10 Must Have Knitting Tools

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

Let’s face it, knitter’s love tools and I’m no exception. There are so many to choose from, but this is my must have list.

So, here are my

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

1) Interchangeable Needle Set

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

This is the one thing I can’t live without. I have several sets that all give me different things. I have wood, metal and plastic. There are many brands out there, so think about what you need. If you do magic loop, you need flexible cables, if you fly oversees, you need plastic or wood.

A things that I like to have: caps for the cables that automatically turn a cable into a stitch holder, a connector that allows you to lengthen cables, needle tips that come in different lengths.

Another great reason to use interchangeables is to be able to use two different needles. This is one of the tips I teach in the Tortola KAL / Sweater class (join us for 3 hr of video tutorials for only $8.00) to reduce “rowing out”

2) Tapestry Needle

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

We may not love weaving in ends, but ya gotta do it. You also need these to seam your pieces together.

I have many different needles. You will need a variety of lengths and eye size for different weight yarns. One of my favorite little extras is a bent tip. That makes seaming a breeze!

3) Stitch Markers

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

Stitch markers come in a variety of types. The three main groups are closed, split / locking, and decorative. It’s important to have a variety since they all do different things.

If you are working with small needles and fine yarn, you might want smaller stitch markers. If you are working magic loop, dpn or two circs, a locking stitch marker to be put in the fabric is a most. Decorative stitch markers are pretty, but they also serve a function – they stop YO from jumping over your stitch marker in lace. You can also use split or locking stitch markers for seaming and to grab a dropped stitch!

4) Needle Gauge

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

If you are a fan of circs (and I am!) they are a must. You often can’t read the tiny label on a needle. Also, there are far more mm sizes then there are US sizes, so sometimes one brand’s US size might be a different mm size than another brand. The gauge to the right only shows US sizes, so it’s less useful as a needle gauge (but you’ll see in must have tool #6 why I keep it) then the needle gauge on the right that has both US sizes and mm sizes.

5) Blocking Pins

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

There are so many wonderful blocking tools, but as I teach in my blocking class (and online webinar) the one you can’t live without are proper T pins. They are made of a special metal that won’t rust if you are wet blocking.  The T head will stop the pins from popping right through the drying fabric.

6) Ruler

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

When measuring your gauge swatch a ruler is the best tool. A tape measure is great for blocking, but nothing beats a hard ruler to being able to get a realistic measure. Tape measures can stretch out of shape, but can also be hard to lay flat onto your swatch when measuring.

7) Double Pointed Needles (dpns)

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

DPS can come in metal, wood, or plastic. They are handy to have around, not just for working in the round (not gonna lie, I’m more of a Magic Loop girl), but as I teach in my Circular Knitting Essentials class, whether you work on dpns, magic loop or 2 circs is a bit of a personal preference. However, I also use dpn for redistributing slack, pulling out yarn from stitches when I’m tinking a section, and to help me “stab” the stitches when I count gauge. Just handy to have a pokey thing in your knitting bag (also can be used as a back scratcher)

8) Hand Cream or Cuticle Balm

In the winter my hands get so dry that they can feel like sandpaper. Sometimes I can get little rough patches on my fingers and cuticles that can catch on my yarn. I like to carry a tiny container of cuticle balm right in my knitting bag.

9) Scissors or Thread Cutter

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

I carry a few in my bag. I have my super sharp embroidery scissors, a thread cutter / row counter combo, and I also have a combo thread cutter seam ripper.

10) Crochet Hook (s)

10 Must Have Knitting Tools

I carry several different sizes of hooks with me. They are handy for picking up dropped stitches, for fixing mistakes, and some of my favorite crochet bind offs.

What are your favorite knitting tools?

Leave me a comment.

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21 comments

  • Nancy Johnson February 26, 2017   Reply →

    I also need several stitch counters, primarily the type that sit on the needle wires without falling off the needles, and lifelines made of light weight silk to move smoothly through whatever yarn stitches I am working on. 🙂

  • Pat Enterkin February 26, 2017   Reply →

    I have a clip board that I use for holding my pattern. It has velcro at the top right edge where I put my stitch/row counter which has velcro on the back of it. I stitched several pieces of elastic together (to go around the clip board) and I use these to mark my place on the pattern. Can slide the elastic up and down, remove, or leave it on the board. Also keep colored pens for marking charts when doing lace. I have a small rectangle of wood with a slot (made by a router) that holds my clip board. I place holder with clipboard on table by chair when knitting. Also tie a pen/pencil to clip on board. Very helpful.

    • Vicki March 27, 2017   Reply →

      I love my clipboards especially the ones with low flat clips. I sometimes use chipboard (back of lined note pads) with binder clips which hold tighter than paper clips.

    • Tyra Wahl November 13, 2017   Reply →

      Brilliant ideas!

  • Sarah Marsden March 2, 2017   Reply →

    Safety pins. They work as stitch markers, stitch holders, and temporary “seams” during test fittings.

  • Marianne Cwalina March 12, 2017   Reply →

    My copier is becoming an important tool! I enlarge charts so I can read them easily and mark them as I go along.

  • Brigitt April 7, 2017   Reply →

    I can only tell what i miss: sensible small practical containers for dpns which can be clapped around knitting in progress. Unavailable where I live.

  • Wendy November 12, 2017   Reply →

    A hard 6 inch ruler and several tape measures. Plus I make sure to check the flexible measures to be sure that 12 inches is really 12 inches.

    I also like the tic tac containers that hold 200 mints or altoids tins to contain my small tools and hopefully prevent losses. Thanks for the ideas in the comments and reasons why we need so many things.

  • Cindy November 15, 2017   Reply →

    Magic markers to color code charts. And a pen for notes.

  • Mary Alice kohs December 27, 2018   Reply →

    I keep a mechanical pencil for making notes on a pattern – the retractable lead won’t break off in my notions bag. Also, post-it notes. The lined ones are great for keeping pattern notes or stitch definitions, and the plain ones can be moved to mark which row of the pattern you’re on.

  • Katee December 28, 2018   Reply →

    Cable needles? I prefer just a straight needle for this and like the multi tool that has a crochet hook on one side and a knitting point on the other. It is also used to fix mistakes and pick up dropped stitches. The multi tool is my favorite cable needle. I’ve all the other types but never use them. I’m knitting socks right now and it is too large for my small cables, so I’m just using a smaller tapestry needle.

    I make my own decorative stitch markers and like them, but these days I almost always just default to the pear shaped safety pins.

    I also have the cutest little retractable measuring tape in a crocheted cover that looks like a bear. I’m a bit proud of it too, because when the original tape stopped working, I bought a plain retractable and replaced the broken one myself.

  • Honnay August 3, 2019   Reply →

    A nail file, a mechanical pencil, and one of those candy cane shaped cable needles I use, not for cables, but for holding the thumb stitches on knitted mitts.

  • Lois Moon de Padilla August 3, 2019   Reply →

    I like highlighter tape for keeping track of where I am in charts. I also use baby or toddler socks as yarn cozies to hold my center pull cakes.

    • Mary Ellen December 16, 2019   Reply →

      I have a roll of pink see thru tape that I use to mark my place on my pattern. It just lifts off so you can move it down to the next row. Comes in different colors.

  • Deborah Nelson October 28, 2020   Reply →

    I love my orthodontic elastics. I put them on decreases and increases to mark them. They are easily cut out later. And my recipe card size post it notes I can mark patterns, scribble math on, take notes. Love them almost as much as Knit Companion!

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