If you are anything like me then you love all things accessories; I hoard them like I hoard yarn. With that in mind, this week I reached out to a number of crafters and asked them which accessories they couldn’t live without and why, and with their recommendations in mind, here is my list of must have accessories for a crafter, ignoring the essential needles and yarn.
That’s right, sometimes the simplest things can make your life that much easier. Keeping track of which pattern you’re using, how many rows you’ve completed, any tips and tricks you’ve discovered, pattern adjustments, pattern errors in your notebook will really help you in the long run. I have always found it especially helpful when working from online patterns, which you can’t tick off and mark the online pattern.
Squared Paper & Colouring Pencils:
When customising a pattern, writing or creating your own pattern, or trying to get your head around a chart, you will be thankful you have squared paper. I have used this to customise bunting and create my own designs. I have also used it when I have been struggling to visualise a pattern, using colouring pencils to bring the pattern to life.
Gone are the days of trying to figure out which size needles you have, especially after the numbers have rubbed off! Grab your needle gauge and measure away! Some needle gauges also come with a really handy ruler as well, like our classic needle gauge. If you want something a little more fun, we also have these really cure sheep needle gauges.
Have you ever used half a ball of yarn and placed it in your stash without the ball band? Well, I have and I have spent many an hour counting wraps per inch whilst trying to figure out yarn weights. That was until I discovered a yarn gauge with grooves that you lay your yarn over to find out which weight your yarn falls into. These can also be used to measure the thickness of your yarn when hand spinning to make sure your thickness is consistent.
I got mine from the wonderful independent Indie dyer and spinner Hilltop Cloud from Wales who has also written an amazing blog about measuring yarn thickness.
Point Protectors & Cable Stoppers:
Never worry again when putting down your latest knitting project when you have point protectors on hand. Simply pop these on the end of your needles and never worry about your stitches slipping off again. If you like fun accessories then fear not, we have these adorable panda point protectors in a variety of sizes to fit your needles.
If you are working on interchangeable circular needles and need your needles for another project then we have just the product for you, cable stoppers that you pop on the end of your cable so you can use your needles to work on your other beautiful creation.
This can come in handy if you are struggling with holding your yarn. One of the crafters I spoke to explained that their daughter struggled with holding the yarn and that using a yarn guide allowed her to fall in love with crochet.
Yarn guides can also be useful whilst doing colourwork to hold two yarns at the same time and can help you get an even tension.
Locking Stitch Markers:
Stitch markers, I think any crafter will agree that these are a must. I recommend getting a mix of colours so you can see them no matter what colour yarn you’re using, and so you can mark the start of a round and differentiate it from the start of the repeats in a pattern and marking where your increases will be in the next round. If you don’t have a stitch marker to hand you can also use yarn tail ends as stitch markers.
Even better, a cute dumpling case to keep them all in, probably one of my favourite accessories, whilst it hasn't stopped me losing all my stitch markers, I have definitely lost fewer since getting my dumpling case.
Nail File & Hand Cream:
A strange one I know, but I honestly hate it when my nail snags on my yarn or garment I’m working on, so I always have a nail file in my project bag to help stop that from happening. As for the hand cream, after a day working with some yarns, especially carpet yarns, I find that my hands can be quite dry, but I wouldn’t recommend using it whilst still knitting or crocheting as it can become a tad slippery and can leave your garment oily.
This is something that I only very recently discovered and it blew my mind! Never come across a needle minder before? It’s basically a magnetic sewing accessory that helps you keep track of your needles when you take a break from sewing or you are changing thread. Gone are the days of me losing needles in my bed and finding them in the middle of the night!
I got mine from a local independent business called Pixels & Purls who sells amazing embroidery kits and accessories.
This is something that you can throw in your project bag when you are out and about which contains everything you could need when crafting on the go. One of the crafters I spoke to sent me a picture of their on the go pouch outlined its contents; yarn cutter/snips, locking stitch markers, a thimble (not for sewing but for when she is knitting tightly), retractable tape measure, small post-it notes & IKEA pencil all secured with a kilt pin that can be used as a stitch holder when needed.
This inspired me to make my own on-the-go pouch which I haven’t quite finished yet. Follow us on Instagram and be sure to watch our stories to see how I’m getting on with that. If you’re not one for Instagram, fear not, we have Facebook as well.
Happy crafting and until next week!