It's the holiday season! I've rounded up a bunch of knitting products that I can't live without. These will make great gifts or stocking stuffers for the knitter in your life or, if you are the knitter, items that you may want to ask for if you don't already have them. Some items are from small shops and others are from Amazon (for you last minute shoppers!) and they are in different price points as well.
1. Yarn Gauge - This tool measures the thickness of any yarn when you wrap the yarn around the belly of the cat. You compare the number of times your yarn wraps around with the key to the left of the cat to find out the weight of an unknown yarn.
2. Needle Gauge - More often than I'd like to admit, different sizes of double pointed needles get mixed together and the printed needle numbers rub off. This tool helps with that. The holes are laser cut from bamboo to measure knitting needles from sizes 0 to 17 in US sizes and metric measurements.
3. Blocking Pin Set - This set works great in place of individual pins. It offers more even tension and is quicker because there are either 4 or 8 pins on each blocker. I have 2 sets of these.
4. Yarn Umbrella - If you buy yarn online and have to wind it into a ball to start knitting, it is much easier to use this umbrella tool than to wind by hand. The umbrella spins smoothly and makes yarn winding more fun. It clamps on to the edge of a table, chair or any other convenient location (mine is clamped on to the front of my floor loom). It easily comes off for storage as well.
5. Skein Winder - This is the piece that actually winds skeins of yarn. It is super easy to use especially when you pair it with the umbrella above. I personally like this durable metal version better than the cheaper plastic versions, but there are many great options available, including electric versions.
6. Removable Highlighter Tape - This is a great tool for keeping track of where you are in a pattern. All you have to do is move it forward every time you advance to the next row. The tape is see through so you can see the row below without moving the tape in case you need to reference it. Tip: I fold about an inch on the end back onto itself so that it is an easy pull tab for when I am ready to move the tape up a row.
7. Rosewood Cable Needles - Sure, the plastic or metal cable needles do the trick, but there is something special about using this affordable luxury to help make cables during knitting. Sold as a set of three, this is a great tool.
8. Small Embroidery Scissors - I use small embroidery scissors to carefully cut the woven in ends on knitting projects. I like how they get close to the fabric and make the ends easier to hide.
9. Soak Wash - This is a gentle, no-rinse cleanser that makes and keeps your clothes and crafts soft and looking their best. I LOVE Soak Wash so much that I now exclusively use it on my knits, handwoven items, as well as commercially bought sweaters, underwear, bras, pajamas and anything else that is delicate. It comes in a variety of scents as well as an unscented formula.
Not pictured, but another great idea: A yarn bowl to hold the ball of yarn while you knit. There are SO MANY in every style on Etsy - HERE.