Knitting is trendy these days. It is an addictive craft. Most of the people that quit knitting, do it during their first project. Once you overcome the first obstacle, chances are you will be knitting for a long time. While it takes only a set of needles and hank of yarn to get started, as you progress you will be needing a variety of knitting accessories.
I often talk about knitting as my meditation method. But knitting is much more than that. And I am not talking about common truths. It is creative and calming. It’s good for your health. You make something on your own. You create something unique and so on, blah, blah. Yes, knitting is all of that. You love knitting for all these reasons, but they will not make you addicted to it.
- 1 Essential Knitting Tools
- 2 Needles
- 3 Accessories and Extras
- 4 Conclusion
Essential Knitting Tools
I think that the magic of knitting comes out of its dual nature. Knitting can be simple, and it can be complex. It is just a craft, or it could be art. Most of the times it is calming, but it can get frustrating. It is not a team activity, yet you will often team up with others. Knitting can save you some money, or it can cost you a fortune.
Actually, the reasons why we fall in love with knitting may be different for every person. However, we all love to get some new yarns and all kinds of accessories. Some of the accessories are necessary tools. Especially if you want to take on some new projects or master new techniques. Others are more of a joy than a necessity. Not to say that they are not helpful.
So, let’s see some of the knitting essentials as well as useful accessories.
This is the basic form of needles. Straight needles come in different lengths. These needles can be made of plastic, aluminum, wood, or bone. They are great for small and flat projects like scarves, dishcloths, and similar things. However, they can be uncomfortable for larger projects as you hold most of the weight of the project
A tapestry needle is a sewing needle with a blunt tip and a large eye. A large eye can accommodate thicker thread. Tapestry needles come in different sizes as well. The large ones will accommodate even the bulky yarn. The tip of the tapestry needle is blunt to avoid damaging the fabric or yarn. They are used for weaving in the ends, sewing seams and joining two pieces together.
Circular needles are actually two pointed needles that are connected with a flexible cord. They are suitable for larger projects. These needles can hold more stitches. Circular needles are way more comfortable than straight needles as the cord holds the weight of your knitting. They come in different sizes with different cord lengths.
There are fixed and interchangeable circular needle sets. Fixed circular needles have a single cord length for each set of needles. Interchangeable come in sets of different sizes and lengths of both needles and cords that can be connected to each other. It is useful to have a set of interchangeable circular needles to suit any project.
These needles are straight, short and, as the name suggests, pointed on both ends. They are an excellent choice for knitting socks, a crown of the hat or any other small project joined in the round. These needles are small and lightweight. They are a bit risky as stitches can easily slip off of the needle. It takes some practice to become proficient, but it is worth it.
The cable needle is a sort of short double-pointed needle with a kink in the middle of it. They are used to form cables by holding stitches to the front or back of the work, as you knit.
A flexible measuring tape comes handy to check out the length of your work. This is a must when you make things in pairs like sleeves or mitts.
Stitch markers slip on your needles between the stitches to mark particular points in a row. You can use them as reminders for pattern changes, to count rows, or to hold dropped stitches until you can fix them. Make sure you have plenty of these as they get lost quite easily.
A stitch holder looks like a large safety pin. And basically, that’s what it is. It holds a section of your work safely to prevent unraveling, while you work on another section. Stitch holders are helpful if you want to put aside unfinished project as well.
Accessories and Extras
Crochet hooks can be helpful for many things apart from crocheting. You can use them to pick up dropped stitches. Crochet hook works great for beaded knitting, too. You can also use it for provisional cast on.
Yarn guides make stranded colorwork easy. It keeps two different colors separated so that they don’t get tangled. Yarn guide will help you to keep the appropriate tension as a bonus.
While some people think that the yarn threader is not the necessity, there is no doubt that it is helpful. Especially if you are working with tricky fibers it will come very handy.
Yarn bobbins allow you to pull yarn easier. They are particularly helpful for complicated intarsia or fair isle knitting projects. Colorwork gets easier with them, too. Finally, you can use them to store yarn scraps.
Point protectors or needle caps are an indispensable part of your knitting kit. They will protect your needle points from wear and tear. Beside protection they allow you to safely move your unfinished project without fearing that your stitches will drop off. They can also transform a double pointed needle into a straight needle if needed.
Some needles don’t have markings. To figure out the measures of your needle you will need a needle gauge. This ruler has the most common sizes of holes to fit and measure your needles. Always by one that can measure your gauge swatch as well.
Row counter actually stands for a number of different devices. Some of them are digital, others are mechanical. Some of them will fit on your needle, others will fit on your finger. Anyway, they will all do the same thing, keep the track of which row you are on in a knitting pattern. While it is not necessary for some simple projects, it is vital for some other complex projects.
If you wind your balls of yarn by hand at home, you will find both yarn swift and yarn winder miraculous. Actually, they usually don’t come together, but if you have one you will want the other, too. They really make the winding simple and fast work. Not only that it is fast, but it also prevents stretching out that might occur when you wind the ball of yarn by hand and let it sit for a long time. Once you tried it, you will never wind by hand again.
There are so many items used for knitting and they all come in different sizes and shapes. It is hard to keep them all tidy, neat and organized. Needle case will allow you to keep your needles in perfect order. Knitting bags come in all sizes and shapes to suit anybody’s needs. I prefer large multi-pocketed bags to fit everything you need for the running project.
A wool wash kit will make you feel relaxed when you wash your knit for the first time. Wool washing kits will preserve fibers while removing stains and odors.
Once you enter the world of knitting it seems like there is no turning back. A variety of projects that you can take is almost limitless. With modern technologies, particularly through the Internet, knitting is spreading and evolving. Knitters from all over the world share experiences and different techniques. It is actually very nice to witness that new advanced technologies revive and support traditional skills, instead of pushing them into oblivion.
When it comes to knitting accessories it is hard to decide which of them are quite essential and which are not. Whenever you improve your skills a need for new extras emerges. Whenever you master a new discipline or new technique, you need new additions. So, it depends on your skill and ambition. In this article, I have covered some extras which are used most often. That should be quite enough for starters. When you come to the stage that it is not enough for you, you will know what you need by yourself.
Along with new popularity, goes the development of all kinds of accessories, and supplementing items. There is a great market for sewing and knitting tools and materials. Actually, a vast array of the most different materials and tools is easier to get than ever. However, most of the trends come and go. As for the knitting, it is a pretty safe bet that it is here to stay.