Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Episode 18--Top picks from 2012

In this episode I talk about some of the tools and products that I have used this past year that have helped me in my knitting experience.  In future episodes, I will share some of my favorite websites, apps, and also knitting tips that have helped me this past year.

I want to mention that NONE of these products were given to me for free by companies.  These are all things that I have purchased or have been given by friends/family.  I am not affiliated with any of the companies represented.  Nor do I recommend any particular place to buy them.  The links I used are just one option for buying.  You can buy them wherever you find them.

1.  WPI tool.  I reviewed this in an earlier podcast, so to learn more about it, refer to Episode 3.
You can buy one like mine here, or do a web search on how to make one yourself.  If you don't want to make one, use a ruler.

2.  Knit Kards.  These have been helpful in keeping track of which needles I own, checking my gauge, the size of my needle, and so many more things (wash and care instruction symbols, casting on, casting off, etc.  I did review this in Episode 2.

3.  Finishing Needles.  These needles are great.  I don't mind weaving in my edges so much.  You can get a 4-pack on amazon.com of several different sizes, or a 2-pack.

4.  Yarn bobbins.  You could certainly buy them, but it's just as easy to make them from cardboard.  It's great to have a little extra waste yarn in your notions bag for using as life lines or to hold live stitches.  Before I used these, my waste yarn and floss was tangled up in my notions bag.

5.  Ball winders:

  • Manual ball winder.  Great for winding hanks of yarn into cakes of yarn.  Easier if used with a yarn swift.
  • Nostepinne or Nostepinde.  Great to wind smaller center-pull balls, transportable, and fun to use. I bought mine from Etsy.com.   A turkey baster can be used as a nostepinne as well.  Most people have those on hand.  Look on Youtube for tutorials on how to use one.
  • My favorite way to wind a ball is to have my local yarn store do it for me.  They have it all set up, and they get it done in a jiffy.
6. Knit Kit.  This is a great accessory to have while traveling, and it fits easily into a small bag or purse. It also doesn't spill over (like my notions bag does when I forget to zip it closed).  It does come in different colors.  I don't know how many, though.

7.  Fix-A-Stitch.  What a great tool to use for fixing dropped stitches.  You can read more about it on their website.

8.  Reusable Rubber Finger Gloves.  These are great if you have sores on your fingers, or the wool irritates your skin as it glides across your skin.  If you have sores on your fingers, you can apply lotion/medicine, and wear these and not have to worry about getting medicine on your wool.  I talk about them in my last podcast.

9. Stitch Light.  A great little tool to help you see your knitting better if you do not have good lighting.  They have top-knotch customer service, too.  Plus it comes with a handy little bag (many choices of colors/patterns) to store your notions.

10.  Polymer clay--I added this because I like to make buttons out of polymer clay.  I didn't have a button for a project, so decided I'd make one myself.  You can make a lot of different-shaped buttons for your projects from one square of polymer clay. Just remember that you should not used tools that you would eat/cook food with to make polymer clay objects.  I bought a small ceramic tile at the hardware store for under $1 to bake my buttons.  I also use that same (flat) tile to shape my buttons.  It is essentially used not only as the baking pan, but also the work surface.