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View Full Version : Knitting Essentials - What do you have?


partydiva
12-17-2005, 11:38 PM
I'm just curious to find out what everyone has in their knitting room/environment. Just getting started, I have 2 sets of needles, a few booklets, and some orange yarn. I would like to know what everyone has, what you feel is important having, and the things that have helped you along the most.

This is something that hasn't intimidated me at first try and I'm excited and ready to start buying things but don't want to over do it (like most of the things I get into). I have been looking at different patterns and it seems like they all use needles that I don't have or yarn I don't have. I am going to Home Depot this week to get the stuff I need for making my own needles.

I have some coupons that are burning holes in my pockets. Please help me choose the necessities. Thanks.

CateKnits
12-17-2005, 11:42 PM
A tape measure! I don't have one, so I find myself borrowing my roommate's all the time.

brightspot
12-17-2005, 11:46 PM
I really love my little 3 foot tape measure. It is just like a regular metal tape measure, so it stays stiff when you try to measure something and you can lock it, but it is only about 1 1/2" square, so it fits very well in my little knitting pouch thing. That, scissors, and place markers are the things I couldn't do without.

brendajos
12-17-2005, 11:47 PM
i agree with a tape measure, i use my sheep tape (http://www.yarnmarket.com/yarn/Tools-Sheep_Tape_Measure-983.html) measure all the time! Ya pull the tail and the tape comes outta his butt! ;)

and something like this needle sizer (http://www.goosepond.com/elegantknitter/page2.html) thingy. mine doesn't look like this, it is a susan bates with a ruler, needle sizer, and the gauge thingy too.

Ingrid
12-17-2005, 11:47 PM
Everything I own is essential. Even the 5,895 balls of yarn and the 1,879 needles. :rofling:

This is a hobby that can become so addictive that you can't stop buying yarn and needles and notions. You spend lots of time on the web looking at beautiful yarns. You gaze admiringly at the yarn pictures people post, even though you have your own stuff. It's a slippery slope, indeed.

The main thing you need to have on hand is a complement of needles. Since gauge is so important, you need to have the right sized needle for the job. Many people invest in interchangeables so that they have every size. These are circulars, but you can use them for flat knitting, and many people don't use straight needles at all. You can also build up your needle collection as you need them for a particular pattern--same thing with yarn.

There are so, so many types of yarn out there, too, from inexpensive acrylic to phenomenally expensive fibers. The yarn you use really depends on your budget and the final product.

nicolethegeek
12-18-2005, 01:52 AM
I can't live without my fishing tackle box. It's just over 14" long. I can fit all my straights in the bottom of it. The cantilevered compartments are great for holding all my gadgets and doo dads {including circs and cable needles}, with room for more! I had fallen in love with using a tackle box while crocheting, and so it was one of the first purchases I made when starting knitting. DH was looking at me really funny when I was in the sporting goods section with a knitting needle, opening all the tackle boxes. {He'd seen me using my other one for crocheting so long that i think he forgot that it was originally for fishing tackle!} But now, when my stuff is actually put away, he's thankful that I bought one that can hold the vast majority of my tools. It also makes it easier to see what I already have, and put it up out of the reach of the kids.

Now that I'm doing a lot of sock knitting, my next "storage" purchase will be one of those adjustable tackle boxes that looks like the ones you get in the craft department for beads or embroidery floss... I can label them with the various sizes I have, and keep them organized since most of mine come in blister packs, not sleeves.

newbieknit
12-18-2005, 03:41 AM
I just love stuff! I am the last person who should be asked what the 'bare necessities' are for knitting. I first picked up one of those 'teach yourself to knit' kits which has a bunch of necessary dodads (st holders, st markers, row counter, gauge figure-outer, tapestry needle, and a few other things I can't remember right now. I think that was the best way for me to start since I got all the necessary items in one package. Nothing too fancy, and I was able to purchase more stuff to expand my collection later when I progressed to that point.

misstialouise
12-18-2005, 08:16 AM
Ooh.. my essentials..

