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December 22, 2014


Martha Anne

Knitting backwards! No more turning on bobbles.

Beth L.

Don't laugh! My new favorite yarn tool is an old lampshade that the fabric fell off of! It is tapered and holds almost any hank neatly under my ball winder :) Eventually I'll buy a swift, but for now a lampshade is far superior to a chair back.


I discovered 9" circs from Clover. That makes it impossible to lose a needle! I still prefer DPNs but I've got a sock on a small needle now. I find I knit much more tightly on small circs! The habit that I have adopted that has had the biggest impact on my knitting is to store scads of knitting patterns on it like Rachel does. I use iBooks & started to do so right around the time I got my 4S in August '10. I'm on my 2nd phone using iBooks to store patterns. And because I've set them up to sync automatically, they also get loaded into the iBooks on my iPad mini which is a better size for using patterns. At home I have little tables on either side of my knitting chair. I place my mini, open to the pattern on the smaller one, a drink on the other one.


I've been using the tiny crochet hook from the Spring kit to rescue dropped stitches.


I sometimes knit from a PDF Oon my iPad. Kinda like that.


Downloading patterns on my iPad made my knitting world so much more organized. I can sort them by type and see little pictures when browsing. Less paper and easier to find what I'm looking for. And, I can't even lose a chart page.


Alexis - if you're talking about 9" bamboo circs, try checking out Jo Ann's near you. They don't have them all the time but I got mine last spring & have seen them since then but not every time. They frequently have all needles 25% off so I check them out every time they have a sale & I know I saw them 2-3 months ago.


For me it's been learning to "properly " wrap my stitches around the needle and better tensioning of the yarn for when I am purling.


I've discovered Chiaogoo Red Lace Needles. So far, I haven't found anything I don't like to knit with them. They feel so good in hand and the cord is supple and very easy to control. Love, Love, love them.


Tried lace knitting for the first time this year and learned the importance of using a lifeline and blocking. Completed two shawls and really enjoyed the process as well as the finished product.

Joy hill

I started cabling without a cable needle! So that's one less tool, but I try to be very organized and keep a tiny set of emergency notions with every project.

Renee Anne

I've not necessarily learned anything new (other than a brief interlude with Jeni's Stretchy Cast On)....but I'm learning to deal with the "new normal" in our house. I was used to knitting with Little Man around. He lets me knit, understands when I say, "let me finish this row/round" and so on...but now Stormageddon has entered our lives and I have to train him the same way I had to train Little Man. Things are slowly getting better. I'm able to knit for longer periods, read charts once in awhile, and I'm not so sleep-deprived that I can't see straight.


New tool: project bags! But now I need to keep purchasing more so that I can find the perfect one


I discovered that a 9" circular needle isn't as tortuous as I thought it would be. I still prefer dpns, but it's nice to have options.


Not really a new tool, but I have a project bag that helps keep me organized! That and zip-lock gallon baggies for keeping the any would-be moth invaders out of the yarn stash.


I discovered short double pointed needles, which has revolutionized my sock knitting. Rock on, Cubics 5" DPNs!


I have discovered many new tools this year and was trying to decide which was best when I read mention of patterns on the phone. Just got a smart phone this year and download patterns from my Ravelry library to the kindle app when I'm travelling. It is my very favorite tool!


Jenny surprisingly stretchy bind off. LOVE it for my toe up sock and fingerless mittens and hats and everything. She even has a coordinating cast on the is tricky to get the hang of but is wonderful! The other thing I have started using a lot are life lines (finally figured out what to do with all the little things of floss from my dentist) it makes tweeking patterns so much easier


I just love all my SSYC bags..I love the different size for socks, baby sweaters, hats and scarfs!! Everywhere I go someone asks me where I bought them!!


I am trying a new-to-me short-row heel in the constant quest for no holes. We'll have to see if it's life-changing!

