Easier Knitting, Easier Life

As much as I love to knit – and I do! – I still tend to get very frustrated when I need to do something and I don’t have the right stuff to do it with. Although I just love the ease of chart knitting, I began to find that most of the time I would get lost in a row (especially if it was a very long row) and would often have to use the tip of my needle to follow a line completely… this was not so helpful when I was actually using said needles to, you know, knit! So instead I started to use another piece of paper to cover the chart line by line so I could read it. Genius, right? NO! With two lovely, rambunctious dogs who are allowed on the couch where you knit most of the time this idea quickly went out the window as the paper kept getting thrown off its place with speedy little pups hanging around. I needed an alternative and quick! I had of course heard of using magnets for this and went in the search of finding these. I was happily surprised when I stumbled upon Slipped Stitch Studios on Etsy and found that not only did she carry these awesome magnets, but they were also covered in the most adorable fabric! Just look at this set I got:

Magnets

The magnets come in sets of 3 different sizes and she has many many different kinds to choose from, though I have to say I think my little sheep are just beyond adorable. 😉 Plus they do their job SO WELL. I haven’t had a single pup-run-by charting casualty since I received these and I’m beyond happy with them… and not only are they chart friendly, I’ve also found that they work great as bookmarks when using books for patterns. What more could you ask for? Apparently, in my case, project bags!

Project Bag

I’ve found through my years of knitting that even though Ziploc bags are pretty awesome in a pinch, they are too flimsy to keep sharp needles in. This is a big problem when knitting with double pointed needles which can punch holes through the plastic and then fall through said holes, either getting lost in your purse or breaking – both of which have happened to me several times. I do still use ziploc bags to store yarn – they’re awesome for that! – but for actual projects, they haven’t really done the job very well for me. I already posted before about a great project bag I bought and I was so happy that I was able to carry my projects without needles poking through everywhere that I absolutely had to have more bags. So I was happy to see when I went to order the magnets above that she also makes awesome bags too! I love the fabric that she uses PLUS she updates the site very regularly, pretty much daily, with new fabrics and things. The bag pictured above has the cutest explosion of bumble bees when opened, too!

Project Bag

I also got a large project bag from her in this awesome Knitmare fabric:

Large Project bag

You can’t tell in the picture that well but the book the skeleton was holding reads “Quick and Easy Knitting Projects” and the dog is playing with yarn in one picture and destroying a project in the next. How great is that? I also snagged another small project bag in the Knit Pirate theme:

Project Bag

And to give you a close up:

Project Bag

Notice the skeletons have scissors for bones and buttons for eyes! I probably have plenty of project bags for now, but I still covet more of them… I think I’m going to get a Ravelry one next! They are so cute and definitely usable! Every single project bag I have now is currently occupied with a knitting project, so I found it money well spent.

In addition to being able to carry my knitting as well as reading charts correctly, I was having a bit of a problem counting rows. I don’t really MIND having one of those Kacha counters or even the ones that roll to get the numbers, but I did find that it was becoming very annoying to put down my knitting (or at least drop my working yarn) to hit that counter and/or turn it. Plus, whenever I put it into bags, the numbers would sometimes change and that was just not cool… especially with how much I like to carry my projects in my purse. So the time came for one of those row counters that hang on the knitting (I’m not much of a fan of the ones that go on your wrist because I would never remember to have that on all the time). I love the look of the long gorgeous beaded ones out there but honestly I tried one and didn’t really enjoy it because it would either snag on my stitches or it would dangle way too low and be very distracting for me. As I’ve been knitting lots of socks, I didn’t want something that would hang 6″ down… just personal preference. No wonder I was beyond excited when I found this awesome row counter:

Row Counter

Not only does it meet my above requirements (guaranteed snag free and shorter in length), it also can count up to 110 rows, which is pretty awesome. I used it on my Twisted Flower socks (rav link) and I can tell you that it worked like a charm! I got it from Jed’s Joy on Etsy, if you want to get one for yourself or check out her other work. I highly recommend it! 🙂

And to show off a pair of socks that I actually used all of the knitting gadgets I covered in this post for, I have completed my Twisted Flower socks!

