Knitting Series: Unconventional Tools

Let’s talk about knitting accessories.

Every knitter has a set of basic tools that they keep within reach whenever working on a project.

Obviously you have the needles, though some knitters have more than others. Personally, my needle collection is out of control. I have two sets of needles that I purchased on Amazon for cheap when I first got back into knitting, one is DPNs, the other straight. All of those needles absolutely kill my hands and need to be replaced ASAP, but they’re just so convenient that I can’t part with them yet, even though I know I should.

I also have a set of interchangeable Knitter’s Pride Dreamz, which are one of my prized possessions. Those are kept quite separate from the mess that is the rest of my needles, in an effort to keep at least somewhat organized.

Most knitters will carry their project in some kind of project bag.

Personally, I just use this tote bag, though I’ll be on the lookout for a good project bag in the coming Fiber Festival season.

In the project bag we usually also carry a pair of scissors and a tapestry needle, those being essential items for finishing project and weaving in ends.

Now those are the main things, but a lot of people also carry other items, such as stitch markers, cable needles, or progress keepers.

When it comes to creative solutions to unique, knit-specific problems, though, I think most knitters can get quite creative. So I thought I’d share some of the more creative items I’ve used or plan to use as knitting accessories.

First, can you tell what these are? If you guessed reinforcement tabs for keeping hole-punched paper from tearing, you’re half-right! I used these in an emergent once when I realized that I was not going to be able to knit a project without stitch markers, but had left all of mine at home.

These are cloth reinforcement tabs with gummed backs, like the glue on an envelope. I just stuck two of them together and put them between a couple of stitches, and it worked out perfectly!

Now this looks like a much more traditional stitch marker. I’ve seen these for sale at events in a rainbow of colors, but this gold one is actually not intended as a stitch marker.

One of the most common places that I shop for clothes from is Kohl’s, which is a Department store here in the US. One of the brands they carry is Lauren Conrad, and all of her clothes come with a free stitch marker!

Not really, of course. This pin is used to tie the tags onto the clothes. The price tag hangs from a ribbon, and the ribbon is fastened to an interior clothes tag with the pin. But to me, it’s a stitch marker.

Now this one is actually a tip I read online years ago. This little piece of plastic is a bread tag, one of the things they use to keep plastic bread bags (or in my case mostly bagel bags) closed in the store.

These are great to use for excess yarn from a cast on.

You just wrap the excess yarn around the tag, and you don’t risk accidentally starting to knit with the tail. It’s one of my favorite tricks.

This, my friends, is a selection box of tea from David’s Tea, one of my all time favorite tea makers in the world.

They’re a Canadian company, but they have a few location in the US, including Chicago, where I went on my trip for Yarn Con in April.

I am now obsessed with their tea. And as an added bonus, once some of these containers are empty, they’ll make great storage for some of my knitting things! In particular, stitch makers will fit perfectly in these things.

Speaking of David’s Tea, here’s another purchase I made from them, knowing that I’d be able to use it with my knitting.

It was on sale at the branch that I went to in Chicago, and contains a few sachets of their tea. Not only is the saying spot on for me, but it’ll be useful to hold my scissors, cable needles, and tapestry needles.

David’s Tea – looking out for the tea-loving knitter.

These rubber bands I bought years and years ago, back when I was in high school. They’re intended for use in your hair, when you need a super small tie.

I do still use them in my hair occasionally, but mostly they’re used on my knitting needles.

In particular, they’re useful to keep like DPNs together. I’d have random singular DPNs all over the house if it weren’t for these bands, and I’d be losing them constantly.

These are becoming more mainstream, but I do have to give them a quick mention as I finish up this post.

Taylor makes these needle cozies and sells them in her shop, Cat Sock Fibers. They are incredibly useful. They’re for DPNs or circular needles, to keep your project from falling off the ends.

You just put your WIP into the pocket, snap the ends closed. Not only won’t your project fall off the needles, but it’ll keep those particularly small pointy sock needles from poking a hole in your bag.

Ok, that all I have for now! Does anyone else have any unusual item that they use regularly in their knitting? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you in a few days.

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