As any knitter knows, there’s a lot more that goes into the craft than just yarn and needles. But there’s no need to panic when you run into unexpected roadblocks or puzzles — many can be solved using things you already have around your house! Use these hacks for your next knit project and make your crafting totally hassle-free.
1. Make Quick and Easy Stitch Markers
Instead of investing in stitch markers, you can make one (for free!) on your own. It can be as simple as using an embroidery floss bobbin or even a stray paper clip. If you want to DIY one from your stash, tie a slip knot and cut it right below the knot so you have a small loop to place on your needle. (Just make sure it’s a different color than the yarn you’re working with!)
2. Use Makeshift Yarn Bowls
Keeping yarn tangle-free can be a real struggle, and definitely not something you should be focused on while trying to knit up a sweater. There are a ton of items that can contain your yarn, but our fave is the handy travel mug. Just slip your ball of yarn inside and thread your yarn through the lid — it’ll spool out knot-free.
3. Stop Stitches From Slipping
It’s happened to all of us: that moment when you step away from your knitting for just one second, only to return and see the stitches have somehow managed to slide off your needles. Nix that from happening again with a simple rubber band — just wrap both needles up using one and those stitches will stay nice and secure.
4. Look for Organization Hacks
When it comes to storing your supplies, don’t be afraid to get creative! Use an old mason jar to hold your needles; store stitch markers, buttons and other small tools in a compact makeup case; cut a slit in the side of a tennis ball and slide your scissors into it. There are so many ways to keep your craft room clutter-free, not to mention you’ll save yourself a ton of runs to The Container Store.
5. Turn Nail Clippers Into Special Cutters
The tiny blades on nail cutters are perfect for snipping small pieces of yarn and — bonus! — they’re super easy to travel with, especially when flying.
6. Use Your Hand as a Rough Ruler
Sure, it’s not precise. But if you need a rough measurement for your knitting, you can always use your hand. All you need to do is measure your pointer finger once to get an approximate length, then use it as an estimate for all your projects going forward.
7. Thread With Actual Floss
Threading a yarn needle can be the worst, but you can make it easier by using a DIY threader from actual dental floss! Grab it from your medicine cabinet, cut off a piece and wrap it around the end of your yarn. Because the floss is thinner and can’t fray like yarn, it’s a piece of cake to pull through the needle’s eye.
Great ideas that I have used through the years except the floss tip. As a marker, I have used thread, a paperclip, safety pin and even a keyring holder. Years ago, I finally bought “The Knit Kit” that has everything in it one needs. Measuring tape, row counter, crochet hook in 2 sizes, needle sizer, scissors, space for markers and needles. Love it! It is always with me.
Thank you for providing these great ideas! I would have never thought to use a travel mug, nail clippers or measure my pointer finger!! So clever😊
Another free yarn holder is a plastic soda or water bottle, 1 or 2 liter size. Cut in half horizontally with scissors. Put your ball of yarn in the bottom part, feed the yarn through the neck/top. Slide this over the bottom part. If your yarn ball is small size you can cut the bottle shorter. The ladies in Mexico we were teaching to knitting & crocheting loved this tip. Not only were we recycling, but most of them only hard dirt floors. A great way to keep their yarns and crochet threads clean & untangled.
When my sweater gets too heavy to keep lifting to turn, I use a large plastic platter or low bowl to put it in. This way you only have to rotate the platter or bowl to keep the sweater untwisted.
Wow. I love that. When I moved to Texas and then California from Colorado, I quit knitting. I couldn’t handle the heat on my lap. I’ve been balancing the bulk on my desk, but this is absolutely the very best idea ever. So much easier to turn.
Great ideas, thank U
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Love nail clipper and commuter cup ideas. I have lots to use and share.
Good ideas even tho’ I’ve used more than one of them thru the years. My yarn bowl is my mother’s Pyrex glass percolator. The lid keeps curious kitties from the yarn and air slides smoothly thru the spout. Also is heavy enough to sit flat on the floor by my chair.
Correction – yarn, not air slides thru the spout.
All great ideas – but my favorite is the yarn holder on the go! I am a retired teacher and I have about 5 personalized travel cups that I don’t want to part with. Now I have a great use for them! Yay!