Hello my fellow bloggy-eyed friends, it's Day 4 in this year's week-long blogfest, and I'm here to talk to you today about tools.
As you'll see to the right, I have had quite a collection of stitch markers. Many of these stitch markers have long since hit the marker dust bowl. I have discovered that, for me, dangling stitch markers are, generally, no good. I cannot tell you how many I've gotten stuck in fabric I was creating. So the kitty stitch markers in the photo have done a disappearing act, as well as the gray and gold round spheres to their left (way too clunky and not well made).
My favorites are, oddly enough, the plastic split ring stitch markers at the top left (and I have them in two sizes), as well as the light-colored wires just below the gold and gray spheres - the wires are very light weight and can surprisingly fit larger sized needles. They are hand-made and were given to me in a swap. Honorable mention goes to the small silver hearts with the "love my cat" motto on them as well as the gold coffee beans - even though long-ish, their surfaces do not catch my fabric, although they only fit smaller sized needles.
However, the real tool worth talking about today is this one to the left. My kitchen scale is indispensable.I cannot craft without it. I have had it for several years now (purchased on Amazon for a very modest price) and while I think I've used it in the kitchen perhaps three times total, I use it at least a few times each week for knit and crochet projects. I weigh skeins before using them - you would be surprised how even commercially-produced yarn can range in weight from what's on the label.
Additionally, I almost always use it to weigh any yarn left over once a project is complete. I also find it invaluable when trying to determine how much yarn I potentially have for any pattern/design modifications I might want to make. For instance, I'm currently making a version here of my Autumn Leaf Shawl that will be bigger than the original sample, because I want to use up the entire cake of a particular lace weight yarn I had in stash. Once I got to the last row of the main body as written, I weighed the yarn both before and after to determine how many grams I was using per row (as it turns out, 3 gms), and then I weighed the cake remainder to determine how many more rows/pattern repeats I could eek out (as it turns out, 3 more complete pattern repeats or 12 rows). Without my trusty scale, planning and (hopefully successfully!) executing designs and projects really is a whole lot easier.