Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lace Shawl Equipment Essentials

Now that I've knit about a dozen shawls across my crafting career, I find that there are some things I feel like I can't live without. Especially thinking back to some of the first shawls I made-- I wish I had acquired some of these things sooner! If you plan on knitting or crocheting shawls on a regular basis, I would plan to include these things in your stash:

Needle Tip Protectors
Clover Large Needle Tip Protectors

I use these for something other than what they are intended for. I typically like to use smooth needles for lace knitting, and for some reason my work would slip right off the needles in my project bag and I would inevitably pull out a project with a bunch of dropped stitches. These handy needle tip protectors not only keep your needle tips sharp, but they prevent your work from sliding off slippery needles!

Blocking Wires and T-pins
KnitPicks Lace Blocking Wires

These are incredibly handy for achieving a nice, even edge along the straight side of a shawl (if it has a straight side) and for ensuring even points along the longer sides. This even works for crescent shaped shawls as most blocking wires are quite flexible.

KnitPicks offers a set of blocking wires that comes with 20 T-pins, but I also have a set of rust-proof pins that I purchased at Joanns. 20 typically isn't enough (especially if you're using them for larger pieces or garments)

Blocking Mats
Children's Interlocking Mats
Blocking mats are also nice to have. In a pinch you can block out your items on towels or another surface; however, this non-porous surface is ideal for faster drying. It also prevents mold from developing on your knitted or crocheted item!

KnitPicks offers a set, but you can also use mats intended for exercise rooms or for children's play areas.

Chart Keeper
Knitter's Pride chart keeper
Ok, so this isn't a necessity--but it sure is nice. My patterns always end up ratty and torn from being folded inside a project bag. Plus, there have been more than a few instances where I completely forgot where I was after putting a project on the back burner for a while. Having a chart keeper not only keeps me on track while following a charted pattern, but it also keeps me from having to put my knitting down to look the pattern over. I know exactly where I left off every time I dig my project out. And my patterns don't get crumpled and sad!

I use all of these things for every shawl I make!

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