I love a ‘top’ list so as I’m starting to do a bit of craft sorting at the moment it seems like a great opportunity to go through some of my tools and share my particular favourites.
I suppose we should start with the main tools of the trade and talk needles. I’ve tried a few different kinds over the years. I started out with Pony needles and made my way through various kinds. I found the aluminium ones too slippy and the bamboo ones too grippy and I was always splitting the yarn with them. The plastic ones seemed like a good compromise but they just didn’t feel right, I think it was the lack of clicking! Then I tried the KnitPro Karbonz and I fell in love. The metal tips are sharp and slippy enough that they glide through yarn without splitting it but the carbon fibre shafts are grippy enough to prevent the stitches sliding off. They feel ‘warm’ and pleasing to knit with and I love the flexibility of interchangeable needles. The Box of Joy is just that!
Continuing the needle theme the only other needles I use regularly are these Addi CraSyTrio needles. I’ve tried various needles for socks and these are my favourite. Like the Karbonz these combine what I want from sock needles: they aren’t as fiddly as dpns and I don’t have to keep pulling the cable through and rearranging stitches like I do with circulars. The short cable keeps them flexible and not as slippery as metal dpns. I’m also less likely to lose one on the go (or down the sofa).
I’m a sucker for stitch markers and I have a range of stitch markers of various kinds: some nerd themed, others beaded, a smattering of Christmas themed ones, and even one of Elizabeth I’s ‘spymaster’ Sir Francis Walsingham. But these simple metal ring stitch markers are my favourites from a practical perspective. They’re completely smooth so they don’t snag, there are no fiddly bits to get in the way when I’m moving yarn back and forth when knitting and purling, and they have just enough of a pop of colour to keep them interesting. There’s also a bonus cute stitch marker in each tin. I have three or four of these but can usually only put my hands on a few at a time so hopefully I’ll track the others down during this sort out!
These blocking mats and pins from KnitIQ have revolutionised my finishing. I’m not the best finisher (sometimes literally, I’ve had stuff on the needles for years!) but these mats are excellent. The grids really help with shaping the garment, the pins slide in and out of the matting easily and the little case they come in makes tidying them away a breeze even for me. I no longer have to borrow Dylan’s rabbit flooring when I need to block things!
And last but not least is this two at a time sock project bag from QuincePie. I love the fact that the divider is a zippered pocket so that you can keep your bits and pieces separate from your yarns, something I find really helpful when knitting two at a time socks as I usually get all sorts tangled up in the yarn. The addition of a couple of clips for feeding the two separate yarns through keeps everything really tidy, and they come in a range of really cute fabrics. I don’t knit two at a time very often as I find it too fiddly but this really is a great bag
So that’s me and my top five, what would you recommend?
7 thoughts on “Tools of the Trade: My Top Five Knitting Tools”
I am in agreement with you on the KnitPro needles, although I’ve also become a fan of the Knitter’s Pride DPNs (not sure if you can get those in the UK or not?). Ditto for those great basic stitch markers and the blocking board squares. I have an ancient ball-winder that I probably should replace but it works and I’ve become attached to it so maybe it will be upgraded but not anytime soon!
I think Knitter’s Pride put out the same needles in the UK under the KnitPro label but I could be wrong. I have some Zing DPNs which I think are common to both and I love the pop of colour but I do find them a bit too slippy. I’ve been considering adding a ball winder to the mix, do you find you use it a lot? It would certainly save me from a lot of tangles.
Oh I love that project bag for TAAT socks. I have KnitPro symphony but a small collection of some regularly used Lykke needles, they aren’t super sharp but they are more grippy than metal and smoother than bamboo. I like the sound of your when you need sharp needles for a project though.
I like the Symphony needles too, although with house rabbits wooden needles don’t always last long!
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Haha I had house rabbits, they chewed all the book bindings and skirting boards, through a telephone wire without me minding but when they chewed through my ex-husband’s shoes they became outside rabbits…I should have known then he wasn’t the right husband for me 😂
😂 rabbits are helpful like that. Dylan isn’t much of a nibbler but the others have been terrible.
What a freaking great idea for the two at a time sock bag!!!