My Boye Interchangeables, I would DIE without this set..
Various other bamboo, AddiT and Casein needles for specific yarns/projects
My Tape measure (got a great little free one off a knitting magazine)
My stash.. each ball of yarn has a project it belongs to... Whether it GETS to be that project, I'm yet to see :D
"The Knitters Stitch Bible"
"Knitting in Plain English"
Laptop (to get to all those nummy free patterns)
My little blue PVC project bag, which fits in my little backpack so I can knit EVERYWHERE! (this will do me until DH buys me a Jordana Paige Satchel bag)
Funky little hand therapy thing that stops my hands/wrists aching from knitting/crocheting too long
MP3 player, so I can listen to music, podcasts or audio books while I knit :D

Jeremy
12-18-2005, 01:16 PM
Its interesting to think about stuff I really need. As Ingrid said it is a very slippery slope indeed. I can think of very few patterns that don't require some sort of measurement and every pattern tells you to check your gauge so a ruler of some sort is important. I would also say an embroidery needle of some sort because you inevitably need to weave in strands of yarn. If you can afford a modest investment, a set of interchangable needles is great. It certainly avoids running out to the store every time you start a new pattern. If you can afford a little more, I would suggest the Knitters Handy Book of Patterns which gives you a basic pattern for most things you would want to knit and the Knitters Companion which gives you easy to understand instructions on most basic things (along with a built in needle gauge and ruler)

feministmama
12-18-2005, 03:50 PM
Yarn Yarn YARN

I have little baskets for each project. Pattern, yarn, needles all go into it. But lemme tell ya I got a lot of baskets. I did just organize some stuff. I got a whole bin of WOTA I'm saving to make a GAAA with dofferent colors, I got another bin full of acrylics, another full of various wools in Bulky, etc. Then I have a circ needle holder and a dbl holder. THen I have a shelf of books and a binder with plastic sheets with xeroxed patterns in each sheet. So I guess I'm lost without everything. :rollseyes:

knitting4babybear
12-18-2005, 04:19 PM
These are great ideas. I'm taking notes. And I totally agree about the Denise's...or any interchangeable set. Trying new things is much less daunting when you don't have to go to the store everytime you want to try something new. Sometimes that moment of courage is fleeting... :roflhard:

And if you are planning on breaking the bank right now, PartyDiva, certainly feel free to do so :roflhard:, but I accidentally bought a Susan Bates "Learn to Knit" Kit that came with a book, some needles, and a lot of notions when I first started knitting - like the first week . I bought it for the book, so I could use it as a visual reference for things I forgot from the class I took. I've gone out and purchased a lot of little additonal things, of course, and I've bought a downpayment on a house in yarn, but I've found at as I've learned to do more as a knitter, and required a specific "thing" to do it, whatever I needed ended up being in that kit I bought the first week I learned.

I didn't even know what some of the stuff was at first, but I played around trying to make a swatch with color using intarsia, and I already had the bobbins I needed to do it. I considered a cable pattern, andchecked my kit - and there's cable needles in there if I decide to try one night at 3AM. :roflhard:

It's coming in quite handy. Consider getting one, and buying more as you need it. That way when you buy because you NEED it for a project you're going to actually undertake, you can try what you have and then go out and get what you really want, if you still want to do that.

I have a gauge ruler and needle sizer in one that I use ALLLL the time from that kit now...

jelly
12-18-2005, 04:34 PM
point protectors because there is nothing worse to me than pulling my project out of my knitting bag and finding a few stitches have jumped off of the needle

ebrperk
12-18-2005, 04:50 PM
I think for me it is the interchangable needles ( :heart: :heart: :heart: my Boye's) and a row counter. I am always forgetting where I am at and that helps a bunch.


