Are you an interlacing enthusiast who wishes to learn the ropes of knitting and become a skilled and accomplished knitter? Minimalist knitters and weavers will tell you that you just need a ball of wool, scissors, and knitting needles. Of course you can start knitting with these bare necessities but you’ll definitely need some “extras” if you want to learn the basics thoroughly.
On the other hand the add-ons will enable you to master a wide variety of stitching patterns and techniques. You can make the most of your knitting skills for accomplishing large, sophisticated, and complex weaving and interlacing projects. And if you are passionate about knitting, you’ll acutely feel the need for some extra supplies and also find them irresistible.
You’ll come across an endless variety while making a list of the additional knitting provisions you require (besides the basics). The sheer diversity of weaving materials and equipment may overwhelm you making it difficult for you to draw up a list. In this article we have listed the top 17 knitting essentials that’ll make it easier for you to make your customized list.
Can you imagine knitting without yarn? You’ll need balls and balls of yarn or thread for working on your projects and you’ll find different yarn types. While shopping for yarn online or in brick and mortar outlets, you’ll come across a wide variety of threads and fibers.
Yarns are basically individual strands of filaments or strings that are spun together in 2 or more plies to form a bundle. The various yarn types available are sourced from plants, animals, and synthetic materials. Some of the most commonly used yarns include cotton, hemp, bamboo, rayon, nylon, silk, merino, cashmere, polyester, and wool.
The manner in which a specific yarn is produced differentiates the filament from other yarn types. In other words you can identify a particular variety of yarn say cotton or silk by observing the thread’s structure. By and large, yarns are classified into three broad categories:-
- Filament yarns
- Ply yarns
- Staple yarns
Needles are as indispensable as yarns when it comes to knitting a sweater, jumper, jersey or pullover. Talking about knitting needles or pins there are three varieties-straight-, circular-, and double-point needles.
A double-point needle as the name indicates comes with a pointed tip at both ends. If you want to make the leap from a novice knitter to a professional one, you’ll have to master using the double-pointed needle. You’ll have to use double-pointed needles for creating socks, hats, gloves, sleeves, pullovers, jerseys, and so on.
Circular needles find widespread applications because of their versatility. A circular needle has two spikes each having a pointed tip and joined to each other by a thread or yarn. You’ll indispensably need circular needles when knitting flat sections as well as interweaving in the round. Circular needles usually come in very handy for handling complicated knitting projects such as mittens, socks, blankets, and so on.
When choosing circular knitting needles check out the length of the needles; circular needles vary in length-from 9” to 60”. Go for circular needles only if you’re a prolific knitter, and buy a kit instead of purchasing a single piece for individual projects. When you purchase a kit, you have the flexibility and leeway of selecting and combining needle size and yarn length.
Additionally a circular needle kit lets you change needles midway-you simply need to mount the crotchet onto the thread and swap the needles.
When you talk about knitting needles, you usually have straight needles in mind. Available in pairs, a straight needle features a tip at one end and a bump or knob at the other end. Straight needles range from 9 to 14 inches long for most sizes, but you may find shorter or longer needles too.
Straight knitting needles come in sizes normally ranging from 9-14 inches but you may also find smaller or larger needles. Straight needles come in perfectly handy for small projects that call for simple and straightforward stitch patterns. If you’re into knitting scarves, washcloths, handkerchiefs, tablecloths, and bedcovers in parts then straight needles is the way to go.
If you’re starting out as a knitter, straight needles are what you’ll choose first and foremost since they’re very user-friendly
A tapestry needle is one of the most basic embroidery tools and a must-have for any and every serious knitter. Very much similar to a sewing needle in terms of looks and function, a tapestry needle is extensively used for a variety of needlecraft techniques. Embroiderers and knitters use tapestry needles mostly for crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidering, and cross-stitching.
You can easily tell a tapestry needle by its prominent eye that allows you to thread thicker yarns, and its blunt tip. At the same time a tapestry needle is longer than a standard hand-sewing needle. Tapestry needles are more akin to darning needles than sewing needles-only that darning needles are somewhat longer than tapestry needles.
