Ah, there's nothing like a new hobby. Assembling a library, acquiring tools, building skills. I love throwing myself into a new interest wholeheartedly, researching the best techniques and references.
Carol got me started in the best possible way -- by sharing her own list of essentials. There's something irresistibly wise and constructive about such a list. Those who have learned by experience what is most useful, sharing that experience as a starting point with beginners and helping them avoid the long period of trial and error. Cool Tools can be used to assemble such a list for dozens of specialized and routine occupations. Mark Frauenfelder recently started adding his most-used and most-useful Mac applications onto a new computer, and decided to share them in order of centrality to his life in a series of Boing Boing posts.
Do you have a list of essentials that help you do your job, or something else you love to do? And if that thing is sewing, all the better. Please share on your own site, or in the comments?