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Alexis Hoy

The Yarn Club theme for March is the high-tech crafter, and to that end we've been exploring Ravelry, and talking yarn-related gadgets.  One of my favourite things to come up in my on- and off-line discussions this month has been this, sent to me by Sandy (and I had it all cued up to play at the meeting and got distracted, as I do):

I am not a "gamer" by any stretch of the stuffily air-quoted word.  As I understand it, I need to get ahold of a PS4, or an Xbox... neither of which I have because my boys are about a decade too young.  I know, I know, that's too generous - I'll be lucky if I make it another two years without one of these devices.  Thank goodness they've made something I'll actually be interested in playing! Not a moment too soon.

I also came across this post about MacGyvering your knitting, for the low-tech proponents among us, as well as this tip for dealing with recalcitrant circular needles:

I asked members to bring in their favourite yarn-related gadgets to see what kind of arsenal we could assemble.  Here are some of our favourite tools:

Nostepinne on Etsy

The nostepinne is a Scandinavian tool for hand-winding centre-pull balls of yarn. Check out how to use one.

Knit Blockers by Knitter's Pride - via Three Bags Full in Vancouver, BC

These serial blocking pins help stop pin-puckers! Check them out here.

Circular Stitch Holders from

Use a circular stitch holder instead of slipping all your stitches on to scrap yarn when you want to try on your top-down sweater.  The drawback we noted in our meeting is that you can only load stitches in one direction - if it happens to end up facing the wrong direction to start knitting again, you have to take them off onto another needle before you can start working with them again.

Omnigrid quilting ruler via Quilt Nuts

This is a quilter's tool, but doubles as a handy gauge ruler - it measures 4" square and is transparent so that you can easily count stitches & rows.

Finally, a member showed us a handmade tool she uses to help her keep her knitting straight: a strip knit from scrap acrylic with loops at intervals which can be picked up (and dropped when no longer necessary). As she described it, she uses it to keep the beginning of her circular knitting from getting twisted, and to keep quick count of her stitches (she picks up a loop every 10 sts cast on so that she can count by tens rather than twos, then drops the loops as she knits the first row).  Genius! I think I feel a DIY post coming on...

What's your favourite yarn-tech (or yarn-hack)?

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