Write about your favourite 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?
Well, I definitely do love my needles. My favourite needles brand is Hiya Hiya. I really do like their stainless steel needles. Most of my needles are generic bamboo needles, but they work fine. I like bamboo over aluminium because they are not cool to touch.
Other tools I use a lot of: Susan Bates Knit Chek Needle Size and Size Gauge Card, clasp stitch markers, row counters, highlighters for charts, tapestry needle, and project or ziplock bags. I also really like collecting buttons.
I have a handmade Turkish hand spindle which I like. I purposely bought a Turkish variety so I could wand a ball on it.
I’d recommend all the above and my new favourite tool, the OttLite:
I bought this last Boxing Day from Michaels. I’d read some good comments about the OttLite from Ravelry forums, and it is a great lamp. It is bright and reduces eye strain when reading. It is much better than conventional florescent and incandescent lights. I also like halogen lamps to.
As for tools I regret buying, I don’t really have any. I definitely have a weakness for project bags which no one else really sees because I mostly knit at home. I also got one of those chart readers for free in a yarn club package, it’s nice to have, but not necessary in my opinion. While I think it’d be nice to have an umbrella skein and a ball winder, once again, I don’t really find them that necessary given the price of a good ball winder is $50 these days.
Now let’s talk wishlist.
My parents have a sewing machine which is at least 40 years old, but it’s really difficult to use and lost some of its functionality. I’d like my own machine one day. I would use it for mending, some small sewing projects, adding zippers to sweaters, and for steeking handknits. I know you can steek in other ways, but I’ve had it in my mind for years to knit an Icelandic sweater, steek it, and add a zipper all with the machine. It’s a good marriage of two tools and crafts. Consequently, I do not need a fancy machine, but a portable and dependable one for a couple hundred dollars max.
If anyone has suggestions for a basic sewing machine, please let me know!
Now for “If I have near unlimited funds, how will my crafting benefit?” The following tools are things I’d like to have, but it’s a bit unlikely that I will really purchase them in the near future. They are lower on my life wishlists than travel, a large home & garden, etc. but I have dreamed about them.
First off, a spinning wheel:
This is Ashford’s “Elizabeth II” which is the fairy tale style spinning wheel. This would look great in any rustic cottage or living room. It is a wheel and lovely decor. I have started hand spinning though it takes forever. I’ve put the hobby on hold until I have more time, but down the line, if I ever get more serious about spinning, I’d love a wheel like the one above. Gorgeous, but expensive. I love that the spinning wheel is getting featured in “Once Upon a Time” because of Rumpelstiltskin. Last episode he even said that spinning helps him think. I watch the show mainly for Robert Carlyle, but I digress a bit.
In reality and for practically, if I get a wheel, I’m more likely to the Ashford Traveller or the Ashford Traditional:
I also would probably need all the other spinning accessories: bobbins, lazy kates, and definitely a drum carder.
Now the other tool that I’m even less likely to ever own is a weaving loom:
I really like the look of woven scarves especially with sock and lace yarn such as Noro. I’m curious about weaving, but learning to spin, crochet, and sew are more of a priority.
What tools are your must haves and on your wishlist?