everything you need to know about knitting & crocheting tools/extras

Two weeks ago I posted “everything you need to know about crochet hooks” and last week we learned “everything you need to know about knitting needles.” This info is also from 2011 and is permanently available in the menu bar but I thought it worth revisiting!

extras for knitting and crocheting

stitch markers

Stitch markers have been unnecessary in every crochet pattern I’ve ever attempted — a scrap piece of yarn marks your spot just as well and doesn’t cost you extra.  They’re much more useful in knitting, at least for me.  They do make markers that look like jewelry if you just want to look pretty, like the glass beaded ones in the tin above.

needles

OK so you do need sewing needles to sew the ends of your yarn into your project.  Just make sure you find some with big enough eyes for your yarn.  The big ones are called tapestry needles.  If you want to get organized you can get a metal magnetic tin for your needles and stitch markers, as seen above.

scissors

Duh.

measuring tape

A cute one is always fun, like the Cath Kidston retractable one above.

needle/hook sizer

Useful if all of your needles or hooks aren’t clearly marked with their size.  The Susan Bates one above is also good for checking knitting gauge!

thread cutter pendants

These thread cutters hang from a necklace so can be kept with you at all times, and they’re very handy.  I totally had to get one because it’s more convenient than digging around for my scissors, and it’s just awesome!  Even works on thicker yarns.  I got the Clover brand.

row counter ring

These are so handy!  Mine is handmade by a woman on Etsy (click here for more info).

wire yarn stranding guide

This ring is specifically for when you are knitting with more than 1 color/ball of yarn at once.  It helps keep the tangles at bay and can be found cheap.

beads (not pictured)

It can be fun to add beads to your crocheted work, but unless the pattern calls for it, I’d stay away from beading!  When you’re crocheting you have to put all your beads for the project on the yarn before you start, because there’s no way to add them as you go along (unless you tie them on with sewing thread or something, but who wants to do that?).  That means you have to count EXACTLY how many beads you will need and TRIPLE check that you’ve put that number of beads on the yarn before starting.

sewing scissors acquisition

My parents and I went to one of my favorite antique malls yesterday up in Charlotte, NC. They got me a fantastic vintage 9″ pink Pyrex pie plate and also some [presumably] vintage sewing scissors!

20140726-213716-77836967.jpg

I don’t know exactly how old they are but they look awesome and they’re REALLY sharp.

Something about having pretty crochet/knitting tools just makes the whole process just a tad more indulgent (kind of like a really expensive and luxurious skein of yarn), don’t you think?

What are some of your special tools? Have any antique hooks or needles, or maybe a really cool measuring tape? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

new KnitPicks items

I took advantage of the sale KnitPicks had last week, offering a free skein of their new Wool of the Andes Superwash with any order.  I got the bluish-grey shade, Cadet:

knitpicks wool of the andes superwash in cadet

At $3.49 per 50g/110yd, I’m not sure I’d actually purchase this.  I suppose it’s still a good deal for superwash wool… what do you think?  Well, it’s still 100% wool and thus not the softest yarn I’ve used.  Not sure I’d want this as a hat or scarf.  I don’t really know what to do with this single skein; any suggestions?  Since it was free, I can’t complain.

The items that I ordered so that I could get the free yarn are ones that I think will be very useful:

knitpicks new tools

I do love KnitPicks’ needles, and I didn’t have any that were 16″.  The 16″ needles are my favorite way to make hats, and 7 is a common size.  It’s too bad that the 16″ cables aren’t available for the interchangeable set that I have, but it is what it is.  It’s worth purchasing the 16″ needles, I think.  The coiled wire thing next to the needles in the image above is a wire yarn stranding guide, supposed to be handy for colorwork.  Unfortunately it is too big to fit on my finger the way it does on the hand model in the picture on their site, but if I slide it further down my finger it will be fine.  I’ll just have to adjust my knitting angles, I suppose, because I do intend to use it.

