Two weeks ago I wrote about my knitting tool bag. This got me thinking. What items are actually absolutely essential for a knitter? I set myself the challenge of picking the five tools I absolutely could not be without.
Now, I’m not including needles (or yarn) in this list. Obviously, they’re by far the most essential tool there is, but that makes it such an obvious choice that I didn’t want to waste one list item on them. Call me a cheat if you want.
The whole point of knitting is to make a fabric out of a continuous string of yarn, but eventually (inevitably) there comes the moment where the yarn needs to be cut. You’ll need scissors for that. Of course, there’s other tools for the job, like knives, or fancy yarn cutters, but some scissors are the most straightforward option and probably the most versatile too.
- Tapestry Needle
Once you’ve cut the yarn, you will have to (unfortunately, many would say), weave in the ends. For this, a blunt tipped tapestry needle is essential. Same story if you need to do and grafting or seaming (another job so many knitters just hate love to do!The tapestry needle will also come in handy when you’re putting in lifelines. And I’ve used it as an emergency cable needle. And as an alternative to a crochet hook when I had none handy when I dropped a stitch. So there you have it. A tapestry needle
- Crochet Cotton
If you’ve seen my post on my knitting tool bag, you will have noticed I always have a skein of 4ply crochet cotton with me. It’s such versatile stuff. I use it for provisional cast-ons, lifelines, stitch holders (another use for the tapestry needle there!), but also cut small bits off (with my scissors!) to make little loops which serve as stitch markers. And on the topic of stitch markers, I know there’s plenty of fancy ones around. But I personally prefer my little loops of crochet cotton. For one, I don’t mind if I lose them, which I eventually will. But also, they don’t get in the way as other stitch markers tend to do, you can make them as small or big as you like, and because I always have my skein of cotton and my scissors, I always have as many stitch markers as I could possibly need.
- Ruler & Needle Gauge
Okay, I’m probably cheating here, but the fact is that I love my Knitter’s Pride (Knit Pro) needle gauge and ruler. And it’s only one item. I really wouldn’t be without this one. Perfect for checking gauge on pieces of knitting, and finding out what size my needles are.Of course, in an ideal world I carry a tape measure as well, but if I had to pick only one, I might just go for that little piece of Knitter’s Pride plastic.
- Notebook and pen
I always, always, carry a notebook with me. Of course, I don’t only use it for knitting related things, but I struggle to see how I could possibly knit without having somewhere to scribble down notes, row counts, modifications and other thoughts on the pattern. Admittedly, I am a bit of a scatterbrain, and it’s entirely possible other people can manage to keep track of these things without the need of writing them down. In addition, these days my notes often take a digital form, but given the choice between them, I’d still go for the old fashioned notebook each time.
So there it is. My five knitting essentials. I expect other knitters might have very different opinions, but these are mine. How about you?