A quality pair of scissors always comes in handy when you’re engaged in a knitting project, and about to give the finishing touch. Of course you’ll need scissors for other purposes as well such as when you want to replace the existing yarn with another one. Scissors also come to your aid when you’re working on hems and seams of fabric pieces.
As you move ahead on the learning curve you’ll want to keep some extra pairs handy especially when you’re travelling.
More often than not you’ll want to keep aside a few stitch patterns that you find a tad complicated to handle. So what’ll you do if you’re halfway through the task? Unknotting the stitching you’ve already completed will be a waste of effort.
On the other hand you need to continue working on your project. This is exactly where a stitch holder comes to your aid; resembling an outsized safety pin, stitch holders let you effortlessly slip-on those complex stitches on them so that you can take them up later on.
Stitch makers which look very much like miniature safety pins come in a range of bright hues and tones. You’ll need a stitch marker when you want to highlight and pinpoint specific facets in your stitching or knitting patterns. While some stitch markers can be slipped onto your needles, you can clip quite a few directly on the specific spots on the patterns.
Contrary to what you think, a crochet hook is designed not only for crochets but for serving other functions as well. Crochet hooks also known as crochet needles are tools having a hooked projection at one end for pulling thread out of knotted rings. Apart from creating crochet stitches, you can use a crochet hook for threading a drawstring via its sleeve, maintaining dreadlocks, mending dropped knits, and so on.
When it comes to knitting things in pairs such as socks, mittens or gloves, you have to be perfect with measurements. That said no amount of guesswork will ensure that the thumb section and the section for fingers have the same length and width. Then again, you’ll need to consider inches for some stitches while for a few others you’ll have to take rows into account.
All the above situations call for adding a measuring tape to your list of knitting essentials.
Swift and Winder
You’ll surely prefer to wound your own knitting yarn using a swift and winder rather than wait for an eternity at the wool shop. You’d have to wound hanks, skeins or balls of yarns before you can start knitting. And the easiest and best way of winding a ball of wool or cashmere is taking advantage of a yarn swift and winder.
Row counters enable you to keep count of the exact number or rows you have knitted-a must for some specific patterns. There are different types of row counters and it is the structure of particular type that distinguishes it from others. For instance, one type or row counter that is slipped onto needles comes with a built-in number dial which you reset after every row.
Nowadays you’ll even find row counter apps that you can download on your smartphone!
Yarn guides usually crafted out of ceramic or hard and flat steel are crucial knitting tools that you use for maneuvering the yarn’s trail. To be specific, yarn guides help you with weaving, warping and winding. While winding or unwinding yarn, you’ll need to control the thread’s path, and yarn guides serve as markers, allowing you to keep track of the pathway.
You’ll struggle to locate where exactly you’re on the knitting chart even if you’re using a row counter. Placing a sticky note or a washi tape just beneath the row of the chart you’re engaged with helps you to get around the problem. With a washi tape you’ll have it easier keeping an eye on the row you’re working on.
Yarn bobbins come to your aid when you need to stock up on leftover yarn or for drawing out yarn with ease. A yarn bobbin not only preserves your spare fibers and threads but also prevents messy knots or tangles.
If you’re like most knitters, you’ll normally take a measuring tape along with you while you’re on the move. However you usually pack your etuis when you travel and that is when you’ll need needle gauges for measuring the size of unmarked needles.
Tiny and cute, needle caps serve as a protective sheathing for your knitting needles ensuring that stitches do not get detached while you’re taking a breather. You can also use a needle cap for transforming a double-point needle into a straight needle.
Wool Wash Kit
You’d be hesitant to wash your DIY knitwear into which you’ve invested so much time, energy, and resources. Using wool wash kits that include a mild detergent and sometimes a specialized basin, offers you complete peace of mind.
Yarn threaders render the task of threading delicate filaments such as mohair and cashmere through a tapestry needle’s eye a breeze.