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Knitting accessories are all of those bits and pieces other than knitting needles, that you would generally find in a Knitter's stash.
If you are new to knitting, you will come across a bewildering array of these bits and pieces in your local store for you to choose from and it can be hard to work out what you will actually need and which ones are either 'nice to have' or not necessary at all.
My Knitting Accessories | © Deborah Mason & Knitting Naturally
Would you like to know from an experienced knitter, which knitting accessories are worth buying? I ususally take my knitting with me pretty much every where I go so I have refined my accessory kit down to a minimum to make it more portable.
These days I use circular needles for just about everything (less intrusive for fellow passengers on trains) and keep them in the case in the image above. (I actually have 2 - one for smaller sizes 1.25mm - 3.50mm, and one for larger sizes 3.75mm - 6.50mm). The needles fit neatly within the plastic pockets and my preferred brand of needles are coloured coded so it is easy to find the correct size quickly.
I also carry stitch markers in the small pocket, a pair of knitters sewing needles, a tape measure (a small retractable one that doesn't take up much room or get tangled) and a good pair of smallish scissors. In the back of my needle case I have several safety pin style stitch holders as well, cause you never know where you will be when you finish a piece and need to use your needles to start the next one.
I also have a knitting bag, no photo yet, but it is big enough to hold my current project, some spare wool, my needle and accessory case and knitting books up to an A4 size.
Knitting Accessories I Recommend:
A Knitting Bag is Great if you plan to Knit away from Home...
If you are planning on taking your knitting with you for the commute to work, or when you are on holiday or visiting family, get yourself a knitting bag. Most knitting bags are fairly big so you can fit most knitting projects in them along with your other necessary bits and pieces. And it will keep it all tidy in one easily transportable place.
Deb's Knitting Bag | © Deborah Mason & Knitting Naturally
My bag has shoulder straps so I can sling it over my shoulder or if I want to knit and walk at the same time (which I do most week days on the way to work) I can hang the bag off my left wrist and have both hands free to knit! It also has pockets on all four sides for my lanyard (metro and access cards for work), a few pens (always handy for making notes on patterns), a small notebook and of course my phone.
Get Yourself a Needle Case of Some Kind
When you are just starting, this doesn't seem like a big deal, especially if you only have one or two pairs of needles but believe me your collection of needles will grow and knitting needles are a bit like socks.
They just don't seem to be able to stay together!
A knitting needle case is a good idea if you want to keep your needles together in one place. You can get these cases in a variety of styles.
For single pointed needlesI have one that is basically a canvas tube with a zip at the top, with all the needles just sitting inside the tube.I have had it for decades now and it is still works well.
It does keep those wandering needles together, but if I want to select a matching pair, I pretty much need to pull them all out and sort through them to find the right needles.
Another option you might like to consider is a roll case. These cases have slots for inserting your needles in pairs. Much more organised!
The choice of needle case or holder is definitely a personal one and will also depend on the number of pairs you intend to collect. A roll case will hold around 26 pairs of needles, a tube made of canvas or plastic will hold more than that.
Looking after Your Needles
Unattended knitting needles can be dangerous, particularly if you have a house frequented by small children or animals!
One good investment both for the safety of the other inhabitants of your home and to preserve your own sanity are point protectors for your needles. Point protectors are generally made of soft flexible plastic or rubber and fit over the points on your needles.
Not only do these little items minimise the danger of needle stick, they will also help to keep our stitches on the needle!
I have lost count of the times I have left my knitting unattended to come back and find that a child or an animal had been 'playing' with my knitting, and I don't enjoy it when I have to 'pick up' all the stitches they have managed to drop off the needles during their game!
Other Knitting Accessories - Bits and Pieces
I have grouped the rest of the knitting accessories as 'Bits and Pieces' as they are all small items, but for most knitters, necessary!
One of the first things you are going to need is a decent tape measure so that you can measure your work as you knit.
A good tape measure should have measurements in both inches and centimetres, you will need both as older patterns have measurements in inches and newer patterns tend to specify centimetres.
Row counters are another handy item to have, but if I am honest, not strictly necessary.
These handy little gadgets fit onto one of your needles and can help you keep track of how many rows you have knitted. Each time you complete a row, you move the counter up one.
Although I don't normally use row counters, I know several other experienced knitters who swear by them and I do have one that fits on my left hand like a ring for when I am knitting really fine or fiddley items that are hard to count.
Now these knitting accessories, I do use!
Stitch Holders are like very large safety pins that you use to hold the stitches on your finished pieces of knitting prior to putting the garment together. The are most often used to hold stitches at the neck edge of jumpers.
I have several sets like the ones in the picture but to be honest I prefer the ones that have heads on them like safety pins as they are less likely to open and drop stitches when you are rumaging around in your knitting bag.