Essential Knitting Accessories, Volume 2

All the tools you need to make your knitting life easier-swifts, needles, and more!

Volume 1 is here, in case you missed it.

Knitting is about so much more than yarn. I finally invested in a few fundamental essentials a couple of months ago. My expanded toolbox of knitting paraphernalia has made my knitting life SO much better. I don’t even know why I waited so long!

A swift

I finally bought a swift! So many of you commented with suggestions when I wrote my first post on essential knitting accessories. There were comments recommending hand-made swifts, Amish swifts, and, well, all kinds of swifts. Thank you for the suggestions! In the end, I still went with this basic swift* from Amazon+. I simply couldn’t find a better price (much more affordable than the similar version from, and I had a tight budget. Reed and I have used the swift quite a bit, and I love it! I already had a second-hand ball winder waiting, so I didn’t have to buy one of those. (This is the one I have*.) Now my stash is all wound, which truly has made me even antsier to hurry up and knit all the nice, pretty cakes. Plus Reed thinks it is great fun, and he truly is a fabulous yarn winder! Never too young to train em’ up!

A good swift will save you SO much time! Hand spun yarn doesn't hurt either...

A needle set

When I last pondered which needle set to buy, I received all kinds of suggestions. Alina loved her Addi Turbos, Karen was ecstatic about her Chia Goos, and I had recently read that Franciose loved her Hiya Hiya set. I had been leaning toward the Addis. My LYS carries that brand, and I have a few pairs already that I love. When I looked them up on Amazon, I got all flummoxed over whether I wanted the long tips* or the short tips*. It was overwhelming. After a quick Google, I went out on a limb and bought the Chia Goos*. It was nerve wracking to invest in a set of needles that I had never tried. Not even once. But I trusted Karen. Plus, they came in at a great price, and included more sizes and cables than the Addi set. Hard to beat. I HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPPOINTED! I love them and wish I had bought them YEARS ago! They come in a great case with all kinds of stitch markers that I really needed. (Mind have a gravitational proclivity toward the cracks in the sofa, from which they rarely return.)

I LOVE my Chia Goo needle set! Like, almost more than chocolate!


I LOVE my Chia Goo needle set!

Stitch Dictionaries

I love stitch dictionaries. I use the free online versions now and again, but a book is so much better. I had a couple checked out from the library and finally came to terms with the fact that I was renewing them over and over again. So I cashed in a gift card (thank you, Auntie!) and bought a couple. I chose 750 Knitting Stitches: the Ultimate Knit Stitch Bible* and a Japanese one.* The Japanese one is truly enticing to look at and was worth the extra wait and shipping cost. I can’t read Japanese, but I can read the charts (mostly!).

Knitting stitch dictionaries are a must for every knitter!

What non-yarn knitting tools have you discovered lately that I need to know about! Please share.

*Affiliate link. Thank you for being you.

+I know Amazon can be a pitiful alternative to shop local, etc., but I have made peace with this. I live in the Middle of No Where and use Amazon all the time for basics like shampoo and cat food. Otherwise, I am driving two plus hours to buy this random stuff. Instead, I stay home and focus on growing organic food in my own yard and other groovy lifestyle choices. I FULLY support you (with great envy) if you have local alternatives for this stuff, at competitive prices. 

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  • Reply alexand knits June 18, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I recently got a knit picker and it’s changed my life. They’re only a few dollars and they make weaving in ends about 25% of the bother without. Here’s the one I got:

  • Reply knittedblissjc June 18, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I always wonder if a swift is really worthwhile! I tend to keep my stash as-is until I’m ready to use it… once I wind it up I have a tendency to lose the ball bands and then I have no idea what i’m knitting with. Now that you have your stash wound up, how do you keep track of the ball bands? I’m not super dedicated to any one brand of needles or products, but I do love having nice stitch markers. Makes me so much me likely to actually use them. 😉

  • Reply Paula @ Spin a Yarn June 18, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I am in love with some new tools that I’m using for socks from I purchased mine with inches (although you can also order in centimeters) and all of the tools are working out splendidly 🙂 I also happened to pick up the Mitt Blockers with Removable Thumbs from her shop. The workmanship is outstanding and I can’t wait to use them.

    I have both the Addi set and the Hiya Hiya interchangeable set. I love both and you couldn’t have gone wrong with either of them. I’ve also picked up a few extra cords on Amazon for the Addi set. You can’t beat the convenience or the prices.

  • Reply Stefanie June 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I have two of these essentials. After buying many skeins of yarn on my very first trip to the LYS, I decided to buy a swift and ball winder when I felt guilty for making someone wait behind me and I had five Malabrigo skeins to wind up. These were the best investments ever! I’ve had mine since 2008. I also had bought the Martinagle Press stitch dictionary, 365 Stitch Calendar. A great investment as well.

  • Reply stephanie young June 19, 2016 at 5:57 am

    One of my favorite ‘tools’ is my metal tube sock holder thing-a-ma-jig. I live in absolute fear that I’ll lose the cap (I did once) and not be able to find the man who made it again (I found him once; I think he’s stopped making them). It’s sort of like the cardboard ones..but of course, the metal is so much better!!!

  • Reply bonnyknits June 20, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Oh, I do love having a swift! It’s so much fun to wind the yarn, and see it all in lovely cakes in my stash. I’m a bit jealous of your new needles; i’ve heard great things about ChiaoGoos!

  • Reply Little Church Knits June 20, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Great ideas! (And, as a fellow liver-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, I totally agree about Amazon…plus Dave the UPS guy is really nice and it’s good to see a face now and then that isn’t canine.) 😀

  • Reply Alina June 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Swift is definitely on my list! And you got Japanese stitch dictionary – I love them!!!

  • Reply V o n n a | DVon July 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I recently purchased a few pattern books but, my next knitting book purchase is definitely the 750 Stitches one you purchased. As for winding yarn, I read a thread on Ravelry ages ago about not getting carried away and winding all of your stash at once. Something about having the yarn caked for long stretches of time actually stretches the yarn out? Don’t know if that’s 100% accurate but, I’m mindful to not cake up anything (other than acrylic) that I don’t plan to use soon.

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