Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What knit and crochet tools do you need?

I have a ton of knit and crochet accessories. I love all the little gadgets and tools. I think they’re fantastic, but I don’t think they’re all necessary. I’ll tell you what I have, what I don’t, and what you already have that you can use instead. 

Things you need:
  • Crochet hooks or knitting needles. I suggest having a variety of sizes of each. I get new ones whenever I need them for a new project, and now I have a good assortment of each. I find it helpful to look at the suggestions on the yarn label for gauge. 

Things that are helpful to buy, but not necessary:
  • Yarn: I like to buy it, but if you have old t-shirts or fabric or a  couple of sheep handy, you can make your own.
  • Stitch counter: I love the convenience, but you can use tick marks on paper. There are also digital examples, but I don’t always want my computer out when I’m knitting. 

  • Stitch markers: I like the convenience and variety of commercially available ones, but you can use little loops of spare contrast yarn, paper clips, safety pins, or other things like that. I like to have a good variety. Sometimes different markers are used to mean different things in one piece. 

  • Cable needles: you can use safety pins, double pointed needles, other yarn, or sometimes even your fingers. 

  • Yarn needle: sometimes I find a crochet hook easier for weaving in ends, but not always. 

  • Stitch holders: I use some needles I’m not using. I have some double pointed needles that are helpful or some really long skinny ones that are easy to transfer stitches to or from. I hear you can also use yarn, but I think that would be tricky.
  • Point protectors: these are great for keeping your work on your needles when you walk away. You could probably use rubber bands wrapped around several times, erasers you stick on the ends of your pencil, or rubber pencil grips if the size is right. 

Things you need that probably already have:
  • A tape measure for making your own patterns and measuring gauge
  • Scissors for cutting yarn, I keep my swiss army knife handy. 

  • Calculator for making patterns, but pencil and paper is just as good. 
  • A place to store all your yarn and supplies. I have a children’s toy chest from Ikea complete with plush lock. I keep my yarn in plastic baggies to keep them from tangling, unraveling, and getting dirty. I have a drawer near my workspace (couch) to keep needles and the other above supplies handy. 
  • A tote bag for taking your projects with you. Why not make yourself one? 

Pattern to come

  • Computer access: the internet is a crucial resource for knitting and crochet help and inspiration. 
That's about all I use on a regular basis. I'm sure there are things I forgot. Don't be intimidated if you don't have all the right tools. It's easy to improvise. 

Happy knitting!

Hello World

I'm dipping my toe into the world of craft blogging. I moved into a new apartment in a new state with a new husband (my first, but I liked the repetition). I don't have a job at the moment, but I'm working on it. If anybody sees this and has any leads, drop me a line. I've been crocheting for a long time, knitting for a couple of years, and crafty for as long as I can remember. My most recent bout of creativity was brought on while trying to decorate the apartment on a very tight budget. To help me accomplish this, I turned to the wide world of the internet for inspiration. Now I think it's time for me to try to return the favor.

I'll try to post patterns for things I knit and crochet whenever possible. I've been a vegetarian for half my life and now my husband (who eats meat, but is very tolerant of tofu) and I almost always eat in, so if I come up with a new recipe or idea, I'll share. I might also link to other blogs I love from time to time. Please, if you're out there, show me things you've made or blogs you like. I'm always looking for tips and ideas. If you have any questions, post comments or email me and I'll share my ideas and experience whenever I can. I'll try to post pictures too whenever applicable. If there are things you want to see, I'll always take suggestions.

Things to come:

  • I'm currently in the process of knitting my first sweater. I'll post my pattern and some process pics soon. 
  • I made a felted bag recently. It was my first felting project, and I love the way it turned out. I'll post my pattern (and things I'd do differently next time) soon.