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December 22, 2014



I've started buying higher quality yarns and it makes a difference in the end product as well as the process of knitting.


I finally started using my iPad for my patterns. I even found an app that allows me to write on them!


I received a pair of Karbonz this year. Love them! I need more so that all of my projects can be on them.


This year for me has been the year of cute project bags for my projects. I had no idea knitters used cute project bags. I always used ziploc bags for my projects. Then I started watching podcasts and my eyes were opened!


I've started using my bags as well. Before I had some, and loved to look at them, but used them more as decorative than functional items. Now I have a project in each bag, which helps me keep track of them and know exactly which project to grab when I'm going somewhere, plus some of them (especially the ones from SSYC!) just make me smile!


I've discovered square needles. I find them useful for delicate lacy patterns.


Better tools and better yarns make a much more professional project. I've been slowly upgrading but I think the Knit Blockers have made the most difference.

Genevieve Turnbull

It sounds silly, but I've learned that if I'm monogamous on my knitting, I can get a project done super quickly.

I'm also learning to hold my arms differently when I knit to reduce muscle pain.

Marilyn Knopps

I have started casting on using both ends of the yarn. I like it and it doesn't waste yarn.

Marjorie Millner

I got some Karbonz needles and love them. Wooden size 1 needles just can't be strong enough. I have snapped several. Karbonz are lovely and strong. I also love the tool that came with a sock kit (part of why I love your sock kits is that I get items that I didn't know I needed, or wouldn't even have know to look for.) The tool is a Boye aluminum tool about 3 inches long, with a crochet hook at one end and the other end is a needle, about size 1 or 2. It is the perfect tool to have handy to fix a dropped stitch.


I started using wooden square needles on projects that use heavier weight yarn, or are just heavier due to the size of the garment. I'm finding I can knit longer without pain, and I love the warm, smooth feel of the wood in my hands.

Deb Holbrook

Square needles. For some reason, I have a death grip on my dpns and while I still prefer round dpns, if I find my hands cramping up with them, I pick up a project with my square dpns and the different feeling lightens my grip.


For some reason I just like using bamboo needles. I like the feel in my hand. I have a certain brand I like most but I much prefer bamboo.


I'm loving using the Good Reader app which allows me to write and draw on PDFs as well as create a box which I can slide up and down so I know where I'm at in my pattern.


This year I purchased some Kollage square needles and I adore them. They really do make knitting for long periods easier on your hands. I also bought 2 Addi Sock Rocket size 1 circulars so I'm branching out into two at a time socks now.


I just enjoy knitting - I have nothing new as my "old" knitting "stuff" works real well. Everything is broken in!

Leslie T

I discovered Floops stitch markers! Not earth shattering but I like them a LOT!


Using stitch markers for lace has been a tremendous help. My knitting friends use their patterns on IPad, but I am not there yet.

Karen Pettyjohn

I'll have to put project bags on my list for the new year. I've been using zip lock bags :-( The one new tool that's made a big difference this year is my darning needle. I got it at a yarn retreat. It's curved, has a nice finish and brightly colored so I don't loose them so easily


I discovered I needed to get organized. I keep everything for a project in one bag so I always have everything together and I don't spend a ton of time searching.

Carla in MT

Highlighter tape. I use a lot of charts when knitting my projects, & a strip of highlighting tape is just the thing to mark the line I am working on. It is removable, but stays put.

Bonnie Wright

I learned how to do the Kitchener stitch and the long tail cast on

Rhonda Atkinson

I got a set of Signature DPN's this year and love them. Only got 1 size so will have to order more as I have the extra money but they are very nice. I just ordered the "Sock Ruler" but haven't received it yet. Excited to try this instead of my little rulers I use now which always seem to be off just a little each time I measure.

Jessica mcconnell

Really large bread tags wrapped in washi tape (so the look pretty) make a great center for a hand wound ball of yarn. They are reusable and fun to find when you get to the end of the ball.


Hi Allison - I started to knit with square doulble pointed needles. It took a bit to let go of my bent needles, but thse square needs a are kind to the hand. Not so achy. Denise

Susan Eberhardt

I've used Addi Turbo needles for sock knitting once I switched from double points to one circular needle. I picked up a Karbonz for a change of pace, and really like working with that needle as well. So that is my new tool of this year!


I used to avoid knitting socks on anything smaller than a size 1. I had some bamboo needles break on me once, and I tried small dpn in plastic, stainless steel, wood...they all felt flimsy. Then I tried Karbonz - what a difference! I am able to knit socks much faster now that I'm not worried about snapping a needle!

