March 09, 2012

The Knitting Essentials

With Pinterest around, knitting has become the hot new thing to do again and I LOVE IT!  Knitting is so satisfying and a great way to relieve stress. Also, it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something while I'm sitting around, especially if you're like me and you spend many a night in front of the boob tube.  I was doing just that the other night when a thought crossed my mind.  How are knitters supposed to get started and know what they need?  I have a "kit" that stays with me any time I pick up my needles and I would be lost without it.  It carries absolutely everything I could ever need while working on a project besides my yarn and needles.  I'm still working on finding a pretty case for it, but in the meantime I'm using an old pencil case that I've probably had since middle school. 

What's in it, you ask?  Let me tell you! 

  • Various shapes, types and colors of stitch markers - Some are the locking kind, some are not.  It wasn't until recently that I really appreciated having such a variety.  If you have several different patterns going in a project, the different colors can help keep it all straight.  While the locking stitch markers are great for keeping track of row increases and decreases, or marking a specific spot in your project.
  • Various sizes of stitch holders - These are a must for sweaters and mittens.  These recently came in handy over the holidays when I was whipping up socks like I was in a sweat shop.  I ran out of a color and needed to order more but I had no time to waste and had to keep moving, so I put my socks on a small stitch holder which freed up my needles so I could start another pair in the mean time.
  • Scissors - An absolute must.
  • Various sizes of darning needles - Thinner needles for thinner yarns and thicker needles for thicker yarns.
  • Nail file and nail clippers - There is nothing worse than snagging a nail on one of your projects and not having the right tools to fix it.  
  • Lotion - Having dry, cracked hands and working with wool sucks.
  • Row counter - I have one in my kit and a free app installed on my phone too.  I would hate life without one.
  • Various sizes of cable needles
  • Various sizes of crochet hooks - I'm really not good at crocheting but these things are great if you drop stitches.  You can probably find some at a garage sale for cheap.
  • A pencil and Sharpie - Sometimes you need to write on a pattern.  And I love me a Sharpie.
  • Retractable tape measure - It doesn't have to be retractable, but things can get messy quickly if it's not.
  • Chapstick - Because I'm addicted.  If I don't have some within a 5 foot radius of me at all times, I freak out a little.

Am I missing anything?  When it comes to knitting, what can't you live without?