[ Knitting ]

Top 4 Knitting Tools and Accessories

Welcome to today’s knitting chair chat.

Today I’m talking about my 4 all-time, absolute favorite knitting accessories.

If you’d prefer to watch me show you each of these knitting tools and accessories, click here.

Now we’re all knitters here. Well, I’m assuming if you’re reading this that you’re likely a knitter. So, I don’t think I need to elaborate on our love of yarn and how much we adore our stashes. But I thought it’d be fun to share with you my current absolute favorite accessories that I use either daily or with just about every project I knit.

1. Lumos & Lumos Adjustable Light

This is my most recent discovery and now that I have it, I’m not sure how I ever knitted at night without it. Perhaps due to my aging eyes, but knitting in the evenings has become a bit more difficult for me in the past six months or so. Along with my reading glasses, my Lumos & Lumos is my best new knitting friend.

It looks a little strange at first, but it’s a simple product really and I bet you can guess what it does. Yep, it’s a light! Actually, it is two small LED lights on either end of a flexible tube. You wrap it around your neck, click the small buttons on each light, and position them so the light is directed at your knitting. There are three different light options giving you varying levels of brightness and warmth.

I’m telling the absolute truth when I say I use this every evening while knitting. I’ve just started on another fingering weight sweater and the yarn is a deep indigo color. These lights have made my dark stitches SO much easier to see, even before the sun completely sets.

An extra bonus to this knitting accessory is that it isn’t exclusively useful for knitting. I love it when a product has multiple uses! After I’ve put my knitting away for the night, my typical routine includes reading a chapter or so in bed before I turn out my light. This gadget joins me in bed too.

So, it uses LED lights and comes with a USB charging cord. There are no batteries to change, you only need to charge it up and it runs for quite a long while. I picked this knitting light up at my local yarn shop about 2-½ months ago and besides the initial charge, I’ve only needed to charge it once. This is with nightly use. If I had to take a guess, I’d say it needs to be fully charged once a month.

As I mentioned, I purchased mine from my local yarn shop. It was $49 which was a bit surprising as I was expecting something closer to $30-35, but I say they’ve been worth their weight in gold. You may be able to find a deal online, I’m not sure, but I would always recommend checking at your local yarn store first because we love to support them, right?

2. Twice Sheared Sheep Row Counter

This is another knitting tool I didn’t realize I needed until I tried it. If you’ve been in the Henlia Handmade community for long, you’ll likely recognize this handy tool. It’s called a row counter and as its name implies it helps you keep track of your rows.

This one comes from a fellow handmade shop, Twice Sheared Sheep. In addition to being a super nice and generous human, Dawn has video tutorials on how to use this. Click this link and scroll down to the video at the bottom of the page. She shares very clear instructions and also explains how you can use these for crochet too.

But basically, you slide a ring over your knitting needle in the same way you’d use a stitch marker. The difference is that each ring has a number adjoining it indicating which number row you’re working on (or just completed, depending on your preference). Each time you come to the row counter, you switch to the next ring so that you’ll always know exactly which row you’re on in your pattern. Simple and ingenious!

I purchased my first row counter to try three years ago. Between accidentally dropping one through the planks of my deck never to be seen again, and the various WIPs (works-in-progress) I have going at any one time, I now have a small collection of these beauties so that I always have one available to use whenever the urge strikes to cast on something new.

I can’t speak to other brands, as I’ve only used the ones Dawn creates for Twice Sheared Sheep, but they come with adorable charms on the end and usually run around $21-25 apiece. She does offer free shipping with a minimum order, so with how often you’ll find yourself using these, I recommend picking up at least a couple to get that free shipping. I am not an affiliate as I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, but I thought I’d mention it again. Dawn IS, however, a friend of mine, but I come to you as a friend as well and would never recommend something I don’t absolutely love and use myself. Seriously, I’m not sure how I got by with all the misplaced notes I used to jot down places before I started using row counters. They’ve made it so easy for me to set my work down and come back to it, even months later and know exactly where I’m at in my pattern.

3. Knit Keeper Cords

This is another simple knitting tool in concept. These are narrow silicone cords you can slip your stitches onto. They are hollow, so you poke the tip of your needle into a cord and then just slide your stitches over onto the cord.

