Day Six: A Tool To Covet Write about your favorite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.
Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?
If I look at everything I've either been given or purchased myself, I think I have to choose my swift and ball winder as the most valuable tools. I use them quite often, even more now that I've become a yarn snob and I plan to use the more since I started dying yarn and have aspirations to spin. These both will involve hanks which will then need to be caked before knitting can commence. The usefulness is not the only attribute here, the swift is an Amish style swift made of a very pretty hard wood by Chiaogoo.
So for me its also beautiful to look at. It is modular, so I can take it apart and put it away, so it takes up very little room at all. (Which is also great since I have a limited craft space.) I would highly recommend this swift. It was inexpensive, its totally collapsible, easy to use and pretty. After the swift and ball winder I think my next most used tool, which I don't have enough of, of course, is the Boye row counter.
I got two of them when I first started knitting. (They came in a "beginners" tool ensemble with some tip protectors and three sizes of stitch holders.) I use it for my bigger projects when I have to count rows or large numbered repeats. Its with my dissertation sweater now. I need to find some more, they are so handy. I was recently gifted some beaded stitch markers which prompted me to get the supplies to make some of my own. I use stitch markers like they're going out of style. If I have a lace pattern, a lot of times I'll place a marker after each repeat. It saves so much time not having to fix mistakes since I'm checking my count after every repeat. So far, I cant say there is a tool I don't use or like. I have found that my wrists and hands don't cramp up as much if I knit flat on circular needles. (I found that out by accident. My straights wouldn't fit in my project bag so I made whatever it was on a circ.) Eventually I may get rid of a lot of my straight needles. Most of the patterns I knit are in the round so I'm using either circs. or DPNs. The projects I do knit flat tend to be larger things that require the length of a circular needle. I still like my short little lucky 6s for dishcloths though. Incase you didn't see pictures of my first foray into stitch marker making here are the ones that turned out halfway decent: