746.43

KANDCBW2013For day 6 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week the challenge is to write about a tool we love. I’m not sure this classifies as a tool, but I do love it, and it comes in very handy.

totebag

A knitting project tote bag for a librarian! This is big enough for a big project like a sweater, so I can keep things organized at home and I can still take it along to a knit night or to work for some lunchtime knitting in the park. It’s currently holding my cable sweater and it’s even big enough to pack the spare skeins of yarn.

I also have a couple of small Ravelry project bags which are great for things like socks, and another large tote bag — really a book bag — that was a souvenir from the Strand Bookshop in New York.

There are a couple of other really useful little tools and most all of them seem to be made by Clover in Japan. I wasn’t a knitter the last time we went to Japan, so it will be a whole new perspective next time we visit. Japan has entire department stores like Tokyu Hands devoted to handicrafts so I can’t wait to see what knitting goodies await. For now, I’ll have to make do with these…

toolsAt the top, stitch holders in two sizes with closed ends so your stitches can’t fall off. Brilliant and essential! There really is nothing worse than putting the neckline stitches for your sweater on hold only to find when you come to pick them up later that a couple have dropped off the needle.

Those hook shaped cable needles are also great, there’s no way your stitches can slip off and you can always tell which direction your row should be facing.

The green stitch counter was recommended to me by a seasoned knitter who had suffered a knitting disaster when her counter clicked over a couple of rows in her bag and she didn’t notice — this little green frog shaped one has a lock.

I find the locking stitch markers more versatile than the closed ones because you can just pin them on your work as well as using them on the needles. If I just need to mark the end of the round I tend to just pin them a couple of rows below the needles, easier than slipping closed markers which always seem to pop off and roll away. They’re also useful for quickly rescuing a dropped stitch, especially if you’re away from home and mightn’t have the right tools to hand — you can pin the dropped stitch safely so it can’t do any more damage.

The blue finger yarn guide tool actually is, I think, my only Clover tool failure. It’s supposed to be for stranded colour work knitting to strand multiple yarns over one finger, but I didn’t find it helped at all and it was easier learning to strand with yarn in both hands instead.

And finally, something that I don’t have but I do covet… a wooden yarn swift as described on Eskimimi’s blog. I did buy a cheap plastic and metal yarn swift and ball winder on eBay but the ball winder broke the first time I tried to use it and the plastic top snapped off the swift. There is a lesson there about investing in quality, so I headed off to Morris & Sons in Melbourne after that and bought a Japanese made Royal ball winder which has worked perfectly since.

I’m still using my cheap plastic and metal yarn swift, but maybe my Mr Awesome will get me a beautiful wooden one for Christmas?

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5 responses to “746.43

  1. 1) That tote is phenomenal! I. Love. It.
    2) That swift is absolutely gorgeous! It is definitely going on my long-term wish list! I have a wooden tabletop swift that I actually found at an estate sale. When I asked how much, the gentleman in charge said, “I’ll sell it to your for $1 if you can tell me what it is.” It’s not really special, but it does the trick!

    • Hi Sarah, the tote bag is fab isn’t it!? There seem to be a lot of knitting librarians. And lucky, lucky finding a bargain wooden yarn swift! Mine does the job, although it is definitely not an object of beauty. It does amuse the dogs though…

      • I am not a librarian, but my sister is! I do spend a lot of time at our library – a good local library was actually a requirement for my husband & I had when house-hunting – we literally drove around looking at houses & stopped in at the libraries in the same trip!

        As for the swift, it is also funny that I now know the family that moved into the house where I bought it and the matriarch is a knitter!

  2. Yes you project bag is definitely a tool and well worth a mention – I love the dewy-decimal reference!
    I too use the locking stitch markers for dropped stitches. They’re also useful to mark the front of your work for those patterns where it’s not that obvious.
    🙂

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