Some Things I Can't Live Without - Crafter Edition

Some Things I Can't Live Without - Crafter Edition

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There are so many things that a crafter needs, whichever crafts they partake in. In my case, I'm a knitter and crocheter, so the main thing I need is yarn. But there are plenty of other accessories and tools that I need to knit and crochet my kreations.

Here are some of my essentials: 

Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles

I only discovered interchangeable circular knitting needles in late 2022 when a lovely woman in my knit and natter group recommended them for a big project I was about to start. I had used circular needles before, but they were fixed ones.

Interchangeable needles are a total game changer. Now I use them routinely for knitting in the round as well as knitting flat. For me, it's so much easier to knit flat with circular needles as they give me more than enough space for my project.

I had seen others using them, especially in my knit and natter group, but they kinda scared me.What if the needle and cable separate in the middle of a project? Thankfully, that isn't an issue anymore as I have acquainted myself with the little keys that come with the needles. Now I make sure I tighten them up after five rows or so, and all is well. 

Not only are they easy to use, they are much better for your wallet as well. As much as I love fixed needles you have to buy a brand new set of needles every time your pattern says to use a different needle size or cable length. With interchangeable needles you purchase the individual needles and cable lengths that you use regularly to start, and then add to the collection as you go along. For example, if the pattern says to use 5mm needles with 60cm cable, and you have the needles but not the cable, all you have to do is purchase the cable and you're ready to go.  

Clover Crochet Hooks

There are so many different types of crochet hook on the market any newbie would be scratching their heads trying to chose their first hook. There come in different shapes and materials and can be quite the head scratcher. It took me a lot of research and experience before I settled on these Clover hooks. 

What I love about the Clover hooks is that the handle is a soft, durable and very comfortable plastic while the metal hook is easy to work with. They are also lightweight, which is very important for people like me who have wrist issues. With these hooks I can crochet for a lot longer than I can with other hooks before my wrist starts to scream at me. 

The shape of the plastic handle makes it very easy to hold without experiencing pain or feeling uncomfortable.

These are the hooks I use pretty much exclusively, and I highly recommend them to new and experienced crocheters.  

Measuring Tape

Probably goes without saying, but I use my measuring tape all the time. In fact, I have two - one sitting on my desk, one in my crafting bag to bring with me to knit and natter. 

It's a bit of silliness, but I like using measuring tapes like this one with an animals face on it. It puts a smile on my face when I see it.

The measuring tape has so many uses - from making sure the project I am working on is the correct size to checking gauge, although I tend to use my gauge square for this. 

Notebook and Pen

I always have a notebook and pen sitting beside me when I'm knitting or crocheting something. It's especially important when I am designing something so I can jot down the pattern, stitch count, etc as I go. If I am making someone else's pattern I sometimes jot down wee notes to myself, etc to remind myself as I go along. 

I use notebooks that are lined, as I hate trying to write in a straight line (it never works out well), but one of my favourite notebook ranges are Pukka Pads. They come in a variety of sizes, and are good and durable. 

Sometimes as I am working on one project, or watching something on tv I will sometimes get hit with inspiration. It might be a brand new project I want to make, or something I want to add to one of my WIPs. I can't put down what I'm doing and start with my inspiring thought so that's when I grab my notebook and pen and jot down my ideas. I love having all my ideas and brainstorming ideas in one place. Makes life so much easier. 

The Knitters Handbook

This is an awesome book that I use all the time. It's written by Eleanor van Zandt, and it's a fantastic reference for different stitches and how to guides. 

I usually prefer watching stitch tutorials online, particularly on YouTube as that tends to be how I learn best, but this book is one of the exceptions, as is the crochet book below. 

There are over 90 stitches and techniques included in this book, from simple stitches like the irish moss/seed stitch to more complex stitches like the falling leaf lace pattern and the half diamond cable with bobbles pattern. 

There are also sections on slip stitch colourwork, jacquard patterns and fair isle. 

There are how-to sections throughout the book that explain all the knitting basics such as how to work in the round as well as blocking and pressing. 

If you are a new knitter, or looking to improve on your skills, this is the book for you. 

Handbook of Crochet Stitches

This is my go to book for discovering new stitches when I'm designing. It's written by Betty Barnden. There are over 200 stitches detailed, with a little crochet essentials guide at the start, like equipment and materials, and a short guide on how to start crocheting.

There is a fantastic stitch selector at the beginning of the book as well showing an example of each stitch detailed in the book with the relevant page number at the bottom of the sample. Fantastic for browsing through when i have a design in mind but I need to work out the stitch I want to make it with. 

Each stitch guide is easy to follow, and there is a chart for each stitch as well as a little stitch key on the right hand side of each page showing the relevant stitch symbol on the chart and name for each stitch included on those two pages. 

It's a fantastic book for designers and crocheters who are looking to up their game. 

So that's some of the crafty things I can't live without. What are some of yours? Let me know in the comments. 

Until next time.....







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