Knitting is an art that requires creativity and skill. It involves using two or more needles to loop yarn into a series of interconnected loops, creating a textile. It can be a therapeutic and relaxing activity that produces beautiful garments and accessories. However, knitting can be quite challenging, especially when you need to perform complicated stitches or techniques. That’s where ancillary tools come in. Ancillary tools are additional tools that make knitting easier and more efficient. In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular ancillary tools for knitting.
Stitch markers are one of the most essential tools for knitting. They are small plastic or metal rings that can be placed on a knitting needle or in the middle of a row to mark a specific stitch or pattern. Stitch markers are used to indicate the beginning of a round, a decrease or increase, or any other important stitch. They make it easier to keep track of your progress and prevent mistakes.
Types of Stitch Markers:
There are various types of stitch markers available, such as locking stitch markers, split-ring stitch markers, and plastic stitch markers. Locking stitch markers are small plastic rings that can be opened and closed. They are easy to use and can be moved around easily. Split-ring stitch markers are made of metal or plastic and can be clipped onto a stitch or needle. Plastic stitch markers are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors.
How to Use Stitch Markers:
To use a stitch marker, slide it onto the needle before you begin knitting. When you come to the stitch you want to mark, slip the stitch marker onto the needle or in the middle of the row. Move the stitch marker up or down the needle as needed to indicate the correct stitch.
Row counters are another useful tool for knitting. They are used to keep track of the number of rows you have knitted. This is especially important when you are working on a pattern that requires a specific number of rows. Row counters can be attached to your knitting needle or worn on your finger like a ring.
Types of Row Counters:
There are different types of row counters, such as mechanical row counters, electronic row counters, and manual row counters. Mechanical row counters are attached to the knitting needle and have a button that you press to advance the count. Electronic row counters are similar to mechanical row counters but have an electronic display. Manual row counters are hand-held and require you to move a small dial to advance the count.
How to Use Row Counters:
To use a row counter, attach it to your knitting needle or wear it on your finger. Begin knitting, and each time you complete a row, press the button or move the dial to advance the count.
Cable needles are used when you want to create a twisted stitch pattern, such as a cable or braid. They are similar to regular knitting needles but are shorter and have a bend in the middle. Cable needles are used to hold stitches while you cross them over each other to create the desired effect.
Types of Cable Needles:
There are various types of cable needles available, such as straight cable needles, curved cable needles, and double-ended cable needles. Straight cable needles are the most common type and are straight with a small bend in the middle. Curved cable needles are shaped like a hook and can be easier to use. Double-ended cable needles have a bend in the middle and a point on each end, making it easy to switch between different sizes of needles.
How to Use Cable Needles:
To use a cable needle, slip the desired number of stitches onto the cable needle and hold it in front or behind the work, depending on the desired effect. Knit the next few stitches from the left-hand needle, then knit the stitches from the cable needle. This will create a twisted stitch pattern.
Stitch holders are used to hold stitches temporarily while you work on another section of your project. They are often used when shaping garments or creating complicated stitch patterns. Stitch holders can be straight, circular, or U-shaped.
Types of Stitch Holders:
There are different types of stitch holders, such as safety pin stitch holders, circular stitch holders, and locking stitch holders. Safety pin stitch holders are the most common type and are similar to regular safety pins. Circular stitch holders are flexible and can be used for both circular and straight knitting. Locking stitch holders are small plastic rings that can be opened and closed.
How to Use Stitch Holders:
To use a stitch holder, slip the desired number of stitches onto the holder and close it. Continue knitting the rest of the row or section. When you are ready to work on the held stitches again, simply slip them back onto the knitting needle.
Tapestry needles are used for weaving in the ends of yarn after you have finished knitting. They are blunt-tipped and come in various sizes.
Types of Tapestry Needles:
There are different types of tapestry needles, such as plastic tapestry needles, metal tapestry needles, and bent-tip tapestry needles. Plastic tapestry needles are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors. Metal tapestry needles are more durable and long-lasting. Bent-tip tapestry needles have a bent tip that makes it easier to weave in ends.
How to Use Tapestry Needles:
To use a tapestry needle, thread the end of the yarn through the needle and weave it in and out of the knitted fabric until it is secure. Cut off any excess yarn.
Knitting can be a fun and rewarding activity, but it can also be challenging, especially when working with complicated stitches or patterns. Ancillary tools can make knitting easier and more efficient. Stitch markers, row counters, cable needles, stitch holders, and tapestry needles are just a few of the many tools available to knitters. With these tools, you can create beautiful garments and accessories with ease.
Do I need to use all of these ancillary tools when knitting?
No, you do not need to use all of these tools. Choose the ones that will be most helpful for your specific project.
Where can I buy these ancillary tools?
You can buy these tools at your local craft store or online.
Are these tools expensive?
No, these tools are generally inexpensive and can be reused for multiple projects.
Can I substitute one tool for another?
Yes, there may be alternative tools that can be used instead of the ones mentioned in this article. Experiment and find what works best for you.
Can beginners use these tools?
Yes, these tools are suitable for beginners as well as experienced