Kelly Heck

Project bags!!! I've gotten addicted to project bags this year. It's so much easier to keep everything together.

Geraldine Scott

Using Judy's Magic Cast On and knitting Toe-up Socks has opened up my knitting world! No more picking up stitches…so wonderful and easy! And from reading the other comments, I really do need to take out my beautiful bags and USE them instead of treating them like eye candy!

JoAnne B

The stashbot app for cell phones excited all of us in my knitting group. I consider it another tool to justify yarn purchases. ( As if I need justifying.)


This year I discovered the Old Norwegian Cast On a.k.a. Twisted German. It is a great variation of the Long-Tail Cast On and I found it really makes a nice stretchy cast on for the cuffs of socks. It is now my go to cast on for all my top- down socks.


I have started using a crochet hook to do the bind off of toe-up socks. I think that it makes the Jeny's Surprisingly Stretch Bind-off easier.


I discovered that knitting is more enjoyable when your work space is organized. I culled out my yarns, bags, and books and got rid of my hard -copy patterns, got some cute containers to display tools and projects, plus I finished many WIPS. My room is a pleasant space to planmh projects and not the chaotic mess it was before!


The two biggest things for me this year were cute project bags and locking stitch markers. I thought I hated using stitch markers until I discovered the locking kind - they're so versatile!


I started using an app that allows me to import a chart and saves a highlighted line of my place on the chart


I've started using a crocheted cast on for projects that involve a lot of stitches, that way I always have the right amount of cast on yarn! There's nothing worse that running out 2 stitches before the end of a long cast on. Or running out on the finished end because you wasted too much at the time of cast on.

Lisa H-L

I too have discovered the joy of collecting project bags. However, I find myself casting on all the projects in order to justify my growing hoard of bags creating quite a WIP wrestling problem.


I started using a reinforcement in the heels of the socks I knit for myself. So much easier than constantly needing to mend my socks.

georgienne westrick

Life lines. I've been knitting alot of lace and life lines have saved me from froging more than I have to, to get back on track.

Deborah Graham

I started using Knit Companion on my iPad and iPhone and it is great. I have all my patterns right there! I also love using Kollage square needles. They are easier on my aging hands. Bags are so necessary, but I just use my Clinique bags that I have collected over the years.


A large, quilted cotton duffle bag. Holds project bags with on going socks. A tool bag with small wooden ruler, yarn needles, scissors, a couple of small crochet hooks, stitch holders, a stitch dictionary, spare needle sets in case I need to start a pair of socks instantly. Also, I keep a journal/diary in it: spiral bound, college ruled, many pages. I record date and weather. Also, start a page for each project so I can track its progress. Finally, a list of things to be finished and a list of things to start. Everything vital in one bag so if I need to evacuate because a meteor is coming or the aliens have come for me, I have just one bag to grab and take with me.


I just learned another super stretchy cast on that should work well for socks. It's meant for lace knitting but I just used it on a cowl and loved it!


I have really been happy with Knit Companion, an app for iPad or iPhone. I have taken the Classes they offer to really utilize patterns in the program. All my patterns are in one place. And...project bags. Now I'm not known as the "tote bag" lady, but the PB lady.

Lisa Viviano

I learned magic loop. Can't have too many tools in your arsenal!


I'm also crazy about knitting bags and have many. One bag I added to my collection in 2014 is a GoKnit pouch - important to protect my project when working at my kids' soccer games. I can keep knitting in the rain if I have that!

Jennifer L. Beene

I made an intarsia baby blanket this year that was super fun! One of my favorite ways to knit!


I have been learning different methods of loose cast on and binds off. I am a very tight knitter so these methods have improved the cast on and bind off stretchiness a lot.

diana foltz

i love these questions! i have separate Vera Bradley bags (ebay! thrift stores! gifts!) that hold my projects and tools and make me feel great carrying them. my ipad mini's my indispensible tool. it holds my patterns, my calculator, my photos, my stash. it enables me to view yarn and patterns on line and BUY more. i love that i can zoom in on details and can get all the info and tips i need, written, spoken and in video. right after yarn and needles my ipad's what makes knitting possible here in the middle of nowhere. bit long-winded today but i really want you to know that i had a breakthrough this year in technique which has made knitting easier and better--i learned i have been always twisting stitches! the future is now endlessly beautiful.


I practiced and practiced combining "picking and throwing" for multicolored knitting. After SO many years of knitting one way, it was tough to learn another, much less to use both in one project. More practice is still in order, but I am improving!


I used blocking wires for the first time. Not as easy as I thought they would be, but great results.


