What tools do you consider to be essential "can't live without" items? I'd like to think that the things I keep in mine are those that I really need for a project.
In the current (smaller) bag, a hunt uncovered the following...
I have one actual on-hook project in there, and that's the wrap for Kate. Mind you, it's actually a dual purpose project. Kate's been wanting a sweater and I saw a flyer advertising a $1k contest for items made using Vanna's Choice yarn. I think we came up with something nice. :) I have to get pictures of it posted onto Ravelry shortly.
In addition to the project, I always carry my roll of hooks. I love Susan Bates hooks. My roll has the aluminum hooks ranging from B1 (2.25 mm) through to K10.5 (6.5mm). If I'm a really good girl, Santa might bring me the three new aluminum hooks Bates has started offering... namely L, M, and N. I have them in the lucite but I'd LOVE to get the aluminum versions.
Attached to the strap is my "chatelaine" that holds my trusty 20 year old Ginghers, a Clover Chibi needle holder with several sizes of yarn needles and a tiny split ring that usually has a half dozen or so stitch markers hanging from it.
In the side pockets I have the current pattern, a note pad, measuring tape and a pen.
The "oddest" thing in my project bag? That'd be the solitary size 15 wooden knitting needle that I use to wind my skeins of yarn into center pull balls. :)
I usually have at least one or two random skeins of various weights from my overwhelming stash in case I want to do a quick and "mindless" (or should I say Zen) project. For the record, that's usually a scarf or a hat.