Earlier this month, Haley of The Zen of Making did a round-up of her must have crochet tools, which made me think: what are my must-have knitting tools? Here are my top five tools that I gotta have in my bag or else!
1. Row Counter – A row counter is an integral part of your knitting basket – it keeps track of where you are in a pattern repeat, how many rows until you need to change colors, or when it’s time to start increasing or decreasing. There’s rarely a knitting pattern where you don’t need to keep track of something row-related.
Row counters can be the traditional kind that you slip onto the end of a needle, hang off of a pair of circular needles, or the kind that you “click” after each row or repeat. I have one of each kind and use all of them frequently. Find an assortment of row counters here: Row Counters from Dreamweaver Yarns
2. Tape Measure – Knitting patterns will tell you to knit until a piece measures a certain length before shaping, binding off, or maybe switching needle sizes. Plus, it’s important to make sure you take your body measurements to make sure that whatever it is that you’re knitting will fit you!
I have a penchant for cute, functional things, which is probably why I gravitated towards the sheep tape measure that I use. Pull out it’s tail to measure your knitting progress: Lantern Moon Sheep Tape Measure
3. Addi Turbo Needles – For years, I refused to pony up the cash for these needles. They seemed just like the trusty Susan Bates that I used and anyway, I preferred bamboo to metal needles. Boy was I wrong! These needles have made knitting such a dream and are worth their weight in gold. I don’t consider myself a fast knitter, but my stitches glide with ease and I find myself finishing rows quicker than on my polished wooden needles. I highly recommend these, especially when knitting projects that require small needle sizes.
There’s a whole range of tips, cables, and DPNs available at Yarn Market.
4. Point Protectors – If you don’t want your stitches slipping off your needles, you’ve got to have point protectors. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of needles, even ones that work on circulars or DPNs. Plus, who wants a big hole poked in their knitting bag?
I love the cute colors of the Hiya Hiya point protectors, available at Just Yarn.
5. Stitch Markers – When I’m working a pattern with repeats, or maybe I’m adding some waist shaping to a sweater, I have to have stitch markers to let me know when something important needs to be done. I’d be lost without them, and it makes knitting lace patterns a little more bearable!
And again, why settle for boring plastic stitch markers when you can use something cute? I adore these ladybug stitch markers, but maybe you’d prefer their bumble bees or sheep: Lantern Moon Ladybug Stitch Markers