5 Knitting Tools I Can’t Live Without

Posted on 02/08/2016 in RANDOM

1: A Swift & Winder

Yes, it may be daunting to spend a chunk of cash on something that seem so utilitarian (read: boring), but I’ve used this tool more times than I can count. (Because in order to do that, I’d have to add up how many skeins I’ve gone through, and no one needs that kind of accounting in their lives!) After trying to wind skeins by hand a few times — and causing my husband to run into the man cave when he saw me contemplating having him hold his hands up while I wound), I realized that a swift and winder would pay for themselves in time saved (less time winding = more time knitting). It also keeps skeins from getting tangled. Total cost for both was about $75 — and yes, that would buy some lovely skeins of yarn. But are you going to use those skeins if they aren’t caked? Or are they going to sit in your bin. P.S. — these make great gifts!

A yarn swift and a ball winder makes winding skeins of yarn simple.

A yarn swift and a ball winder makes winding skeins of yarn simple.

2: {Circular} Needle Sets

After my first year of knitting, I realized a basic truth. I hate straight needles. Hate. I am so much faster and relaxed with circulars. Inevitably, though, I never had quite the right size for whatever project I was working on next. this investment came with a carrying case. If I need more cables, they are easily found and added. Hint: I realized after the first few times that you really do need to use the T pin to tighten them, or else they slowly loosen after each round, no matter how tightly you think you attached them. Try a few individual circulars to find out what you like best — wood, metal, etc— and then invest in a decent set.

A set of knitting needles means you are always ready for any project.

A set of knitting needles means you are always ready for any project.

3: Ravelry

Where do I even start? As if the extensive pattern database to the ability to join a community dedicated to knitting, crocheting and fiber arts wasn’t enough, it also serves as a knitting journal that is easily shared with others. Oh, and did I mention it’s essentially free? (There is a $5 yearly fee if you want to be able to upload photos from your phone — I find this useful & the cost more than reasonable). One rainy day i even decided to add my entire stash into the database, with photos, and now, when I search for a pattern, it can automatically tell me if I have a possible contender in my stash that would work for the pattern. Ostensibly, this means fewer irrational purchases or orphan skeins, but let’s be realistic here. Impulse purchasing isn’t going away when it comes to yarn. At least for me.

4: YouTube

Ever forget how to ssk? Can’t quite remember how to start the kichener stitch? There is someone out there knitting tools — often multiple someones — who has put a video on YouTube to help you out. A related tool is the KnittingHelp app by Outer Media. It’s $10 and works offline so it’s perfect for traveling especially if your destination is international and wifi is spotty. Yes, I’ve brought my knitting to the beach. In Aruba. What of it? 🙂

A few crochet hooks in your knitting bag can be a lifesaver.

A few crochet hooks in your knitting bag can be a lifesaver.

5: A crochet hook and large needle

Nothing picks up a dropped stitch better than a crochet hook. Luckily, as a former crocheter, I’ve got every size imaginable, but a good G hook should work well for you. If you often knit with lace or fingering weight, get a smaller hook, too. They are inexpensive enough that you can buy two or three for under $5. I prefer the metal hooks.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Jenn 02/10/2016 at 5:28 PM

    Yes, yes! All excellent choices for five things most knitters can’t live without. I know all of these things are essential for me.

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