Twisted Flower Socks - FINISHED

These turned out wonderful, if I do say so myself, and I am beyond happy with the finished product! I would recommend this pattern for everyone who’s looking for a little challenge but who’d love a gorgeous pair of socks at the end of it!

Twisted Flower Socks - FINISHED

In addition, the yarn used shows off the pattern beautifully! Wonderful stitch definition and SO soft! I love Merino/Cashmere blends.

Twisted Flower Socks - FINISHED

Twisted Flower Socks - FINISHED

Pattern – Twisted Flower Socks by Cookie A. (rav link)
Yarn – Fiberphile Glimmer Merino/Cashmere Blend in True Heart (rav link) (store)
Needle – US1 (2.25mm)
Cast on – April 3, 2009
Cast off – May 26, 2009

On a non-knitting note, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend (or a great weekend overall if you don’t celebrate Memorial Day)! We had a pretty nice weekend though poor Kubrick was sick for a lot of it. He’s still not 100% and is on meds. He was very lethargic and just down during the weekend though he recovered from that on Monday and he’s been acting like everything is just peachy now, so you don’t have to feel too sorry for him. We took them on a nice walk in Central Park when Kubrick started to perk up a bit and they had a great time, in case you can’t tell by the tongues!

Tongue anyone?

Tongues!

I hope your day is as happy as theirs was! 😀

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11 responses to “Easier Knitting, Easier Life

  1. Heather 05.27.2009 at 10:18 am

    All your new goodies look great. I love then Knitmare fabric. How great is that?
    The socks are beautiful. I love the color.
    I’m sorry to hear that poor Kubrick was ill. But am glad he is feeling better.

  2. Stacey 05.27.2009 at 12:01 pm

    Hee hee – I ordered that exact same bag – the one with the skulls & scissors! It’s a gift but i’m tempted to order one for myself, along with those magnets!

    Beautiful socks! I’m loving the cashmere/merino blend too!

  3. pdxknitterati 05.27.2009 at 3:48 pm

    Beautiful socks!

    And, chart magnets. Very helpful, and you’d think I’d remember that I own one. But I forgot until I saw yours! This is going to be very helpful on my current Ishbel; I keep looking at the wrong row. Duh, me!

  4. Kathy 05.27.2009 at 8:04 pm

    Wow, score on all of your knitting goodies! I’ve been using post-it notes to keep track my chart rows. I like your gadget better!

    Your socks are so lovely and the color is absolutely luscious.

    It’s so cute how close together the doggies walk. Good to hear that Kubrick recovered to enjoy the weekend!

  5. sara 05.27.2009 at 8:05 pm

    love the skull and “crossbone” fabric! Darling!

  6. cici 05.27.2009 at 10:30 pm

    I love the magnets. I got them at the last stitches. The socks are gorgeous. Glade Kubrick is feeling better. I love the project bag. I need to get mine out of the ziplock bags.

  7. Alexandra 05.28.2009 at 5:36 am

    I love the things you got! Thanks for posting the link! The socks are gorgeous and that color is amazing! I’m glad Kubrick is better. As always, the dog pictures are wonderful! So cute!

  8. knitsomniack 05.29.2009 at 12:09 am

    Hey you, what an interesting read! You’ve got me sorely tempted by the row counter (although I am fond of my mini-Katcha Katcha that locks), and I love any pic of your dogs!

  9. nona of sav 05.29.2009 at 12:00 pm

    Wow! I’m off to check out the row counters on Etsy…fabulous! And those socks! They’re magnificent…look so soft and squishy, bet they’re a dream to walk on!
    (I’m nonaofsav on Rav)

  10. shortly24 05.29.2009 at 10:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, so much to drool about in one post! Love, love, love your purchases, and wow, those socks are incredible! Fab knitting 🙂 I came via Rav, and will be back 🙂

  11. tangletale 06.06.2009 at 7:06 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful to have tools that work for you? Love the knitmare fabric- to fabulous!

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