Debbie Huett

I'm always trying new things in my knitting but this year I concentrated more on just ENJOYING the process and not trying to hurry to get things done. As for tools- I don't know what it's called but I have several little crochet hooks at one end and more like a knitting needle at the other. Only about 4 inches long but they really come in handy! Love them! I keep one in each project bag...

Missy Page

Yep, probably project bags. Slipped Stitch. I have a bunch and have finally transferred all of my projects to them. They make me happy, which makes like in general easier. =)


Ooh, I'd love to win this bag (or any bag) as I've decided that dragging my projects around in plastic bags from the supermarket is tacky!

Knit Companion is my new tool. It allows me to look at my pattern on my iPod touch, and count rows, which is a great help!

Thanks for the contest!


I've been magic looping on my socks - some of the time - especially when I'm knitting in the car or waiting for appointments, etc. when I'm away from home.

I still prefer DPN's but magic looping is great when you are afraid of dropping a DPN and not being able to find it!!

Lisa B

That would have to be the provisional cast on, crocheting onto a knitting needle ( It's easy to do and I've been using it to work my favorite hat brims, hemmed (or folded or folded hem, it goes by various names).

Leslie Fehr

I use circular needles for everything - they let you work back and forth or knit in the round. This year, I've invested in circulars in all sizes and in each available length up to 48 inches - with multiples in the most commonly used sizes for socks and hats. My Christmas present to my self was a complete set of 6" dpns that mirror the sizes of my circulars. Add in a great all-in-one needle organizer and I'm ready for any project!


Just learning how to strand and purchased 1 plastic, 1 metal finger wrap strand separator that work really well for me - I don't prefer one over the other yet.

Debby S

I purchased a set of Cubics interchangeable needles. I have nerve damage in my left hand and the square needles help me knit with much less effort and frustration.


I love self striping yarn, but until a few months ago, my bag of tricks only included a short row heel flap and it always bothered me that the stripe pattern was interrupted. So thanks to You Tube, I learned how to do an afterthought heel and I love it. I purchased the fish lips kiss heel a few days ago, and resolve to learn that technique in 2015.


I have to agree, a PDF reader on my phone is probably the best new thing this year. Even if I forget a printed pattern or my iPad I can go to ravelry and get the pattern and get back to knitting.


I bought a Norwegian thimble its made me a lot more patient for stranded colorwork.

Judi Kennedy

I learned how to do the before thought heel. It's like the afterthought heel, but it's before you finish the sock. I've done it twice and it looks really great.

Margretta Josephson

This past year, I got much better at making cable twists without a cable needle. The process makes putting cables in socks much easier and quicker.


I have started doing the "Russian Join" I couldn't be happier that I am not weaving in countless ends on color changing patterns!

Diana Kalar

I love, love, love Karbonz needles! The US size 0 and 1 don't bend or break. They are lightweight and just feel good in my hand. I'm replacing all of my DPNs and circulars as I start new projects.....That reminds me....I need to order some US 4 in a 16" circular for a cowl I'm going to start. :)

Holly Beam

I also love my project bags, my lace stitch markers with adorable beads, and row counters for each project so I can pick up a different project and know where I am in the pattern. My new technique was the moebius cast on. I've done one project and I'm looking for others because the project was so much fun!


I bought the Euro steam iron from QVC so now I can steam-block all my projects, including those that are very delicate.


Locking stitch markers and the joy of having more than one set of sock needles.


I'm getting better and better at Judy's Magic Cast On. I used to have to have the instructions in front of me as I worked through it. Now I can work it through by memory (almost).


I started NOT using a cable needle. Really frees up my knitting and especially not having to continually hunt for the cable needle that fell out of the knitting. Like you, I have also bought knitting bag after knitting bag, from Three Bags Full to Birdleg Bags. I especially love Birdleg Bags because my nickname in high school was "birdlegs"!!!!


Not new this year -- but one of the biggest improvements to my lace projects was the use of blocking wires. They're time-consuming to insert along the edge of a shawl, but they're worth it.

