Every knitter needs a selection of rustproof pins in their toolbox. Sewing pins are not recommended because they split stitches, and get lost in knit fabric. There are three types of pins commonly used for knitting – straight pins, T-pins, and safety pins.
Long, straight pins (knitter’s pins) with blunt tips and large, colorful heads are used to hold two pieces of fabric together while sewing. The most important characteristic is that these pins have blunt tips. Natural bamboo pins are now available, but they should be of high quality with a smooth finish; I’ve found some types to snag the knit fabric.
T-pins are commonly used in textile surface design, and are also used by knitters for blocking project pieces. T-pins have sharp tips, which easily insert into a blocking board, and hold the pieces firmly while they dry. Forked blocking pins are a new option, which hold pieces evenly to blocking surfaces.
Safety pins are a great tool. They are useful for holding a small number of stitches. Safety pins may hold a dropped stitch discovered too late, to be dealt with when finished knitting. My favorite uses for safety pins include marking the beginning of rounds in circular knitting, and to mark the right or wrong sides of a piece.
For the beginner knitter, I’ve described the common styles of pins used by knitters. Make sure to use the right pin for the task.