Knitting needles and accessories

stitch markers stitch markers I do not own many stitch markers but these caught my eye at my favourite charity shop and I had to buy them - at least I think they are stitch markers and one day I may use them. They would be fine for a substantial piece of knitting but certainly of no use when knitting lace as there are too many points to damage a piece of delicate knitting.

Instead of custom made stitch markers I usually use yarn or cotton in a contrasting colour, or a safety pin. There is always something suitable nearby and is cheaper than buying custom made markers - there are photos below.

Various sizes of needles. Squares are 0.5 cm. Various sizes of needles. Squares are 0.5 cm. I am often asked about what kind of knitting needles I use. I almost always use straight double pointed needles (no more than 4) with my knitting belt. I have scores of knitting needles in all sizes and lengths - far too many. The majority are aluminium though I have some made from steel and bamboo. The needle tips are of interest to knitters and I had a request for them to be photographed on squared paper to show the length of taper - most of these taper over about 1.5 cm. 

I do have some circular needles and find them useful for holding stitches, knitting while travelling or when there are too many stitches to comfortably manage on 4 double pointed needles. The main problem I find is that the distance from the flexible part to the tip is too short. The only time knitting made my hands sore was when I used a thick circular needle (double pointed needles were unavailable and it didn't occur to me to buy wooden needles to customise). In a moment of weakness I had agreed to take on a commission to knit this garment. I could have done it on single pointed needles but would have had to purl alternate rows and seams to join, two things I prefer to avoid.

Strong cotton or string is also useful at several stages of knitting. After about 3 cm has been knitted a 'raepin string' helps to create tension and speed up knitting, though I am not sure it is as useful with a circular needle. A 'raepin string' is a long, strong cord (cotton is ideal and should not be too thick) which is passed through the bottom of the knitting using a blunt needle, then tied to make a circle. Three or four bights of the cord are pulled to give a long tail which can be pulled to the left and wound around a knitting belt, or sat upon, to put a little tension on the stitches which are about to be knitted.

As a child I was often asked to help wind hanks of yarn into balls. Nowadays yarn is usally bought in balls and generally only special yarns come in hanks. Nevertheless a 'yarnwinder' is a handy accessory. Both of mine have been bought; one at auction and the other at the same shop as the stitch markers.

comments powered by Disqus

Buy Knitting Patterns

Scaddiman

Scaddiman

Cushion Cover

Starn

Starn

Cushion Cover

Newsletter

Enter your email address to receive updates from HazelTindall.com in your inbox...

About Shetland

Shetland

Shetland is the most northerly group of Scottish islands. Apart from mainland Scotland, the other near neighbours are Norway to the east and the Faroe Islands to the north west.