One of my new philosophies has to do with having the tools you need to achieve the results you want. Can I weave tapestries with a picture frame? Yes, but I will not like the process or the results. Given that I have decided to invest in a couple of tools to make my crafting life a bit easier and my results a bit better. Before I get to the actual reviews, a disclaimer, I am in no way affiliated with any of the products below. I purchased them using my own funds, I am not making any profit from these reviews/products.
Recently I have decided to up my knitting and crochet game. I have started with socks, but I hope to progress to garments like cardigans, shawls, and sweaters soon. Learning Tunisian Crochet, filet crochet, and lace knitting are also on my list of projects to work on. With fitted garments gauge is extremely important. To this end I have invested in the Akerworks Swatch Gauge, but I went all out and invested in the knitting tool kit.
This includes, tape measure, scissors, two darning needles, knitting needle measuring tool, locking stitch markers, and various magnets across the back in addition to the gauge swatch tool. Essentially this is everything that I would need to knit or crochet on the go in one compact tool.
The stitch gauge has the numbers engraved on the side that is facing down toward the fabric, but they are engraved backwards so when the tool is being used the numbers show in the right direction, but there is no real explanation as to what the numbers are. Going horizontally across the top there are the numbers 1-4 and under the horizontal line are the numbers 1-10. Comparison with a ruler proves that 1-4 measures inches while 1-10 measures centimeters.
The tape measure can be slid out of the compartment that houses it, but can also be easily used from its nest in the tool. The scissors have comfortable finger holes as well as proving themselves quite sharp when put to the test against yarn. The darning needles in addition to the stitch markers are standard but since they are metal they stay where the magnets put them quite easily.
When my studio is completed I believe that this will have a place stuck to the metal rack I intend to install. The swatch gauge will be just at home measuring picks per inch as it will stitches per inch.
I have been lusting after the Eszee twist tool for about 2 years now. Spinning is still my main passion, however all of the math tends to intimidate me. No longer! With the Eszee Twist tool I can measure the angle of twist, but more importantly I have a gauge which I can put my yarn on and have a fairly good idea of what the wraps per inch are going to be without making a mini skein of yarn. This kit comes with much more than just the measuring tool, it has a bookmark, knitting needle gauge, yarn tracker, in addition to a user guide that does double duty as an Everything You Need to Know to Get the Yarn You Want guide.
In addition to explaining what twist is, s twist, z twist, and angles of twist, this guide goes on to explain different yarn constructions such as 2 ply, 3 ply, Navajo plied, core spun, cables, worsted, and woolen. The part that I find most useful is the simple math needed to calculate what size your finished yarn will be. This simple formula was well worth the investment, but the guide and other tools provide everything you need to gain a deeper understanding of yarn construction.
Yes, they are stitch markers. Actually what they are is a charm bracelet I purchased through amazon and repurposed using some split rings and lobster clasps. I just love the BBC production of Sherlock (except the last season and I HATE Mary) so I wanted stitch markers that reflected me. However, I did not want to spend $5 for one to three stitch markers that really had little to do with Sherlock. So I found a charm bracelet, there were 20 charms on it, a little manipulation, and I have 20 stitch markers that I thoroughly enjoy. Since I made the entire batch in less than an hour I can certainly see the appeal in buying up a lot of charms and making these by the hundreds. I wonder if I can recoup some of my yarn/fiber expenses by starting a stitch marker business?