The right tools

So, you’ve learn the basic stitches, you are comfortable with the needles and the yarn, and you are ready to take on bigger, longer and harder patterns, requiring things other than just needles.  Below you’ll find a guide to different knitting tools, what they are for, and links for purchasing them yourself.  Lets start!

You may have noticed some needle brands don’t label their needles, specifically double pointed ones.  A needle gauge is a nice tool to invest it.

Needle gauges come in different forms, you can get it as just a straight line of holes to test the size of your needles, others come with a ruler and a swatch guide.  Some may be paper, others metal.  You can easily use a simple ruler to check your sizes too if you know the mm size (example: US size 6/UK size 8 needles are 4.0mm).


Stitch Markers come in a variety of sizes and shapes as well.  Stitch Markers are used for marking places in your knitting such as where you are going to do a cable, increase or decrease a row, the beginning or end of a row or you can use it to keep easy count for stitches.  I will use stitch markers to mark every 10 or 20 rows when I’m knitting large projects.  You can buy them where they open and close so you can add them to previous rows, you can buy them as simple rings that you put on your needles.  You can also get individual fun ones that are rings with little charms on them such as numbers, jewels, knitting items or pop culture items.


Stitch Counter – Stitch counters literally do exactly what their name states.  Count stitches.  You can get ones that slide onto your needles and help you keep count in your patterns.  They help immensely when you first start using patterns as you will know “I started with 60 stitches and now I have 61…” and know that you are either following or not following your pattern correctly.  You can buy them as counters that you twist to change the numbers, or tickers where you click a button and the numbers count.  Either way, good thing to invest in when you first are learning to knit.

Needle Guards  –  I personally don’t use these, but probably should… needle guards go on the tips of your needles and protect your project from sliding right off the needles.  They are also helpful in keeping your needles from going right through the side of your bag creating a huge hole.  They come in different sizes to fit most needles and come in different shapes as well.  You can get them as simple cones or as little knit socks.  All very cute!


Cable Hooks – Cable hooks are used for, YOU GUESSED IT! Making Cables in your knitting.  Because the hooks are double ended, if you feel you’ve made a mistake with what stitches you have picked up, or you want to put one back, YOU CAN.  The curve of these also help keep your stitches on the needles.


I believe that everyone needs at least a small pair of scissors in their project bags, as well as a tape measure.  Some needle gauges will have a ruler on them, but a tape measure is just good to have!


Happy Crafting!

About Kelly

Kelly is an avid knitter with over 10 years experience with the craft. She works with the mental health community as the Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation day program and uses crafts to help aid in recovery. She is also a Penn State alumni.

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