Every crafter has holy grail of tools or tools that they just can’t function without and I admit, I’m not exception. Some of these are kind of obvious, like hooks and scissors, but no matter how basic I think it’s a nice reminder to talk about the tools crocheters tend to use on the daily.
This is pretty much obvious. You can’t crochet without hooks! (Well, I suppose you could by finger crocheting, but that’s beside the point. :P) I feel like there are certain size hooks that I just can’t quite function without because they tend to be the sizes that are called for in the majority of the projects I work on. Lately, I’ve been working on a lot of keychains/amigurumi and tightly stitched items, so my smaller hooks have been a saving grace. Since the weather’s a little warmer, I don’t get to work with the chunkier yarns that I prefer, but having one or two bigger hooks is always nice to have handy for when I am able to work with those cozy, chunky yarns.
For smaller stitches, I feel like having a 2.5mm or 3.5mm sized hook is perfect to achieve that cute, little amigurumi you’re making into a keychain. For most other projects, it seems like my 5.0mm and 6.0mm hooks get the majority of the love. And (not pictured) for my chunkier projects, my 8.0mm and 9.0mm hooks get put to work.
Oh, stitch markers. I have a love/hate relationship with them. When I first got into crocheting seriously, I made sure to buy stitch markers because all the tutorials and patterns that I would follow suggested using them. But to be honest, I would rarely take them out and put them to good use. I kind of hated using stitch markers. I almost didn’t see the point to them, so they would just sit in my carrying case, begging to be used. Until now…
Yes, the stitch markers have been set free and are being put to great use! I will say that it took me a while to figure out just the right use for stitch markers for my needs. When I work row by row, I don’t see the need for stitch markers. However, when I work in the round you better believe those little babies come out of hiding. Working in the round (especially in smaller/tighter stitches), it’s so easy to lose that first stitch in the previous round or not recognize a starting stitch, so stitch markers make it easy to keep track of them. Also, I recently started to use stitch markers to help me keep my edges straight when I’m sewing in and finishing off a project.
Scissors & Darning Needles
I’m pairing scissors and darning needles together because I primarily use them when I’m finishing off a project. Scissors are definitely a no-brainer and same with darning needles. However, when it comes to darning needles I’ve recently discovered my preferences for certain types and sizes.
I love darning needles that have a bent tip.
(That’s what she said? :P) Stay with me, friends and hear me out. I feel like it might just be truly a personal preference, but I find that the bent tip helps me get into the stitches a lot more easily. (I had to resist saying that it helps me find the hole better. xP) I’ve also found that size does kind of matter when it comes to darning needles. I definitely like using a bigger darning needle for my chunkier yarns and, obviously, a smaller darning needle for medium weight yarn. (Again, another no-brainer.)
And I recently started pairing my darning needles with a threader of some sort. Currently, my absolute favorite is the DMC Needle Threader. I LOVE that this has three different sizes to catch different weights of yarn/thread. I HATED (and many a time fought with my yarn) threading my yarn into my needles. It just wouldn’t go in and I would get so frustrated. No matter what technique I tried, the yarn just would not cooperate and go into the needle hole. But now, having a needle threader the time spent cursing at my yarn end and the needle is a time long past.
Lastly, a good carrying case is pretty much a must for those of us who crochet on the go. If you read my previous post about Where I Crochet, then you know that I am a habitual crocheter on the go. A good carrying case is a must for me because I sometimes never know what tool I will need on the spot, so having (almost all) of them is necessary for me. I went through so many different iterations of cases to carry my hooks, needles, stitch markers, etc. I tried small makeup bags and pencil bags, but most of them just didn’t quite do it for me.
I can’t remember which Instagram account I saw use this specific case, but thank you whoever you are because I am in love! They posted a picture of this makeup bag from Michael’s and it just looked absolutely perfect for my needs. The whole thing rolls up quite neatly into a round pouch, but when you unroll it you see that the case has three major pockets. The bottom pocket is large enough to carry hooks galore. I’m also able to fit my tape measure (another holy grail that I completely forgot to photograph!), scissors and my Boye Crochet Dude Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle attachment. The next pocket up from that one is a nice, slim pocket that I’m able to keep those pesky stitch markers in. Lastly, the final pocket is similar to the previous and is where I keep my darning needles, needle threaders, and Square pocket reader. I absolutely love this case and am so glad I was able to get my hands on it.