I love my Signature DPN's for sock knitting, I like the way way they feel in my hands. I too have culled items that no longer give me joy, ie.bamboo circulars with kinky cords-I no longer have the patience to deal with them, so off to GoodWill they went

Patty McD

I've started playing with the "Chinese Waitress Cast On With a Crochet Hook" on You Tube by Cap Sease. It's in her book "Cast On, Bind Off" with a knitting needle, but the one with a crochet hook is much easier for me. I really like it.

Leila spencer

The short hat circular needles, I used to use normal needles and seam the hats now I just knit in a round

Sarah G

I've discovered that even though blocking takes time, it is well worth it.


I received a row counter that fits my thumb...I never miss counting a row now...I no longer stop a zillion times to make sure I haven't done too many.


Magic loop for toes and heels of socks


When I started knitting my mom gave me needles that she had. As wonderful as that was I discovered how necessary it is to have sharp points and also to be able to find the right sizes when you need them. I love having my collection of dpns all together in one case (such nice sharp points!) and my collection of circular needles are ready and waiting for the next knitting adventure.


I learned the backward loop cast on which totally opened up the world of mittens and fingerless mitts (gifted seven pairs to friends and still going). I never could make those M1L and M1R pick up stitches look right.I also purchased Chibi curved darning needles which are just great for picking up stitches to weave in ends as well as to close toes.


Good needles!!!! I was always turned off by the prices but this year I went for it and there's no turning back!


I *finally* tried Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bindoff on some knee-high socks. I wasn't crazy about the look, but that name rings true--surprisingly stretchy!!


With my latest project (a Christmas stocking for my grand-daughter) I learned to do 2 colour icord. I had to use goggle to figure it out, but it looks amazing!


I've started using square needles. I know that opinions on these vary, but for me I find them very comfortable.

Kim Pierce

I have a plastic school box that I store my notions in and I love it. Always handy and portable. Oh and about $.50 at the start of school each year.


I started using the PDF Expert and it really has been a help to me.


I have discovered that chart magnets would be a major help to my knitting, instead of trying to keep track with a sticky note (they are on my Christmas wish list)

Judi Schaffer

I knit with many different kinds of yarn and have started swatching with different needles as well. Rather than becoming frustrated with a project I find that using a different needle makes a huge difference. Not every yarn works nicely with every needle.


I don't have any "real" project bags but use nice cloth cosmetic bags that I never used before this year. Great for travel. I tried several new techniques this year: a couple of provisional cast ons and a couple of stretch bind offs and the crochet cast on as well. Will keep using them, but I have to keep looking up how as I don't remember them easily.


I'm loving the Kollage square needles and currently knitting a project on Karbonz Carbon circulars. While I prefer wood needles, the project will dictate the type of needle used. I've done some very nice lace projects on Signature Stiletto points. So I would say I invested in good tools in 2014.


New tool: last year my husband got me a set of Signature needles for the holidays and I have enjoyed using these beautiful needles every chance I get!

Barbara Rude

Bags thanks to your wonderful kits. I use them all the time and have bought more for storing projects.

Ann W.

Interchangeable needles are my favor because I can take the points off to start new projects. Have lots of extra cables. Love project bags to keep everything neat and in its place.

Lee Louise

I bought my first pair of Karbonz this year (and they won't be the last!), which is now my go-to straight needle. For circular needles (not overly fond of circular needles), I now buy and use Addi Turbo Rockets.

My other accessory that I discovered are the Clover triangular stitch markers. The triangle's point allows me to stick the marker with my needle point, with less likelihood of losing it (the marker) on the floor. There's a knack to it, and I HAVE lost a couple before I mastered it.


The new addition of my wonderful, wonderful Addi Turbo Lace needles which have been being totally enjoyed : )


I love the Knitter's Pride cubics DPN's and circulars. I've knit with them almost exclusively this year.


Digital row counters. I have one in every project bag I own.


I love the German twist cast on for my socks and hat cast on- looks so finished:) and of course my signature DPNs are freaiing wonderful!!


I am an avid chaigoo needle user but when it came to bamboo dpn needles, I'd use whatever. I was in a pinch for some size 9 dpn and ended up with cg .... and they are heavenly! Sharpest dpns (bamboo) I've used. Don't think I'll be using anything else from this point forward.

Cindy M

Provisional cast on and Judy's super stretchy bind off. I am so excited to have figured out these new techniques off of videos. I've been able to make an awesome cashmere cowl with the provisional cast on and a really nice sweater with the stretchy cast off.


After breaking so many teeny tiny size ones made of wood, I finally tried the Karbonz!!! Yeah!!! And those shiny tips make it easier to see the yarn!!!


