You may have already co-opted some of these tools or some may be new discoveries! Let us know in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page.
Chopsticks: Let’s start with perhaps the most common. Need a cable needle for your chunky yarn? Panicked because you’ve left your knitting at home? Need a knitting notion for your Chinese food? You’ve found your substitute for a number of knitting needs.
Curler pins (thanks Elena Malo): See above reference to cable needle (can you tell I like cable knitting?). These must work because bamboo knitting notions looking suprisingly like these have been seen as recently as March 2011, when they were given away free with Simply Knitting magazine.
Surgical tools: I don’t let these out of my site, first of all because they’re so useful and second of all because they would probably maim my 6 year old, my dog, and myself if I sat on one funny. But items such as Overhold Geissendoerfer Forceps, curved surgical blades, and dental tools are fabulous for battling mohair, picking up dropped stitches when you’re using a size 1 needle, and shaving the fuzz off of extra-felted yarn with a wee bit too much alpaca in it. (BTW, my father-in-law was a surgeon and those forceps? I have some similar ones, but I found that name too priceless to resist. Another disclaimer … those aren’t mine!)
Nets from tomatoes, veggies: Another common one. There’s nothing worse (well, almost nothing) than a ball or yarn that’s unruly, unravelling, and independent. Until you catch it in your craftily hidden net and stay happily knitting for the rest of the evening.
Hair clips or binder clips: Have you sewed up any seams lately? On my finest knitting, I use the little clips that hold orchids up. (Personally, I think it’s the other way round, but that’s beside the point.)
Barbie brushes: If you do a lot of felting or knitting with eyelash yarn as an accent (that’s right, accent), you’ll find it matts. Especially when it comes out of the washing machine in the case of felting. A little plastic barbie brush takes care of any tangles, matting, and unruly fly-aways.
Diaper bag: Rash cream, diapers, burp cloths, extra clothes, bottles, those cute little socks, “binkies” (a word I’m loathe to say), cream, etc. What does all of this have in common? It all needs to go in a bag when parents are on the go. Check out diaper bags if you’re looking for a knitting bag. You’ve never seen so many pockets, bells, and whistles. This is only practical, of course, if you don’t have a baby.
Straws: No stitch markers? Take a pair of sharp scissors (no, no, not The Good Scissors!), snip off pieces of straw, and you’ve got yourself some fairly small stitch markers. Using big needles? This won’t work, but there are always Lifesavers. Or penne.
Corks: Rubberbands tend to be the go-to tool when you need point protectors. I like corks. Specially because they also work for my curved surgical blade and if I need to plug any dykes on my way home. Seriously, though, they do a great job. I love the fact that the end of your needle doesn’t get snagged on your knitting.
Film canisters: Just think, the latest generation of knitters has probably never used a film camera or seen a film canister. Which means more for us! Because I haven’t found a container with a tighter seal to hold pins, needles, stitch markers, beads, and so on.
Tool box, fishing tackle box, or in my case a SIGG container: I know the first two are popular, but I had to include my Sigg Storage Box (made by the company that make the popular water bottle). They take a licking. You can cram them full of odds and ends, they’re not deep, so you don’t risk getting sliced by Geissendoerfer Forceps.
Then lastly, I can’t resist showing a picture of my Jack-of-all-trades needle keeper. He hasn’t gotten much use since I discovered faster, metal circular needles. But, heh, how many people can say that a jester holds their needles?
Off to forage for more tools!