Happy Knitting,
Robin

Cristy
12-18-2005, 04:51 PM
I agree with the point protectors whole heartedly--I also agree with the measuring tape. Now...if there were just something to make my hands stop aching when I've been knitting too long! Good luck finding the things you want/need.

rebecca
12-18-2005, 06:43 PM
I began with a "learn to knit kit" which contain a booklet, a pair of size 6 & size 8 needles, tapestry needle, st markers, st holders, needle protectors, row counter and then I bought a tape measure & scissors, of course...an excellent beginning for things that you must have to begin..but be warned...it won't stop there :roflhard: :rofling: :roflhard: !! I now have my very own yarn store in my home (meaning I have enough stuff to be called a yarn store!) bc I have so many essentials ;)

dustinac
12-18-2005, 09:56 PM
:rofling: When I first started I wanted every gadget.. I had the row counters, stitch holders, you name I had it...

Now my main tools are:
Needles Boye Interchangeable set
Tape Measure
Pen
Notepad that I keep all my notes in and count my rows
My Scissors
I use extra yarn to hold the stitches and only use space markers when I have to
My binder with patterns I print off the internet or get those free patterns in the store...
and of course YARN and well ya can never have enough of that :thumbsup:

knitncook
12-19-2005, 12:30 PM
My needle case. It is the only way I can keep up with all my needles. I would go bonkers searching for my needles until I got it. I also can't live without a crochet hook. Great for dropping stitches, pick up stitches, all kinds of things. Oh and knittinghelp.com this is an essential IMO. Great information all in one place with great videos for those senior moments and all the great people here!

Nomad
12-21-2005, 09:58 AM
Hi! I recently re-discovered knitting when a friend was teaching her 7 yr old daughter. Unfortunately that was during a vacation in the US, and Iím now back in Ukraine. Where I donít speak the language, and thereís no yarn store in town even if I did.

During my vacation I purchased a Boyeís interchangeable needle set Ė not for any of the good reasons I see from the thread here, but because I got all needle sizes in one small package which seemed the best deal for all the travelling I do. But now, with a little more research, I see that Iím missing quite a bit. For example double pointed needles which many hat patterns require, and a short enough cable to use the needles as circular needles for other hat patterns.

Also, I now see that I may have been better off getting the Denise type interchangeable needles since my username is very true, and I spend a lot of time on aeroplanes. It frankly hadnít occurred to me that any knitting needles would get through security so I didnít worry too much about that when buying the Boyeís (plus that was the only option in Michaels)

So, finally my question. Given that I must buy everything online for overseas delivery, what would you recommend as the minimum Ďmust-havesí? One of the few advantages of working overseas is that money isnít a problem usually Ė but logistics are. If Iím going to have stuff shipped from the US or UK, Iíd like to do one shipment with all the basics so Iím unlikely as a beginner knitter to be unable to tackle a pattern because I donít have the right tools.

Thanks! Iíve really enjoyed this site so far, especially the videos, and Iím looking forward to getting started on some easy projects during my New Year vacation :D

brendajos
12-21-2005, 10:06 AM
well one thing i really like about the Boye needle set is that i can fit a lot of other stuff in the case....i don't think you can do that very well with the Denises. Also, the Denise set doesn't go below a size 5 needle. Of course Denise does have the shorter cable so i guess it is 6 of one...blah blah blah. i do often carry around my Boye set AND my full compliment of 16" circs in one case though so i am rarely at a loss for needles.

In it i also have a small pair of scissors, my needle sizer and gauge thingy, and my sheep tape measure....oh and a couple of different sizes of crochet hooks for picking up stitches and a tapestry needle.

Besides DPNs which fall nicely to the bottom of my purse, i don't think there is much else that i NEEEED......stitch markers are usually made out of whatever piece of yarn i find and while i do have stitch holders around a lot, i don't NEED them because i can use scrap yarn for that too.

so there's what i got! :thumbsup:

tigger0229
12-21-2005, 10:14 AM
welcome to the forum!
I agree with Brenda, love my sheep measure, scissors, gauge thingy, but I also LOVE my beaded row markers that denise (foldedbird) made. They add a touch of class and beauty as you are stitching. I just adore them. Also I couldn't do without needle point protector. It has saved me many times from stitches jumping off the circular needles!!