There are at least a couple of uses for this. You can use these as stitch holders. So, say you’re knitting a top-down sweater and need to place your sleeve stitches on holders while you knit the body of your sweater. Well, you could use these instead of using waste yarn. For any other reason you need to hold stitches these will of course work as well. The second use for them, and the reason I bought them was to make it easy to try on sweaters as I knit them. Instead of using multiple needles and sliding my stitches across both to be able to pull my sweaters on over my head, I simply pop one of these on my needle tip and slide them over. Now I don’t have to manipulate an extra needle cable and also don’t risk dropping stitches like could happen when I was being lazy and trying to slide my sweater over my shoulders without taking the time to move stitches to a second needle.

My biggest concern before purchasing these was if they’d fall off my needle tip in the middle of using them. I’m happy to report that I’ve never had that happen. Phew! In fact, I’ve given these quite a tug and they really do stick on there very well.

You can find a couple of brands making these. If you’re a sweater knitter, I especially recommend having a set on hand. I have the Knit Keeper Cords from theblueewe.com and they come in all sorts of fun colors. They offer sets with varying lengths of cords. The set I have is called the Clothing Set. It came with three cords. One cord is 60 inches long and two cords are 30” long. According to the product description, these cords should accommodate needles ranging in size from U.S. 0 up to U.S. 15. They cost $11 plus shipping. The Etsy shop is linked above.

4. Five to Six Handmade Circular Needle Organizers

This is my final knitting accessory recommendation for today. If you primarily use circular needles as I do, you’ll appreciate having an organizer like this. Now, I’m a huge fan of Five to Six Handmade bags of all types. I have two of Molly’s project bags and use them all the time. In fact, I’m going to show you one in just a few minutes. I put up a full review of my circular needle holder a while back so you can take a look at that if you’re interested. So I’ll give you a quick overview today. 

To begin with, it’s made from gorgeous canvas fabric and the sewing quality is exquisite. There’s a strong magnetic snap keeping it closed. Inside, you’ll find thick, high-quality pockets that zip close. It came with a sheet of stickers so you can label each pouch to make it easy to find the correct size needle.

This organizer has been SO helpful in keeping my needles organized. I have tried other organizers, but this one works the best of any I’ve tried. Plus, it’s compact because it folds like an envelope so it’s handy to pop into my project bag if I need to bring needles on the go! I believe I paid around $49 for this handmade beauty. She does run sales sometimes too, so you can watch for those.

Molly’s shop sells out quickly because she does everything all by herself. If you’re reading this in real-time, it’s closed until sometime later in May. But I’d recommend getting on her email list because you’ll be the first to know when she is ready to take more orders. 

*Bonus: What I Carry In My Knitting Bag

Now just for fun, let’s take a peek inside what else I keep handy in my knitting bag.

  • Knitting project: Laia by Isabell Kraemer on Noro yarn
  • The printed pattern because I don’t like consuming my phone’s battery by looking up the instructions over and over again
  • Small tin of stitch markers and extra row counters. This one is also from the Twice Sheared Sheep shop. Dawn paints these herself. Isn’t this adorable?!
  • Knit Kit: This would have made my list, but unfortunately, they seem to have been in and out of production and can’t always be found. They’ve also skyrocketed in price since I got mine many years ago. It is very handy though. It comes with a retractable measuring tape, stitch markers, and folding scissors, and I think it also came with needle caps, but I don’t really use those so I don’t keep them in here anymore. There is also a small double-sided crochet hook for helping to fix mistakes. And lastly, there’s this tiny blade that I believe is for a quick yarn cut, but I don’t find myself ever using it because it’s too difficult to pull out without breaking my fingernails. 
  • I also keep a full-sized crochet handy.
  • And I have a few other items like lip balm, hand lotion, and I also try to keep a nail file in here, but it doesn’t seem to be in here right now.

So those were my top four must-have, always-use-them knitting tools and accessories. I hope you found a new item or two to try adding to your project bag. Let me know your favorites below. I’d love to hear about your indispensable knitting tools!

If you’d like to check out my selection of naturally dyed U.S. yarn, visit here.

If you’re new to Henlia Handmade, I’d love to give you 20% off to give naturally dyed yarn a try. That link is here.

And if you’re looking to join the kindest, most friendly group of knitters, I’d love for you to join the Knit Many Together Community. It’s only $5 and helps keep Henlia Handmade running and helps me produce videos such as this one. The link for that is right here.

If you’d like to watch me show you each knitting tool and accessory, please watch the video I created for you by clicking the button below.

Thanks again for reading!

Have a wonderfully woolly day! 

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Mindy Kingery

When I'm not dyeing, designing or dreaming of yarn, you can find me painting, digging in my garden, hiking with my family or working on one of my many, many WIPs.

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