come in very handy if you are in (or witness) a fender bender or something worse.

    Claires last blog post..

  31. What a pwetty putty tat!