Tuesday, August 7, 2012

my whimsical notions: tools of the trade

this week, i've decided to do a series of posts on some of my favorite things: materials, techniques, tricks, and a few other things! this is basically a place for me to write about things i haven't found a place for.

knittinghelp.com is one of those sites i found when i was just starting out again, and i go back to frequently when i encounter an abbreviation i don't know, or can't remember the difference between a M1L and a M1R (despite the number of times i've used these increases, this happens a lot). they've got a great setup, with clear, concise videos that walk you through it every step of the way.

ravelry.com is one of the greatest resources for knitters and crocheters of all skill levels. at it's heart, it's a huge database of patterns and yarns from all over the world. it's also so much more than that: you can add patterns, yarns, and designers to your favorites, make a queue, keep track of your needles and hooks, follow your friends to see their favorites and projects, and post photos and details of your own finished objects! what's truly great about ravelry is that it's free to be a member!

image from purlbee.com
my favorite knitting needles are addi turbo circulars. especially the ones with the blue plastic wire connecting them. if i could start over buying needles again, i'd just buy 24 and 40" lengths in every size. 24"s for sweater bodies and scarves, and 40"s for sleeves, socks, and hats magic loop'd! now that i've been seriously knitting for a few years, i really know what i like, what feels good in my hand when paired with yarns of all fibers. i avoid double-pointed needles like the plague, and it's just uncomfortable for me to work with wooden, straight needles. also, the addi's have a lifetime guarantee on them!

in my notions bag, i always carry 3 important things. things that i probably wouldn't be able to find on the fly if i left them at home.
  • locking stitch markers: these little guys are especially awesome for marking a specific stitch (and maybe to avoid laddering? i'm still testing this hypothesis)

  • a tape measure with inches and centimeters: sometimes conversions get muddled, so it's best to know where your pattern comes from in order to read the most accurate measurements. if you're working on a smallish project, a dollar bill will do in a pinch, as they're 6" long (however this falls apart if you're project is bigger or smaller than 6". and if you don't carry cash...)
  • a blunt, bent finishing needle: exactly what you need for russian-joining, weaving in ends, and many other things! i like the bent-tip, because it's easier to grab stitches when weaving in.

my favorite project bag is my bluesky pretty cheep bag. not only does it have an adorable little bird on it, it's got a draw-string closure, and is the perfect size for socks and other projects to throw into your purse or backpack!

**i have not received money, sponsorship, yarn, or candy from any of these people/companies for featuring their products/techniques. this is my tribute to my favorite things, and is entirely my own opinion, communicated under no duress at my own volition.

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