You know how sometimes, you use something so regularly that you don’t even think about it, until someone else sees it and has their mind blown?
That happened to me recently, so I decided to compile this first-in-a-series of some of my favourite knitting tools 🙂
Here are my current top ten:
I’m including shopping links, and the Amazon ones are affiliate links. I appreciate you clicking on them – it helps offset server costs for the site!
10: Wafer Thin Stitch Markers
I debated including this one, because one of my other hobbies is making elaborate copper and/or beaded stitch markers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ones I make, and often use them for beginning of round markers, or raglan markers, etc.
But for making the intricate lace shawls or fancy socks I adore, I find myself reaching for these more than any others.
The fact that they are so thin means that they don’t distort even fingering weight yarn on US 0 needles, and that’s important when making socks.
9: Lacis Double-ended Crochet Hooks
These double-ended crochet hooks are incredible. I use them often for picking up dropped stitches, picking up stitches for a sleeve or button band, and for doing the Chinese Waitress Cast-on.
They are sturdy, the hooks are smooth, and they are small enough to fit comfortably both in my hand and in a project bag or tool tin.
8: Brittany Cable Needles
I’m not a fan of wooden needles for knitting – I find them sticky, and the ends are always too blunt for my knitting style.
But the very attributes that make me hate knitting with wooden needles make these cable needles the best I’ve found; the stickiness of the wood means they don’t fall out of stitches.
I also like how they are smaller in the middle – not only does it help hold the stitches on, but it seems to make cabling easier.
Made in the USA from sustainable wood, packaged in environmentally friendly packaging, AND they come with a 5-year guarantee. However, I’ve had mine for 7 years, and not had any of them break yet.
7: Beading Tool
Ok, so this one is kind of a cheat. The Fleegle Beader is very, very similar to what I use, except mine are made by my husband and I haven’t been able to convince him to make enough to sell, so I’m recommending these instead 😀
Beading tools work so much better than a crochet hook, in my opinion, and I love not having to stop and pick up a bead for every stitch. When you’re making a shawl with over a thousand beads, you quickly begin to appreciate the difference that makes!
6: OttLite Task Lamp
Never underestimate the effect that really great lighting can have on your knitting! Seriously – the older I get, the less I can imagine knitting without it.
Especially when making the aforementioned beaded shawls and tiny socks, or when working with the black yarn that your teenager insists is the only viable colour…good lighting makes all the difference.
I don’t use it all the time, especially as I’m a fan of knitting in public, but when I’m in my knitting chair, my task light is on.
5: Two-at-a-Time Knitting Bag
Speaking of knitting in public…one of these bags lives in my purse at all times. This one is a collaboration; I designed it. And by designed, I mean I kind of sketched it out and went to a friend who sews really well and said “You know, kind of like this?” and she took my Pictionary-worthy sketch, applied her talents, and created an incredible bag for knitting socks two at a time, or mittens/gloves two at a time, or for stranded colourwork, etc.
You get the idea. Check out Quilts by Jessica for these bags, tote-style TAAT bags, box-style TAAT bags, and, you know, actual quilts. I can vouch that all of her items are sewn with incredible attention to detail, and hold up very well under constant use.
4: Clover Pom Pom Maker
Pom-poms…especially this season, they seem to be an inescapable fact of knitting a hat.
I tried for years to make decent pom-poms, and made some halfway decent ones, some terrible ones, and some that I immediately threw away.
I’m not sure why I refused to buy these for so long, but they get a higher spot on this list just because when I do reach for them, I mentally kick myself for not buying them sooner. No wasted yarn, perfectly shaped pom-poms, and I’ve not had to throw one away yet.
Let this be a cautionary tale for you 😉
3: Ann Budd Gauge Ruler
Seriously, you guys, this ruler. No more counting stitches, no more stretching the yarn ever so slightly to convince yourself that it’s a half-stitch instead of none (I’m not the only one who’s ever done that, right?)
Simply lay this ruler over your (unstretched!) knitting, and slide it until the stitches line up. You’ll save yourself lots of heartache in the long run, I promise.
You can buy it from Where the Wildflowers Grow Gallery, which also happens to be my LYS. You know how you read those knitting stories, and there’s this fictional yarn shop where the owner is friendly and the yarns are affordable and the knitting group is vibrant and supportive?
It’s safe to say, if the author has visited the Gallery, then it’s Based On a True Story™.
2: Sock Ruler
I’m pretty sure that if you’d seen my face the day my friend Nancy pulled this out of her knitting bag, it could have filled in the entry for “covetousness”. It’s possible she had to pry it out of my fingers at the end of that knit-night.
Whether you knit toe-up or cuff-down, one at a time or two-at-a-time, this set of rulers is a must-have for sock knitters. No more holding a sock down with one hand and stretching a ruler with the other hand – just slide the sock toe or cuff over the ruler, and instantly see how much further you have to go.
Again, this one can be found at my LYS 🙂
1: Susan Bates Finishing Needles
This is the tool that prompted this post – these finishing needles have been part of my knitting arsenal for quite some time now. I use them to repair snags as well as weave in ends. They are invaluable when you’re wanting to use every inch of those specialty yarns, and you resent having to leave a long tail for weaving.
They can be purchased at Amazon and other big-box retailers such as Joanne Fabrics, Fabricville, etc.
I love these needles so much that I’m giving away a pack of them! Because of Amazon’s rules, unfortunately, this one is open to US residents only. May the odds be ever in your favour!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Feb 4, 2018 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.
That’s my top ten roundup for now…what are some of your favourite tools?