New Knitting Tools

I enjoy getting new tools, but not quite as much as I enjoy finding new ways to use something as a tool.  Recently, Lindsey at Chronicles of Yarnia, shared a new, desperation tool idea: bobby pin as darning needle.

I also have one of my own, I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this but both women in my fair isle class commented on this so I thought it worth sharing: old pantyhose as yarn “bras”.


It is pretty simple really, just cut a pair of pantyhose (or tights) into 2 tubes long enough to cover your center-pull yarn ball or cake. As you use the yarn it will compress into a smaller, but not overly compact, ball. I did this to both keep neat yarn balls and to keep my two colors from getting too tangled while I wrestled with fair isle for the first time. I’ve only tried this with 50 gram balls of yarn so far but am guessing that as long as you cut the tube long enough to trade length for width it would work with 100 gram balls too.

December 12, 2009. Tags: , . Knitting, Solutions. Leave a comment.

Very Little Counting Needed

Maybe some knitters count a lot – I don’t, to the amazement of my non-knitting family (they don’t knit but everyone seems to recall the “knit 1, purl 1” mantra). Frankly I have a hard time counting to 10 without getting distracted (5 seems to be my limit). Luckily stitch markers are wonderful visual aids (I marked ever 7 stitch repeat on my February Lady Sweater).  Instead of counting “knit 11, knit 2 together, knit 11, knit 2 together….” followed up by “knit 10, knit 2 together…” I count once, place stitch markers in the appropriate place, double check my counting and then decrease merrily along with the “knit until 2 stitches before marker, knit 2 together” method.  I don’t have to manually count – my eyes just automatically/immediately know where to decrease (I use coil-less safety pins to mark rows, first every two and then every 10).  Generally this works great, but for some reason I was having issues remembering if I was doing a decrease round or plain round while knitting the current hat.

Enter the “plain round” extra stitch marker.
Grandpas Hat

The brown marker is the beginning of a round.  Once I’ve completed a decrease round I slip the pink marker on right next to the brown marker.  Knit as usual.  Once I’ve completed the plain round I remove the pink stitch marker.  This way if I walk away from my work I just need to look for the pink stitch marker – if it is there I knit plain, if it isn’t I knit the 2 stitches before each marker together.

Maybe every other knitter has already thought of this – but I thought I’d mention it just in case as I learn a lot of little things here and there from fellow knitters.

(This is the hat I started last week for my grandpa – I finished but had to rip out the decreases due to making it too long.  The stitch markers are actually very small “snagless” hair bands – the diameter is maybe 3/8″.)

March 30, 2009. Tags: . Knitting, Thoughts. 1 comment.