"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful", William Morris is reputed to have said. We've just started stocking haberdashery that illustrates his dictum rather well. These are pretty things; they're also ideally fit for purpose.
A basic sewing kit is always useful, and here's ours:
Fitting into that handy little tin is a range of needles, a seam ripper, a sturdy pair of scissors, thread in useful colours, and a variety of safety and straight pins, buttons and snap fasteners (the sort of thing that you need in a garment emergency). Should you be looking for lots of pins, we have an identical tin full of stainless steel pearl-topped beauties - they won't rust when you use them to block your lace, and the colourful tops make them easy to find on the carpet. The tins come in a number of pretty pastel colours with polka dots on (Jacqui insisted the polka dots get a mention!).
The stork-shaped scissors are designed specifically for needlework. The stork design is a classic, and the points are extremely sharp, allowing very accurate cutting. They also come in several colours. They're so distinctive that they might even not get pinched from your toolbox for nefarious purposes....
As for the toolbox itself, what about a padded, water-resistant knitting bag? Large enough to carry an entire jumper in progress, light enough to carry anywhere, in a cheerful flowered fabric, what about this one?
The yarn is sadly not included, but it does look rather comfortable in there, doesn't it? Tucked in there as well is a matching needle case filled with eight pairs of bamboo straights from 3.00mm to 6.00mm. It would make an ideal present for someone who's just getting into knitting, or just getting back into it. Bamboo is light and strong, and it's much gentler on your wrists than metal. Here's another look:
Finally, tape measures! Tape measures that look like fruit gums!
They'll measure up to 150cm, and then they'll spring back smartly. They make you grin when you see them, in a big jar in the shop.
Beautiful, useful, with some looking like fruitgums - surely, tools of which Mr Morris would approve.