Call me a hipster – I love microbrews, locally roasted coffee, and knitting. While I discovered the first two of these while living in Portland, OR, the last I’ve started only since moving to DC. While I would say that I’ve mastered the basics of knitting, I have a very long way to go until I can create a garment or knit 200+ stitches in the round. And, it’s amazed me that beautiful and intricate textiles can be created using some very basic inventions and a combination of just two stitches (the knit and purl). Here are some of the inventions that I use to knit.
In order to make sure that all knitted pieces are accurate in terms of length and width, I use a gauge to check the number of stitches per inch the piece has. Otherwise, I might end up making a very tiny scarf on accident!
This is by far the knitting invention that is most valuable to me. Every time I finish a row, I use this tool to keep count. Especially with lace knitting, this helps me keep track of where I am in a pattern. Otherwise, a beautiful pattern can come out looking like a garbled mess.
When I first started knitting, I never used place markers. I stubbornly (and wrongly) believed that I would be able to remember where certain pattern segments were. As I graduated to harder patterns that incorporated more intricate designs, I started finding them more and more of a necessity. They’re so simple—really just glorified safety pins—but I can’t knit in the round without them.
So if you’re a knitter, next time you pick up your needles, take a moment to appreciate the inventions that exist in this craft. I know I’ll be raising a tasty microbrew in toast to all the inventors that have made my knitting easier, better, and more pleasing to the eye.