Free Yarn!

No this isn’t an April Fool’s Joke. Once again, I’ve missed my Blogiversary by several days. March 26th, 2004 was my first blog entry. It’s been a crazy fun five years, and I’ve learned a lot about knitting and blogging. I’ve also met a lot of really wonderful people by starting a blog. Who’d have thought?

In honor of the five-year anniversary, I’m having a contest. All you need to do is leave a comment, telling me about your favorite knitting gadget or tool. You know how I love gadgets. Your gadget can be something that’s made especially for knitters, or it could be something from the Muggle world that you’ve adapted to knitting. It doesn’t have to be something that I don’t already have, though that would delight me to no end and give me something new for which to shop. My definition of “gadget” is rather broad: it means anything that you use in your knitting that is not actually the yarn.

Prizes? Of course there will be prizes. I just haven’t picked them out yet. I’ll choose two winners. The first will be by the random number generator, the second will be for the gadget comment that amuses me the most. The two winners will each get their choice of something from my vast stash. It will be a choice of sock yarn or something lacy with enough yardage to make a scarf. (No, you can’t have my Wollmeise. I’m not totally nuts.) Once we have winners, I’ll post photos of a couple of fine yarn selections and let each of them choose. The random number winner will get to pick first, then the amusing winner, just to avoid fights.

I’ll post a photo of my favorite gadget just to get things started. You’ve all seen this before. It’s my treasured drug-dealer’s scale. Every time I post a photo of this I get questions about where I got it. You can buy it here if you want one of your very own. You can’t have mine, it’s not one of the contest prizes.

You have through the weekend to leave me a comment. I’ll close the contest Sunday night, April 5th, at midnight Pacific time. May the best gadget win!


Free Yarn! — 115 Comments

  1. I love my stitch markers that I have made by unassembling old costume jewelry. I have beads that make me think of my mother and my grandmothers and I love to watch as they pass by in my knitting row.

  2. I got a Strauch ballwinder for Christmas, and it’s like I never had a ballwinder before! It’s so smoooooth, so niiiiice, so easily amusing to a simple-minded knitter mom.
    Can you tell I love it?

  3. My favorite is a big paper clip, the almost 2 inch size. In a pinch it can be used as stitch marker, a sock needle, even a small stitch holder.

  4. I have a knitting bag with a carabiner on it. I got it from Michaels, and it’s big enough to hold a sock project. So I can clip the carabiner to my belt loop, and knit while walking!

  5. It’s nothing very exotic, but I like the plastic page protectors for all of my printed patterns. It keeps them from getting too crumpled when I put my knitting bag into my work bag. And when I’m done with the pattern I tuck a little bit of the yarn I used into the pouch and clip it into a 3 ring binder so I can go back and see what I’ve knit and what yarn I’ve used.

  6. Cat toys. Lol. My cats love yarn, so I always store a few new and exciting cat toys in my knitting. Then when the cats want to attack my yarn I have something to distract them.

  7. Hey Teresa – thanks! – what a treat to see someone mentioned my Stitch Savers! Splee!
    I feel one can never have too many tape measures, chibi’s or stitch markers.
    Lorette, Happy Blogiversary! Love the tiara!

  8. My favorite knitting tool is the lockable stitch markers. They save me a lot of aggravation.
    If I didn’t have trouble connecting it to surfaces (because there aren’t a lot of flat horizontal surfaces to clamp it on to), I would have said my ballwinder. I think I’m going to have to get a plank of wood and round it off to be able to use it effectively.

  9. So many gadgets. It does make me feel so grown-up and yet childish to get out the swift and winder.
    I also improvise a lot, like using nailclippers instead of scissors when I’m knitting on my commute, or on a plane. (I have nailclippers on my keychain; they’ve come in handy for all sorts of things, from knitting emergencies to dangling threads in clothes, and of course trimming nails.)
    Or even just using a piece of scrap yarn as a row counter — cheap and efficient!

  10. I have a ring that I thread my yarn through to keep tension. It’s very important to my process!
    contact me on ravelry at jecrowley

  11. My favorite gadget is the same as yours. I love my drug dealer scale and use it all the time. Almost as much as my needles and yarn!
    Happy Blog Birthday!

  12. I love love love my ball winder and swift. My husband got VERY tired of being called over to hold my skein wil I wound it up. I also love my Stitchminder on my iPod Touch.

