Harriet the Hedgehog, knitted pin cushion

This cute but prickly character will take very good care of your pins for you.

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Harriet is knitted flat with a bobble stitch body, she is a quick and fun knit which will make a great gift for the ‘crafty’ person in your life.

You can find the pattern for Harriet (and indeed Harriet herself on the cover) of issue 90 of Let’s Knit Magazine. Harriet_the_Hedgehog_1_medium2 knit pin cushion jane burns

10 Essential knitting gadgets you should have

Some of these gadgets might surprise you, I would not be without any of them!

WIP Tubes (work in progress tubes) from Nancy’s Knit Knacks. These little beauties are great for taking your smaller projects out and about with you. At the moment I am using mine for keeping the lace edging I am working on under control. You can buy these from Knit ‘n’ Caboodle in the UK

WIP tubes

Row counter
I have an electronic row counter from Nancy’s Knit Knacks. I am a big fan of their products they are well designed by a knitter! This beauty is easy to use, lets me delete rows when I have to rip back, keeping me on track when I am distracted whilst knitting in front of the TV.

kitchener stitch card

Kitchener stitch card,  once again from Nancy’s Knit Knacks.  This card is always with me as I can never remember the first two steps of Kitchener stitch.  No excuses for not finishing my socks! This card is part of a range of cards, they include decreases, increases, knitting terms and abbreviations, buttonholes.  All the cards have a keyring attached, fantastic for us knitters on the go. Please excuse the blurring of the text but I didn’t want to get my legs slapped for breach of copyright.

Clover locking stitch markers
These are a must! especially if like me you have a tendancy to knit your stitch markers into your project *blushes*. These also double as stitch holders when you have a small amount of stitches you need to set aside. Perfect for pinning pieces together in preparation for sewing up.

Mercerised cotton yarn, for life lines, for make shift stitch holders, for making crochet flowers when your hands are in need of entertainment, the list goes on.

Crochet hook, for picking up dropped stitches and emergency crochet.

Blocking wires, I purchased mine from iKnit and blocking became a joy rather than the dreaded chore I avoided at all costs. The wire blocking kit made my blocking so much simpler and I avoided the scalloped edges you get with just pins!

blocking wire kit

Exercise mats,  yes I said it.  I use the foam clip together exercise mats or floor protectors as blocking mats.  The can be put together to accommodate any size and shape of project.  Pins go in easily and don’t destroy the surface making them last forever.  They store away easily too.

exercise mat

Electronic kitchen scales, for those times when you wonder if you have enough yarn to finish your project.  Stacey over at Freshstiches.com has put together a great tutorial to show you how to use electronic scales to calculate the yardage of your yarn.

Hand cream and nail file, there is nothing more annoying that dry rough skin and snagged nails catching on your knitting.

Post it notes,  great for working from charts! Keeping your place in a pattern and making impromptu notes.

Make up bags,  these are great for transporting your smaller projects when you are on the go.  Keep one in your car so you always have  emergency knitting to hand.  They are  relatively cheap and come in a range of designs from the elegant to the quirky.

What is on your must have knitting gadget list?

The freaky knitter

Today I am at Eurogamer, for those of you not in the know, this is the gaming equivalent to The Knitting & Stitching show. I am not much of a gamer myself, I am a demon Crash Team Racing player and have in my time had to battle several addictions, currently in need of Candy Crush detox. But I come here with my husband and my son who are big gamers.

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How is it, I sit here with my needles working away on my knitting and I am getting the looks, you know the look, the one that suggest I have issues! I have walked past zombies and jokers and barely dressed women from other planets. Hundreds of teens who rarely see daylight or soap and I am the freak!

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WTF, what next?

Sometimes, just sometimes I take things a little too personally. I have been working on a large project for a magazine. Chunky yarn and a lot of stitches (by chunky knit standards). Picture this….182sts on my needles, I have worked 54 heavy going rows when things suddenly felt very light!

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The cable had come away from the locking mechanism.

I thought at first it had come unscrewed, but no, a clean break! I sat for a while perfectly still, as the weight of the project pulled lots of stitches into my lap, unravelling as they went, me chanting ‘oh no, Oh No, OH NO!********** What next?’

Thank goodness for lifelines, see previous post Bleedin’ yarn.

*********** for the purposes of decency, let’s just say what followed wasn’t, gosh, darn this, one is mildly irate.