Nomad
12-21-2005, 10:41 AM
Thanks for the welcome. Yes, I admit the Boye's zip container is a major advantage, that's the only issue I'd have with the Denise set - that plastic box would be broken in weeks. I have needle point protectors & some scissors & the Boye's includes one crochet hook.

Looks like I need to invest in some DPNs - what sizes would be most useful do you think? Also a tapestry needle and a tape measure. That's not bad at all. Still debating the Denise set. Lot of money just for a shorter cable & the possibility of knitting on a 'plane... but I do spend a lot of time on 'planes... :thinking:

Thanks!

knitncook
12-21-2005, 12:12 PM
Oooooo, an international traveller! You MUST learn the word wool in every language you go to! :D

Why would the Denise be more "flyable" than the Boyle? Is there something about international flights that make one better for flying than the other? Seems like the larger Boyle case would be more accomodating for "extras" than the Denise. :thinking:

As for dpn's, it depends on what you want to knit with them. If you are doing socks then I would say sizes 1-4, hats 3-9, felted booga bags, 10-13. I love my bamboo dpn's and take advantage of the JoAnne's coupons for online savings and store savings! (If you ever need a JoAnne's coupon code, LMK since I don't use those often and always seem to have a handy one around). I'm all into instant gratification, so I hate to wait on an order! :D

brendajos
12-21-2005, 12:16 PM
well i think that people are still worried about pointy metal sticks. from my understanding though the only people who are NOT afraid of pointy metal sticks is the TSA soooooooo.....either set should work fine!

Nomad
12-21-2005, 01:56 PM
Yes, I assumed that metal point things were verboten. However, now that TSA has relaxed US rules I intend to ask at check-in next week. That way I can shove the needles into my checked luggage if they say no. If I have problems I'll probably order a Denise set when I get back.

I've never heard of JoAnne's so I'll have to look online. Definitely looks like I'm going to need some dpns as I'm thinking of doing some charity knitting & 'chemo caps' look easier than iddy-biddy stuff for preemies. Not sure my patience is up to the tiny needles!

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm hoping that I'll be able to find some yarn in Finland over New Year and get going.

partydiva
12-25-2005, 08:30 PM
[quote="knitting4babybear"]
It's coming in quite handy. Consider getting one, and buying more as you need it. That way when you buy because you NEED it for a project you're going to actually undertake, you can try what you have and then go out and get what you really want, if you still want to do that.

I have the same kit. It has size 6 and 8 needles in it, right? I think those needles are too small for me right now. I need to see my project come to life much sooner. I am gonna look into the interchangeable set this week. I have a few coupons to help me out. Thanks

partydiva
12-25-2005, 08:34 PM
I now have my very own yarn store in my home (meaning I have enough stuff to be called a yarn store!) bc I have so many essentials ;)

This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I am a fool with coupons. Maybe if I need to concoct me some sort of organized area, I can go from there.

Jeremy
12-25-2005, 09:02 PM
I think socks are the best portable object. In order to do socks 2 or 3 dpns are a good bet. The Boye set has both 2 and 3. With a long enough cord you could do magic loop knitting. Good Luck

partydiva
12-25-2005, 09:13 PM
Thanks for all of your replies. I am going to look and see how much the needle sets are tomorrow. I have a 40% off coupon for Joann's and Michaels and a few competitors take them so the lowest price will win. I got lucky this weekend and got some knitting books at the flea market where I work and they were 4-$1. I really lucked up. Now I will have to look through them and see what's on my "to do" list.

brightspot
12-26-2005, 12:34 AM
DH got me a new essential knitting tool for Christmas. A giant footstool that opens to put my ufos in :D I usually have several projects going at the same time. He said that this way I can find the one I want to work on easily. Think he is trying to tell me something? :thinking: