Saturday, 4 May 2013

Say hello in May...

I don't know if all people who like yarn also like stationery, but it seems that many of my readers have a passion for both. Following the recent "peek inside my knitting bag" post, I've had a LOT of questions about my 'knitting folder' - actually a Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter - and so I spoke to the manufacturer to find out more about the background to the product I use daily, and was quite suprised to learn how this small German company first came about.

Beate Mangrig, the designer behind the Taschenbegleiter, came up with the idea as part of a degree thesis. The brief was to look at ways that personal organisers could be improved, avoiding perforation and so that notebooks and standard sized papers could be well-organised inside with "maximum freedom". Beate's solution came in the form of metal clips which, after much trial and error, were finally perfected. Using the clips, standard A4 documents can be folded in half to fit into the A5 organiser I have, and books which are A5 or smaller can also be clipped in - EZ's Knitter's Almanac fits perfectly! 

The design went on to gain a distinction at the Academy of Fine Arts Saar and with increasing interest in the original product, Roterfaden was set up and the range developed. Several years on, the company has expanded via the online store and bricks and mortar shop in Saarbrüchen, but each organiser is still handmade with care and attention to detail. 

The handmade nature of the organiser means that there is quite a lot of flexibility about the configuration (such as space for electronic gadgets, extra pockets, custom embroidery etc). Of course, crafty customers may also like to have pockets for knitting needles/crochet hooks or interchangeable cables, and could make their own inserts too (example pictured). It's quite interesting to look at the product gallery and see how the different fabrics and colours work together.

If you missed the original post, you may like to read more about how I use my Taschenbegleiter for knitting. 'Taschenbegleiter' means 'bag companion' and that is exactly what this is. It's essentially how I organise my patterns, my (knitting) notebook and any other bits and pieces I might need for different 'in progress' projects - yes, I keep all of my knitting clutter in here, including ball bands for current projects, swatches (when I make them) and spare circular needles in the right size. My patterns are kept in the plastic sheet protectors so they can be taken out when I'm travelling light, keeping them clean and safe from small grubby fingers and handbag detritus. The clip system is simple and easy to use, but very effective.

If I didn't like the product and the people I've spoken to at the company enough already, the links Beate sent me included various photos of 'yarnbombs' near their shop - I feel destined to visit there one day. In the meantime, I am really pleased to tell you that she is offering a discount to Crafts from the Cwtch readers. The first 20 people to use the special code "15_ Cwtch" will receive 15% off their order. Of course now I'm wondering whether I can possibly justify getting another in coral red leather, after all it's my birthday in May!

Have a great weekend - if you're in the UK, I hope you enjoy the Bank Holiday. I'll be back tomorrow with a long overdue Year of projects update - see you then!


  1. Would love to get one, they are gorgeous and ingenious. must be too late for the discount though, says invalid code, damn my slow fingers!!!!

    1. Try again - I just double checked and I think it's 15_ Cwtch with a space between the _ and C

  2. I love these - I think I'll have to add it to my growing list of birthday wishes ....

  3. Now this looks like an interesting McGadgetThingey...I will first look back at the older post now!

  4. Very interesting how it's construction is. I used to be a big organizer person; that was in college. I've been wondering some if I need to dig out my Coach one with PTA prez duties on the rise next fall.


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