  13. My favorite knitting gadget is my stuffed moose Morris. He has nice large antlers, which are perfect for helping keep multiple strands of yarn from tangling when I’m doing colorwork. I just slip one strand of yarn in each space in his antlers and knit away! I also tend to nestle extras like crochet hooks or double pointed needles under his arm so they don’t roll away and get lost. And if I get frustrated from frogging the same row five times over, I can just pick Morris up and give him a large squeeze. Every knitter should have a moose

  14. My favorite gadget is my Clover yarn cutter pendant. I have a love for that thing that is almost unnatural. Second is a piece of brass welding wire that I cut to a reasonable length and folded it over to use as a stitch-holder.

  15. Just one gadget? I love them all… except for the yarn guide that slides onto one’s finger to keep multiple yarns from tangling while doing colorwork. It’s fine in theory, but it doesn’t work worth a darn in reality. But back to the favorite item(s)… my ball winder and swift if a choice must be made.

  16. Happy Blogiversary! It’s impossible to ignore the utility of my favorite stitch markers. One says, “OOPS,” and the other says “CRAP.” :o)

  17. My favorite are my golf counters. They have two separate counters on them, and so you can count both rows and pattern repeats. The possibilities for those two separate counters in one machine are endless! I have a ton of these lying around, one for each project or two sometimes. Plus they have little metal cord things that easily let you put it directly on your project and since they are made of plastic they are light so they don’t hurt your knitting.
    And they only cost $1.98.
    After that, its my swift and ball-winder.
    After that its Microsoft Excel because I can use it to catalog my library, catalog my yarn, do mathematical disection of a pattern…although the neatest thing yet is for this bedspread I’m knitting, it has 3 lace patterns,each of course have different row repeats to them. So the first column is the overall row I’m on, the next column is the main repeat, then the second repeat, then the border repeat, I kept repeating the number of rows in each column. So if I’m on row 568 I can look at my spreadsheet and know exactly which row of each repeat I should be on. Its fantastic!

  18. Happy Blogiversary!
    My favorite knitting gadget is one you have, since that is where I learned about it – the row-counter bracelet in the pretty glass beads. I use it all the time.
    (I have even worn it a couple of places where I knew I would be around annoying people. I have used it then to keep track of how many there were … who says knitting doesn’t translate into real life??)

  19. Happy birthday to your blog!
    My favorite knitting gadget is my lockable row counter. I have to specify “lockable,” because regular counters fell off my list of favorites as soon as my three-year-old daughter figured out how to pick one up: “Mommy, what’s this?” CLICK CLICK CLICK. (Mommy’s response? “Aaaaaagh!)

  20. Hey Happy blogiversary!!!!! My favorite gadget is my coal minners head lamp. I get great looks from people, not ust because I am knitting, but because I am using a flashlight that fits on my head. I can use it without using my hands, that is where my needles go. You never know where you are going to knit sometimes, and sometimes the extra light really helps me see the stitches, especially sock yarn!!!!!!!!!

  21. lol , love the tiarra gadget~ Do cats count as gadgets? They feel they are helpful….or my dogs hair she adds to most every project! K, seriously though, i love my harmony needles. The case they came in makes the best lil stash bag for all the other gadgets to stay put in one spot, and portable! I still love my kitchener stitch dog tag as well though. can’t help it! smile

  22. I think my drug dealer scale is also my favorite knit accessory – followed very closely by book lights. I prefer the Z shaped ones that are very bright but in a tightly concentrated area. They will stand on their own if needed but also, a quality I find essential for knitting in dark theaters (while waiting for the movie or performance to begin), they can be hung inside one’s t shirt with just the light part sticking out & pointed at your knitting. That way I can ignore those annoying “ads” they now seem to have before movies everywhere.

  23. Oooh, did someone say prize? Happy belated blogversary! I agree, blogging is worth it because of all the fab people you meet!
    My favorite knitting gadget? That would have to be all the project bags I’ve purchased over the years. Before hand, I would drop projects willy nilly and have to untangle the yarn mess. Love the GoKnits Pouches for their little loopy thingy to thread the yarn thru. Wouldn’t be able to knit socks 2 at a time w/o a yarn barf mess without ’em! =^_^=

  24. My absolute favorite knitting tool…a simple pair of small fingernail clippers. They cut yarn and they are allowed on planes! They are tiny and can fit on a keychain! (There’s a little loop for that if you are so inclined.) They have a swing-out nail file for those little pieces that snag your yarn! Oh, and if you’re feeling really daring, you can use them to clip your nails. Or your cat’s nails.

  25. I have three favorite things when I knit. Stitchmarkers, because I can’t keep it right for myself, lifelines for lace, because I hate reknitting more than 10 rows, and very short dpns (7-8 cm) because then I can knit socks under the tables while at lectures at university when the professors are really borring.

