Essential knitting tools

You've got a pair of needles and some yarn, but what else do you need? Here's our guide to all the tools you should keep in your knitting bag.

Essential knitting tools

Whether you’re new to knitting or can’t work out if you need everything but the kitchen sink to finish a project, we’ve got just the thing to get your knitting kit sorted. Read on to find out what you really need…

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Your essential knitting kit:

A tapestry needle

Probably the most basic and essential tools a knitter can have to hand (besides their actual knitting needles). You’ll use the needle to weave in all those pesky ends so try to get one with quite a big eye, making it easier to thread the yarn.

Tapestry needle

A measuring tape

We might not like it, but checking our tension is critical to a good knit. Plus, it’s always handy to have a measuring tape nearby to make sure that our cosy socks aren’t on their way to becoming accidental Christmas stockings…

Tape measure

Stitch markers

If you’ve knitted lace before then you know the importance of stitch markers. They do what they say on the tin and mark your stitches so you can keep track of your pattern (especially when working in the round). Some markers are clip on markers (known as locking stitch markers) and some slide on to your needle between stitches (ring markers). However, if you need a marker in a pinch just use a scrap piece of contrasting yarn!

Stitch markers

Scissors

We don’t suggest breaking off your yarn using brute force… Every knitter needs a good pair of sharp scissors to finish off a project. A traditional pair of embroidery scissors are small enough to fit into most knitting kits, but for even better portability you can buy smaller yarn clippers or fold-up scissors.

Scissors

Needle protectors

These are essential for taking your knitting on the go or simply for storing it away. Needle protectors (despite their name) actually seem to protect everything else from the points of the needles, as well as keeping your stitches where they should be.

Needle protectors

Stitch holders

It’s always useful to have a couple of these on hand for when a pattern throws out something unexpected, or you have some kind of knitting needle disaster and need to keep your stitches safe.

Stitch holders

Cable needles

These might not be what you consider essential, but hear us out! Wouldn’t you rather not need a cable needle and have one, than need a cable needle and not have one? Plus, they’re a great help when fixing little knitting mistakes.

Cable needles

Row counter

Some knitters prefer to tick their rows off with a pen as they go, but it can really save time if you have a handy little row counter sitting on the end of your needle. Row counters come in a range of sizes to fit most needles, or you can buy ones that hang around your neck (or even sit on your finger as a ring).

Row counter

A few scraps of yarn

Scraps of yarns are real life savers – no really, they’re perfect lifelines! Thread them through your work to keep your knitting safe from pesky little mistakes. It’s always wise to have a few close to hand.

Scraps of yarn

For when the absolute essentials just aren’t enough…

We know it’s difficult to decide what’s essential and what’s not when it comes to your knitting, so here’s a few worthy mentions that you might (or rather, should) find at the bottom of your knitting bag.

A notebook and pen

Handy for making notes on a pattern, keeping track of stitches and rows, or for jotting down your own design ideas. It’s always a good idea to keep some form of pen and paper nearby when knitting. If you’re worried about making mistakes, use a pencil or an erasing pen!

Notebook and pen

A needle gauge

It’s always nice to get a new pair of needles, but a lot of us have needles that were made before we were even born and it’s hard to tell what size they are. That’s why it’s handy to have a needle gauge close by so you can always check if that worn down number is a five or a six…

Needle gauge

A crochet hook

Don’t hiss just yet! Crochet hooks are a great tool for picking up dropped stitches and, who knows, maybe even giving crochet a go… You can hiss now if you want.

Cable needle
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What do you think of our knitting kit essentials? Let us know what you keep in your kit and if you think we missed anything off!