Barbara Huffman

I also love Birdleg bags and have about 10 of them . They are lined
up on the back of the couch , each one with a sock project .
Well , not all ten , but maybe 6 of them .
I also have many size 2 circulars so I can work on many socks ,
not having to finish one to start another !


This yearI learned Jenny's surprisingly stretchy bind off and wondered how I had gotten along without it all this time. It's fabulous!

Tricia F

I just learned a new cast-on for toe-up socks on DPNs. Totally loving the look so far

Holly Gibson

I found square needles this year! I love them! What a difference they have made in my knitting!

Barbara Huffman

Oh no , I just discovered I missed day 9 !
Will that take me out of the running ?
I don't even know how that happened ! I commented
2 times on Day 10 ,does that fix it ?


I broke down and bought point protectors for the size 0 circulars I use to knit socks. I don't know why it took me so long to do this; I sure didn't like grumbling while I put the stitches back on the needle when they slipped off in transit.


I need to read all of the prior posts to get new ideas! I've collected size 1 DPNs from all over (garage sales, estate sales - mostly - antique street faires) so if I drop one it's no biggie. I always have more! I'm a constant sock knitter so having size 1 dpns is important!

Christine C.

Judy's Magic Cast On and my first toe-up socks!


Learned a sewn bind off.

Karen D

I discovered that the better the yarn, the more durable and lovely the finished product is. It may sound silly, but I grew up with my mom and her Red Heart afghans, so I thought that yarn must be the best. BOY was I wrong! (Don't tell mom!)

Heather H

I use my mini lamination to laminate lace patterns. Then use highlighter tape or flags. To mark where I am. The tape or flags stay longer on the laminate than when I stick them right on the paper.

Liz Fox

I got an electronic counter that allows me to keep track of three different counts at once. Great for counting pattern repeats and rows at the same time – no more tiny scraps of paper!


I have started buying better needles. this has really made a big difference in my knitting. If you are going to knit you really do need good yarn,good needles and a wonderful bag!


Nice lightweight needles like bamboo. My wrists don't seem to hurt as much.

Denise Crane

I don't know what it is called or where I got them, but I have been using point protectors with a thick elastic hooking them together. Brilliant! It keep my sock from slipping off the needles in my bag.

Rose Birchall

I started buying different brands of better quality yarn.

Gretchen Paul

Being a sock knitter for longer than I care to remember, I finally caved in and tried the magic loop. Can't say that I will use that method all the time, but at least I have the knowledge of how to. Also, I just used the Clover circular stitch holder for the first time and LOVE it.

Mai Eich

I've found spending money on better tools has made the entire process more enjoyable. Cute project bags, sweet stitch markers and nifty scissors also help. I ask for these things now for my birthday or for the secret Santa I do with my family at Christmas. A much more festive way to knit!


I started using putting pattern directions in Word and printing them in a BIG font so I can see the directions without my glasses.

Patricia Richardson

My Addi Sock Rocket needles make my sock knitting so much more enjoyable. Also, because of your beautiful special occasion kits I have a nice collection of small project bags. They are perfect for having a sock, hat, mitts project ready for on-the-go knitting.

Rita aka crescendogal

I've gotten addicted to sock knitting this year and the mail just came...I got my special ordered sock blockers from Burning Impressions on facebook. I've been wanting real sock blockers and Meghan worked with me to use my logo and name on them!!! :) Now I want them in all sizes!!!

Tip: I found that if I had stitches sliding off my DPNs...I just put the point protectors on..problem solved!

Julie Zeager

Definitely using size 0 carbon fiber needles for socks has been the best change for me

Marilyn C Robinson

I learned how to make the sweet tomatoe heals for my socks and I learned to make a proper Moebious on a long circular needle just in the past 2 months. These have improved my knitting options for a faster finish to my projects.

Jennifer L

Stitch markers are nice to have all around. Use them all the time.


The search engine on Ravelry. I love how I can put in a yarn amount and get a project to fit it.


I organized my loose patterns, most were downloads from Ravelry. It took almost two filing cabinets but now it's more easy to find a specific pattern instead of searching through piles or flipping pages of a binder.

