March 28, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things - Part 1

When I am knitting or teaching a class, I always have my zippered pencil case with all my helpful tools with me.  Over time some things in it have proved helpful and some have proved invaluable.

Recently I had a woman take my class because she was having problems with some quilt blocks which are basically knit and purl patterns.  I quickly shared two of my favorite tools and it changed her life - a row counter and post it notes.  I showed her how the row counter will keep her honest and by using a post it note on the pattern she can guide her eye to the row she is working on very easily.  From the look on her face you would have thought I was the Einstein of knitting...a total "aha" moment for her.

So this prompted me to share with you a few of my favorite tools I use daily:

Clover Row Counter - also known as the Mini Kacha Kacha.  I prefer this one to the red one as it has a lock on it (little fingers and even teenage fingers like to play with these things).  It also has a little hole where you can thread through a string and attach it to your project or even better if you have several floating around you run some of the yarn that is for the project it is used for and it will let you know which one goes with which project.

Susan Bates Handi Tool - this one is a newer addition to my bag of tricks.  If I encounter a stitch I've dropped just the row before, I don't use this tool as it is an easy fix.  BUT if I have to drop down several rows (and do something wild like rework a 4 stitch cable), then this tool is a lifesaver.

Chibi Needles are a must - I have all of them but recently purchased this set and find they are the ones I reach for the most.  The bent tips let you grab stitches and really are helpful when doing the mattress stitch.  I have also been using them while weaving - they are great for hemstitching!

Try It On Tubing - I've talked about this stuff rocks when you are doing a seamless knit and want to try it on.  I've also used it for hats that I'm knitting on a 16" circular and want to try on.  It is available here.  Don't get the 1 yard - go for the 2 yard and get both sizes.

Clover Triangle Stitch Markers - For years I used the round stitch markers and when I started working at my LYS I discovered these triangle shaped ones.  They are wonderful!  They come in all sizes but I mostly have the pink and green ones for size 6-8 needles.  Stitch markers not only mark the beginning of a round but I also use them as reminders for my fingers that I need to do something different. For example when I was making my son's blanket, I had one at each section so I could remind myself to look down and do what stitch was necessary.  I also put them where increases need to happen on a shawl center stitch or if I have a border stitch section they are used there.

I have more tools I want to share with you - stay tuned!

1 comment:

Tall Cottage Thoughts said...

I'm with you on most of these though I've not heard of the tubing. I like the Chibi bent tips but I also use plastic and a couple metal needles in different sizes. My Clover locking stitch counter I couldn't be without and I strung mine and wear it as a necklace. A pencil case? Good idea for traveling. I also agree with needing to pick up a dropped stitch; I've gone down a many as thirteen-fifteen ladders. Thanks for posting this and I look forward to Part II.