Knitting, Storytime, Tutorial

What to Store in a Knitting Tool Kit

Clutter. It seems like it never stops trying to invade our lives and personal spaces. Even worse, it can be easy to let things pile up. Knitting isn’t exempt from this rule.

Thankfully, there are ways to keep your work area clean and organized. Me? I created a knitting kit that keeps all of my tools in one place. Plus, I can easily take it with me when I’m traveling. It makes packing quick, and I leave confident that I’m not forgetting anything.

Let’s look at some of those tools to give you some knit kit ideas!

*All of these products were chosen based on my own personal preference. No ad revenue is generated from this post.

Stitch Markers

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These seem like an obvious choice, but they’re well worth mentioning. I really love unique, pretty markers that brighten up any project. For me, it’s also preferable to just using scrap yarn. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used a lot of scrap yarn to mark my progress in the past. But sometimes I would accidentally knit it into the project! Then it takes time to go back and correct my mistake.

That’s why I only use metal or plastic markers now. And for those of you don’t know, stitch markers are mainly used in circular knitting to mark the beginning and end of a round. Some designers also use them to mark specific parts of a pattern.

I also use them when I’m casting on. Every 20 or 50 stitches, I’ll place a marker. This makes it easy to count how many stitches I have for a 500- to 600-stitch projects.

There are a variety of different markers to choose from, including some available on my site. Be sure to check out Rhodonite Stone, Handmade Heart, Unicorn, and Eiffel Tower  stitch markers.

Tape Measure

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What can I say? It’s an invaluable tool not just for knitting. But for our purposes, it’s very useful all the same. To save space, I keep a small, retractable tape measure in my kit, but any will do!

As you can imagine, tape measure is used for measuring the length of your progress, figuring out gauge, and measuring your family when they have no idea what their head circumference is. If you don’t, every single hat you knit them is just slightly off (because they guessed and this year you are going to take measurements!)

Crochet Hook

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Like the name implies, a crochet hook is used for, well, crocheting! But that isn’t the tool’s only purpose. I also pick up dropped stitches with it. It is so much easier to just use the hook to bring the stitch back up the ladder, rather than trying to use your fingers or the knitting needles themselves.

I also love having a crochet hook on hand for edgings and any provisional casting on that I may do.

Tapestry Needles

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We all know that feeling. The project is nearly complete. One of the last steps is to weave in the ends. That’s where tapestry needles come in. If you a need a recommendation, look no further than the Chibi Tapestry Needle Set.

It comes with a little container it comes with, keeping all the needles together safely. It’s like a kit within a kit, if you think about it…

You’ll also notice that this needle set is a bent-tip style. I prefer this, because I find them easier to work with. Personal preference does come into play, however. Finally, I enjoy the assortment of sizes in this set.

Pins

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So simple, yet so useful – pins just come in handy. I keep an assortment of straight pins and safety pins in my kit. The former is best used for blocking. Cheap T pins are good for pinning out a finished object, allow it to block correctly. If you want to learn more about blocking, have a look this handy tutorial

It’s also smart to keep safety pins on hand for all the little things. They’ll come in handy when you need to tuck a tail out of the way before weaving in the ends. Or, they can pin flat pieces together while you’re seaming. 

Finally, for non-knitting emergencies, it never hurts to have safety pins on hand. That’s another perk to building your kit!

Bar of Lotion

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Maybe it’s just me, but my hands tend to dry out when I knit a lot. It makes sense, after all – knitting can take its toll! That’s especially true during the extra-dry winter. Make things easier on yourself by keeping a bar of lotion close by! In my kit, I like to store it in an easy-access tin container.

