Ball Winder, Swift, or Maybe a Nostepinne

I find my ball winder indispensable. I’ve had a Brother winder since the beginning of my knitting journey, and didn’t own a swift until many years later. Even with only a winder, you can wind balls of yarn from a hank placed on the back of a chair. Because much of the yarn sold today…

Roving Yarn

Ever wonder what to do with the pillowy soft mass of fibers found for sale in craft stores, specialty yarn shops, and local yarn cottage industries. This unstructured mass of unspun fibers is known as roving. What is roving? Roving is a continuous sheet of fiber that has been washed and carded. A carding machine…

What is yarn weight?

One of the many confusing terms in knitting is “yarn weight”. It has a couple of different meanings, but each influences the other. Hand knitting yarn is purchased in a few different formats, a ball (round), skein (oblong), or hank. Each format is commonly sold in 25, 50, or 100 gram units. This is the…

Do You Really Need to Learn How to Use a Row Counter?

  You may be thinking, wow is she for real – of course I know how to use a row counter. I know this may seem like something not worth talking about, or an insult to your abilities. But sometimes in life it’s the small tips that make all the difference to creating the projects…

Stitch Holders Make a Knitter’s Life Easier

Some knitting accessories aren’t absolutely necessary, but like many tools they will often make your task a lot easier. Holders are tools used to hold a group of stitches that are worked at a later time, such as those at necklines, shoulders, and pockets. These tools come in a variety of styles and sizes. My…

Not Your Classic Hand Knitting Yarns

“Textile Fiber: any material capable of being woven, knit or otherwise made into fabrics.” In recent years “new” fiber sources have hit the yarn scene. Most of the ones described below have a plant or animal source, but require a synthetic process to break down the cellulose or protein to form filament fibers that are…

Novelty Yarns – A Perfect Name For These Unusual Yarns

The way that fibers are spun and twisted determines a yarn’s structure. Yarns are grouped into simple and novelty (specialty) yarns. Simple yarns consist of single or plied yarns that are uniform in size, smooth and have an equal number of twists and turns along the strand. These yarns are the knitter’s classic staples. Unlike…

You Can’t Knit Without Needles!

Just as a painter uses brushes to achieve strokes and textures, a knitter uses needles. As you gain more experience, your needle collection will expand. My collection is huge, from trying different needle types and materials, in search of the best needle for the job. They come as straight, circular and double pointed needles, and…

Buttons – More Than Just a Practical Closure

Charming, whimsical, elegant or simply practical, buttons add the finishing touch to your knitting projects. Buttons have an incredibly long history as a garment fastener. They have been produced from every natural material imaginable, carved ivory, wood, leather, even gold, silver and precious stones. Buttons do more than simply hold a sweater together. They can…

Blocking Wires

Knitting gadgets and accessories are as abundant as for any other craft. Most of the time, the basics are all that’s required to get the job done. Recently, I splurged or rather indulged in purchasing a blocking wire set. Historically, lace knit shawls were blocked using thin wires or even strong lengths of cotton thread,…