Knitting & Crafting

4KCBWDAY6 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – A Tool To Covet

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

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:

OttLite
This is just one kind of OttLite lamp, but there are many other styles

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.

Sewing machine!

Brother Sewing Machine

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:

Ashford Elizabeth II Lacquered Spinning Wheel
Ashford Elizabeth II Lacquered 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:

Traveller - Double Drive
Traveller – Double Drive
Traditional - Single Drive
Traditional – Single Drive

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:

Rigid Heddle Loom
Rigid Heddle 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?

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