  26. Hmmm, gadget….whatever I can lay hands on and use in a McGuyver fashion to meet my needs. However, I’m really looking forward to this new “The Knit Kit” that is an all in one doohickey.
    I guess if I lose this then I’ll be totally screwed.

  27. My favorite gadget are my swift and ball winder lol… but they aren’t any swift and ball winder mind you!! My swift is two chair tops put about a yarn apart πŸ™‚ and my ball winder is a recycled toilet paper roll! Whenever i see one in the bathroom that is close to the end of its life as a toilet paper holder, i claim it! i make sure everyone knows not to throw it away! haha πŸ˜‰

  28. I bought a Cool Box (School Box) from Target a few years ago and that is where I keep all my knitting gadgets when I am at home. When I travel I have a zippered eyeglass case that my mother bought in Mexico that I use to put some of the necessary knitting gadgets.
    Can’t live without these two items.

  29. I use a cylinder gift box to hold my sock projects in. It’s the perfect size and completely portable!

  30. My favorite are my two little Hello Kitty cases that hold my 5″ sock needles, stitch markers, scissors, crochet hook and needle.

  31. Strangely enough, my favorite ‘gadget’ (and I use the term loosely)is the plastic bread tie thingy (official term, I know). It is great to wind up the tail from cast on so it doesn’t get tangled in your knitting project. For example, if I am making a sweater, I like to leave long tails so I can use them to sew up the project.

  32. I just love my Ginghers thread snips!!! I’ve had a pair for years that I have attached a metal chain to. I wear them around my neck and always know where they are. And, the little removable sheath protects the very sharp tips from getting bent/chipped as well as protecting me from stabbing myself. FABULOUS little gadget.

  33. I’d have to say that my favorite knitting gadget is either the ziplock bag that holds all my circulars and DPNs or my yarn-sized sewing needle. I’m always working on projects that leave me with far too many ends to weave in (Lizard Ridge, for example), so a yarn needle is my best friend, sometimes.

  34. Ohhh, a contest. What fun. Happy anniversary. My favorite gadget is actually a combination of them put together to create my fiber stand. You can see and read about it here on my blog at I would be lost without it. My other favorite gadget is a lace bodkin. It is wood and has a very pointed end just perfect for undoing knots in yarns or for prying apart fuzzy and stuck together yarn whilst frogging.

  35. My favorite knitting “gadget” is the beautiful niddy noddy I purchased at New York Sheep & Wool last fall. It is a cool way to skein my bare yarn and get it ready for dyeing!
    Happy Blogiversary!

  36. My favorite gadget is the floor swift my DH made for me. I don’t have a table that a swift can be clamped to, so DH made one for me that sits on the floor near the coffee table – the one table I can clamp my ball wider to (with a rag and pieces of wood to allow the camp to hold). It spins around on a lazy susan and has adjustable arms, but doesn’t open like an umbrella. That’s OK because the few times I used a “real swift” I got the yarn terribly tangled in the swift. Mechanically inclined I am not. ; ))

  37. I think my favorite gadget is my cheepie plastic yarn needle. It is bent, and easy to use for weaving in ends and kitchnering sock toes.

  38. Happy belated blogoversary! My favorite gadget is my spinning wheel. It’s an old ashford elizabeth that I inherited from one of my mom’s friends. I love experimenting with different fibers. I feel like it’s sort of my responsibility to make sure that it gets used. I also love the chibi needles. They make it so I don’t bitch so much while sewing in ends.

  39. My favorite gadget is an old knitting gauge that belonged to my grandmother. It’s pretty battered, but every time I use it I’m reminded of her (she was a really bad knitter). It reminds me of the way that knitting connects us all to each other and continues in a chain through time.

  40. My favorite knitting gadget is an old yarn gauge that belonged to my grandmother. It’s pretty beat up but every time I use it I’m reminded of her – she was a really bad knitter. It reminds me of the connections I’ve made through knitting and how knitting connects us all to history.
    Happy anniversary – thanks for the great blog.

  41. two things, both somewhat related to my job in medicine.
    – prescription bottles (amber colored with plastic lids) in various sizes are perfect for a small travel “kit” that can hold a few needles, stitch markers and a small tape measure (just the tape, not in a case of it’s own!). I have a few of them in various bags, and I can always find them because they make noise when my knitting bag(s) are shaken.
    – biohazard bags from the hospital are the perfect size ziplock bag for some of my projects. Yes, I have cloth bags for keeping things clean and together and nice, but in a pinch? A specimen bag is just the right size. (and in great supply when at work!) A built in bonus is that the pattern fits in where the “lab slip” should go! πŸ™‚