That’s all for today, I suppose.  Nothing too exciting.  Well, thanks for stopping by!

favorite stuff & online shopping

For both crocheting and knitting, I have come to regard some particular items as special favorites.  I want to share with you in case you may be looking for something similar!  I’ll start off with basic tools:

toolsMy lavender lotion bar is AMAZING in both smell and feel.  Check out the Lavishea website!  I mean, you need to take care of your hands that do so much work to make such lovely things!  Also, my Westcott sewing scissors that were given to me by my mom are the best — they’ve stayed sharp since I started crocheting all those years ago and the handles are nice and comfy.  The Cath Kidston tape measure I’ve shown you before, I know, but it bears looking at it again because it’s so darn cute!  Can’t get it on the US website though — you have to go to England!

susan bates hooksThese are my favorite metal hooks, and ironically they were gifted me by my horrible ex’s mother.  They’re old Susan Bates hooks, I believe (although they don’t actually have a brand name on them), sizes H-8 (5mm) and J-10 (6mm).  I use the H hook for everything possible.  Now I actually have some hook sets that my great grandmother owned, and those of course are my real favorites, but I don’t use those much because I’m scared of losing them.  There’s a regular set and a tiny steel hook set, and they mean a lot to me.

brittany hooksThese Brittany wooden hooks are my favorite wooden ones because of the actual hook shape and the fancy ends!  Pictured are D-3 (3.25mm) and J-10 (6mm).  I haven’t found these in the States either, and I only recently found them available online at Deramores.  I think I’ll be getting more of these soon!

newhook1This older, square, discolored picture shows a lovely antique hook made of bone.  It’s size E-4 (3.5mm).  Small but gorgeous!

knitting toolsThese are my favorite knitting tools — Brittany knitting needles and cable needles are available in the US, and I love these cable needles.  This is also the only pretty handmade stitch marker I’ve got, so I love it!

straightsEven though I don’t use straight needles too much since I’ve got a lovely circular set that does the job, I do love these cute ChiaoGoo ones!  Yes, they’re bamboo, but they’ve held up pretty well so far.  I don’t even like cats that much (I mean they’re great, but they make me sneeze) but these are so cute!

I got a couple of extras, like extra cables, ID tags, and cable joins.And of course my favorite circular knitting needles are my KnitPicks Sunstruck interchangeable needles!  These are the same as the KnitPro Harmony needles, for those of you in Europe.  These are awesome because, as I’ve said many times before, they have such nice sharp points and they don’t split on me like the bamboo circulars do.

And as far as DPNs, I just ordered the KnitPicks Sunstruck 6″ DPN Set — I know already that they’ll be my favorite!  I know I’m short on cash and I should probably have waited for these, but these will be worth it.  I’m going to use them for some Christmas ornaments that I’m going to give as Christmas gifts this year!  Of course that means I also bought the Christmas book by Arne & Carlos from KnitPicks as well, so I can get started.  (After my dad bought me the Easter Knits book by them, I’ve been astounded that I hadn’t heard of them before and I’m really excited about their stuff!)  I still need the yarn for the Christmas ornaments, but it will be cheap yarn, and overall it will save us A LOT of money on gifts this year!  I’ll just have to wait a bit longer on the yarn…

In my KnitPicks order I also tossed in two balls of Dishie Multi Yarn in Cottage (25849), just because it’s absolutely gorgeous and cheerful and it’ll make some great washcloths or dishcloths that I can also use as gifts!  It’s not the softest cotton but that’s why it’s designed for things that get wet all the time and take a lot of wear.  Here’s the colorway:

I spent a good bit, but at least I qualified for free shipping… It was a bit of an impulse buy…  I’m sorry, Mom.  😦  As hard as it is to believe, I actually am getting better… Ugh, now I feel all guilty!  I really do shop smart, though — the DPN set saves money when compared to buying them all separately, and getting the book from a US distributor saved me money there, too!  And the yarn’s not really expensive, either.  Look at me, trying to justify my shopping.  I guess I should have just waited until I had more money to spend, even though they’re all great buys.  *sigh*

Anyway, I feel like I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll sign off for now.  I know I said I’d hold off on the posts but I’ve still got 7 more topics to post about, not counting any projects I’m working on.  Thanks for stopping by!  I’m sure I’ll break down and post again within the next few days, so check back soon!

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