Tools of the Trade – For Knitters
There are some tools that I must have at hand at all times. There are other tools that must be EXACTLY the way I want them.
Doing it My Way
I’ve seen a lot of tutorials on various techniques in yarn-crafts. Many of them I agree with completely. Others I have my own way of doing.
Weaving in ends is a perfect example.
Most knitters recommend that you use a large, blunt needle with a big eye so you can thread the yarn through the eye and not split the yarn when you weave in your ends.
And if you really want to get fancy with the blunt needle idea, using a longer, blunt needle with a large eye allows you to weave in much longer yarn ends in one needle-length!
But I actually prefer a SHARP needle with a large eye.
Especially when I’m knitting scarves and hats for the crafts shows to sell. I want to make sure the woven in ends are secure and hard to see. I find it works best when I split the yarns that I’m weaving the end into with a sharp needle. It both secures it better and allows me to embed the yarn-end into a less visible furrow of my knitting.
Now, if I could only find a long and sharp needle with a big eye, I’d have the perfect tool!
The Perfect Loom Hook!
But this blog entry idea came about when I broke my favorite tool for my sock machine. It was a small, plastic handled hook that came with one of the flatbed knitting machines I bought years ago. Thaddeus tried to fix it for me by embedding the metal hook into a wooden handle.
The tool on the left is the hook portion of my favorite tool. It had a very similar handle as the white tool. Despite how similar those two tools were, I always preferred the now-broken one. I used it to fixed missed stitches or save dropped stitches on the machine. I also used it to raise needles when knitting a short-row heel or toe. It was just the right size for my hand and for the sock yarns I’d use.
The repair didn’t work, so I switched to the larger white hook. And then to the dental pick tool. But the dental pick would prick the palm of my hand when I held it carelessly. Finally I broke down and bought the two sided loom hook and it is the best of them all right now.
It think it will become the perfect tool once I get used to it. So used to it that I don’t even notice that’s it’s not my broken hook.
Current Knitting Spinning
I’m back up to 4 active projects.
From top to bottom:
Biased Striped Stole – Added on another 10 inches or so. Still not thrilled with the colors, but mostly because they aren’t a colorway I would wear. I think others will like it when it’s finished.
CSM Sock – Finished a sock in a day. Haven’t cast on the second one yet. Using a Madeline Tosh Light Fingering yarn and it knit up beautiful on my machine.
Tommy’s Preferred Blend Spinning – Finished the first bobbin of singles and just barely started the second. I’m trying to work at least an hour a day on spinning.
Tilt Cardigan – Made some progress on the second sleeve. This last sleeve is going to be a real slog, but I’m still hopeful to finish it before the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat in May.
I usually gravitate to the more enjoyable project…which would that be for you?
5 comments on “Tools of the Trade – For Knitters”
Like you, I usually have three to four projects going at once, of various levels of complexity. Sometimes I just want mindless knitting like your scarf, for times when I am with my knitting group or watching TV. Another may need an implement of some kind, like your spinning and socks, or is too large to carry around easily. Finally, I almost always have a complex, mind bending colorwork, cable or lace project for times of intense focus and concentration, like your sweater. Each has a purpose. Usually the most enjoyable project is the one closest to being finished so I can start anew!
Thanks Lou…that succinctly and exactly describes my overall philosophy on multiple types of projects.
I love that little wooden needle case you have. Am definitely going to look for one.
Thanks Ron…I love the wooden needle case too…so much better than the plastic suppositories they call Chibis!
This is a secret, so don’t tell, but all the workshop coordinators at the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat in May will be getting one as part of their thank-you gift.
Lucky guys !!!!