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Handy Tools

September 26, 2010

Knitters like tools. We use them to create, to rewind, to manage, and to repair our knitting. Knitting tools can be traditional, such as knitting needles and ball winders, and non-traditional, such as paper clips and sticky notes. Whatever you decide to use, as long as it works, ought to be added to your knitterly tool kit.

My top 5 list of handy tools includes:

  1. Susan Bates’ Handy Tool: This little gem is knitting needle like on one end and has a crochet hook tip on the other. I’ve used it to pick up dropped stitches, manage cable stitches, and even hold stitches on smaller projects. It is an indispensible member of my knitters tool box.
  2. Sticky Notes:
    Is there a knitter alive today who doesn’t have a good supply of sticky notes in their knitting bag? My supply includes various sizes and colours. They are fantastic chart markers, excellent note savers, and even serve as page markers in pattern books. They are easily found at any office supply store and are offered as tabs, notes, and some are pre-lined.
  3. Paper Clips: I am reminded by a question posed at a seminar I was involved in: “Have you repurposed a paper clip today?” We all know their original use is to hold papers together, but they also serve a knitterly purpose as well. This handy little office supply is filled with innovation. It can be converted to a stitch marker. It can serve as a key to tighten the tips of Knit Picks’ Interchangeable Harmony Needles. It can, when straightened, pick up a dropped stitch. A paper clip can even hold stitches and serve as a cable needle in a pinch.
  4. Traditional Stitch Markers:
    Have you ever considered making your own stitch markers. This activity is a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon and provides you with a creative outlet to let your knitterly personality shine.
  5. Traditional tools of the trade: This includes, scissors, measuring aids, stitch holders, needles, darning needles, at least one crochet hook, a ball winder and swift.  There are many others, but we all know about them already.

There you have it. These are my top 5 favourite tools in my knitterly tool kit. Most items can be found at your local yarn store (LYS) or stationary store. Some can even be found in the dollar store. But most can often be found in your desk drawer. I hope you take a new look at one of your favourite items and imagine just how versatile it truly can be. With a little thought and ingenuity almost anything can have a knitterly purpose as it truly is ALL about the yarn!

What are your favourite traditional knitterly aids or tools?

Have you re-purposed other items that are useful in your knitterly pursuits?

Is there a tool that you absolutely cannot live without?

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