Bar lotions have several benefits compared to other styles. They won’t spill or leak all over my yarn. Plus, the bars basically last forever! I personally use the Twilight Hour Body Bar and would recommend it to anybody. Shout out to my last FibreShare partner, @nmadams4, for sending this to me! ^_^

Pencil & Notebook

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A pencil and notebook, you say? Absolutely. Note that I’m notorious for making changes to my patterns. It’s important that I write down these changes in a notebook. That will make things easier when I share the project on Ravelry

Side note, I highly recommend documenting these changes on Ravelry. Otherwise, I sometimes don’t remember everything I’ve knit years later, let alone design alterations! 

Aside from writing, a notebook is handy for drawing up quick pattern sketches when I’m feeling inspired. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of uses for a notebook as well!

Cable Needles

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For the cable knitters out there, these are a must. My love for cabling is even higher this time of year! If I didn’t keep an assortment of styles and sizes in my kit, I would never manage to finish any cable work.

Of course, there’s a variety of styles to choose for. Center scoop is my go-to, specifically the wood ones. I find that they keep better tension than aluminum.

Many makers prefer U-shaped needles. And I get it. These are great if the cable is going to be traveling far. With these, stitches almost never fall off. However, I find them clumsy in my hand.

If needed, a double-pointed needle can stand in as a cable needle.  I find that my stitches slide right off if I try to do this though. Your mileage may vary! 

Stitch Holders

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Once again, there are a couple different options available for this tool. One option is basically a giant safety pin that locks onto stitches. But there’s a better option… 

Other holders are placed on the end of interchangeable cords.  These interchangeable needle sets are the best needle options. They’re extremely easy to use. But while these sets are absolutely my preferred type, I still carry the other style in my tin just in case.

The safety pin style certainly has its perks. For one, it’s super secure. But they’re just not flexible enough for trying on sweaters and the like. It also takes significantly more time to move stitches on and off, especially compared to the interchangeable style.

In either case, I’m very thankful that my late great grandmother gave me most of my current stitch holders. My hope is that you’ll find a special set just for you!

Row Counters

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You can never have enough organizational tools! When rows get messy, these counters keep me straight.

I am a huge fan of the red row counter from Clover – the big one sits on the table. Unfortunately, I do have a habit of losing it…  But as an alternative, this one is brilliant, too!

In the past, my favorite (ratchet) row counter served two purposes! It was designed to be slid onto a straight needle that I threaded scrap yarn though. But it also hung off a stitch marker. That’s another solid choice. 

Yarn Bra

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We’ve come this far, so you may as well pick up a yarn bra. It’s yet another tool that will help prevent yarn messes!

Back when I worked in a fabric store, they used to sell these in the embroidery section. Essentially, they went over the cones of thread to keep them from tangling.  I still use these to for my yarn. That way, the cakes don’t become a huge tangled mess in my bag. I can pretty much guarantee an knitter will love them. Give it a try! 

Needle Gauge

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Getting started is one of the hardest parts of knitting. One of the challenges? It can be a struggle to find the right needle size. The needles or cables may have the label worn off. In either case, needles gauges have your back.

The gauge’s job is to quickly figure out if you’re using the right needles. Just slip the needle in the hole. If it doesn’t go through, try the next hole up.  If it slips in with no wiggle room, the corresponding needle size is the right one.

Oh, needle gauges also serve as a quick reference between Metric and US sizes.  Mine also has a nifty gauge tool built in.

Mini Scissors

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Snip, snip. A small pair of scissors is the perfect choice for cutting ends after they are woven in.  I made sure that the ones in my kit were TSA approved. That way, there’s never an issue while traveling with my knitting.

Bonus item! Container to keep it organized

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With so much stuff, you need somewhere to keep it all. All of these tools fit in my old Girl Scout candy tin. It’s the perfect size. Fragile items, like the little wood cable needles, won’t shift around and break. The tin material also prevents the little scissors and cable needles from poking holes through the container. That can be an issue with fabric.

Overall, I am very pleased with this tin and have been using it for the last 12 years.

Do you have any special items that you keep in your personal knitting kit? Let me know in the comments below!

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