I haven't been able to do much knitting this year due to new baby so I new techniques. Just happy to be knitting!

Amy S.

Got myself an iPad mini specifically for my knitting. I use it for buying yarns and supplies, following knitting blogs, referring to YouTube for knitting technique refresher, and following Ravelry. Love iPad as a portable knitting source.

Joan Grahlfs

After all of these years of dreading "do not twist" when joining in the round, I found a foolproof solution. Dee's No-Twist Circular Knitting. It is a long knitted rectangle piece that hangs on the back of your cast on. Even 350 stitches for an Infinity Cowl will not twist in the join. Search Projects on Ravelry for complete instructions. So simple. No more frogging.


The crochet hook for knitting. I crocheted before I knit but just this year I've used it to pick up dropped stitches and do provisional cast-ons.


I learned a new way to cast on, the Channel Island Cast on and a variation of it to bind off. It looks so cool on a cowl I made as part of a kal.


I hated picking up for gussets until I discovered the Fish Lips Kiss heel. Adore!!


The only thing that comes to mind is my addi sock rockets. I started using them for socks this year and they are really nice to work with. Try using my other needles and there is just no comparison.


This year I have started using a row counter app and I love that I always know where I left off in my patterns. Sure beats little tick marks on post it notes!

Petra Hefner

Lifelines !!!! a real life (time) saver.

Sarah (3trees on Rav)

I'm totally enamoured with the stretchy cast on:
As the video description says:
"An easy way to cast on for a stretchy edge, great for socks and hats, and any edging that needs to stretch without ruffling."
It's fast and works really well. I use it for all my hats, socks, and sweater cuffs.


I've worked on getting a good handle on lace knitting this year and I learned that lifelines are your best friend, you can never have too many ring markers and that special yarn marinating in the stash was just waiting for my skill level to increase so that it could be a spectacular finished project :). But it's the sock projects that accompany me EVERYWHERE as socks are my fav. Easy to transport; they handle interruptions easily. With SSYCo' phenemenonal selection, great prices and quick shipping, knitting life can't get any better. Well, if they sold knitting time...


9" circulars have made my knitting way more enjoyable. It's what turned me into such a sock knitter! Before, I enjoyed making socks but the ease and convenience of 9" circs took it to a whole new (almost obsessive!) level! That and HiyaHiya knitter's safety pins. I discovered how awesome those are to use to mark where I've done things in the pattern (where I've stopped toe increases, where I started the gusset) so it's easy to keep both socks on the same track without excessive counting. I don't think I would know what to do with myself without these things!


Floops stitch markers. My friend bought me some this year and I absolutely love them! I like that they are so flexible and the colors are great.


I've been keeping a project bag ready with spares of favorite knitting tools, then just add my project and have whatever is needed when knitting away from home.


I'm also a huge fan of the Karbonz needles! I have a feeling there's a full set of the DPNs waiting for me on Christmas.


Hmm. I don't use the project bags, but I do have a zipped vinyl bag for a large project; a small bag for socks I always have on the needles; a bag for the prayer shawl currently being knitted. I try hard to limit my projects because I forget too easily what I'm doing! I recently tried a new cast on, the twisted German, and that is useful. I used it on a Baby Surprise Jacket--it made a very nice edge. I have learned to love the Karbonz needles, and I also use Lantern Moon needles frequently. Different tips, different feel. Both essential to my knitting resources.


I just recently learned how to do colourwork by holding both yarns in one hand. I have been using the one colour in each hand method, but both in one hand is way faster and easier to tension properly.

Janet Duff

I have some dpn holders that I really like and also projects bags for individual projects are so nice! I knit on the go some and like to have some knitting ready to pick up at a moments notice to take along.


I have been using KnitCompanion on my iPad, and I really love using it! I no longer need to print out patterns on paper, or use magnet boards or post-its to keep my place. But the BEST thing about it (for me) is the fact that I can enlarge the spot I'm reading to make it easier for my old eyes to see the details in charts. So, now I prefer to get my patterns digitally.


I'm HOPING my newly discovered useful tool will be Addi Sock Rockets -- a few pairs of which may or may not be showing up under the tree for me. ;) My old beloved sock-sized circs are giving up the ghost and aren't made any more, and so far everything else seems slow, blunt, and stiff by comparison. Fingers crossed!

This was a great question -- having scanned the answers, I'm now off to look into a few of the tips mentioned above!

Anne G

I used a life line for the first time on a lace scarf I am knitting and it saved me! Using better quality yarn has made knitting more enjoyable.

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