Barb Thompson

The afterthought heel. I love it!!!!


After years of dreading any pattern with short rows, I discovered German short rows. What a difference...super easy and quick.

Cindy Lou

I finally memorized the Kitchener stitch for sock toes. It's wonderful to just be able to do it without having to look it up each time.


After stepping on metal sock DPNS and impaling one into my foot. I now use DPN needle protectors. Yikes!

Laura Beutler (@darcybear)

My life is better simply because I now have a BIG project bag, so there's no more squishing huge sweaters into a gallon ziplock or sock bag.


I used KnItting Bag on my IPad ,and also switched to shorter DPNs. Both things helped !

Martha from Ohio

My New Years resolution this year was to be a swatcher!! Even thoughit takes more time, it ends up saving time.


I have learned to hold the yarn over my first finger and some wrapped around my hand as I knit each stitch making my tension much more even and I am able to knit faster.

Ann M

I'm an old lady, I admit, and my hand-me-down circulars are even older. I recently replaced my usable but sad looking size 10 and 11 circulars with brand new, slicker than anything models. I often make prayer shawls on circular needles of these sizes and while I managed before, you should see how my needles fly now! My new needles are fantastic!


I've changed how I knit my personal footprint socks. I began using interchangeable needles and cables. I love them when I make these socks as I can use the cable as my lifelines. This allows a good hold of those stitches. I was always so afraid of losing stitches when I opened
up the foot for the leg and it would occasionally happen where I dropped a stitch or two. Now I feed much more secure.


Funny you should ask - I do love my karbonz DPNs!


I learned toe up socks at Stitches this year..since then I can't stop! Love this method, as picking up stitches isn't my thing.


Using Knit Companion for patterns is a big help!

Beth L Ruiter

My Tom Bihn Swift has changed my knitting and my life!

Linda L

I bought my first set of Karbonz needles this year and am hooked, I now have several sets and don't look back. I also found that being organized by using the project bags I already own has helped a lot!

Beth Sloan

I discovered Addi Turbo Sock Rockets are worth every cent and make the yarn glide! Love them!


I use my tablet for patterns instead of printing them all out...I still print a few, but most are stored in the tablet....also I love the Karbonz needles and buy those more than any favorite bags are by Jessalu....

Joanne Christman

I've used the square needles for some socks I'm making. I do believe they cut down on the finger cramps.


I bought karbonz double point and they are my favorites. I also tried doing socks from the toe up and I am really not getting the hang of it. I have a couple of little sock bags that I carry everywhere I go. I also found out from my daughter that quality yarn is much much nicer...


Only using chiagoo needles.


I have started knitting continental style with a Norwegian purl It is so much easier on my wrist!


I started using bamboo double point needles for sock knitting. This year was the first time I completed a PAIR of socks!

Jodie e

I just learned toe up socks!!


I would say bags for toting my knitting around with me :)

Sandra Dodson

I started using ravelry to keep a better inventory of yarn and books/ patterns.


I have completely fallen in love this year with my Karbonz interchangeable needles.


I started knitting on the long aluminum needles. I would cram as many stitches as I could fit to make a large blanket. This worked really well for me, until I discover wooden circular needles. They are so much lighter to work with. No extra pull from the weight of an almost complete blanket. Well, some pull, but not nearly as heavy and hard on the wrists.


I learned a stretchier cast-on to use for socks


Entrelec! I conquered it, and now have made 6 hats, 4 cowls, 2 scarves and a pair of socks, all entrelec. I love it.


I have started using Karbonz for socks. I love the needle and the cord is perfect for magic loop.

Karen Bolton

My IPad Mini has made a difference for me. I love the fact my pattern is right there for me and never gets lost. It also stores my pictures of finished projects and minds my stash!


I learned how to (finally!) do toe up socks. They're not as complicated or scary as I thought!

Linda Black

I converted a wicker picnic basket and a TV tray table into a knitting station to have most needs right next to my recliner

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