The Non Yarn Gift Guide for Knitters and Crocheters.

It was while ordering needles this week that I realised my notions and the bits and pieces around my crafting needs some serious addressing. I have a delicious stash that I cultivate from time to time but what I am serious lacking is a full arsenal of needles, knitting pouches to keep my wips in and several bits and pieces to make things run a little smoother. Some of my notions are a bit.... Macgyver? Booby pins for stitch holders are functional but don't exactly make my heart sing!

I had a very serendipitous moment when Anj from Meadow Yarns reached out to suggest sponsorship across the month of December. I jumped on it because I've ordered a few times from this fine online store and found it well stocked, fast on delivery and Anj was great at talking me through what I needed help with. So together we hatched some enabling- a perfect prize for the MEalong running right up till Christmas Eve and this list to place not so subtly in front of your nearest and dearest. 

While there's something to be said for a carefully packaged skein (or 3) of yarn, I've yet to meet a non knitter who could grab me just the right shade of sock yarn vs something special for a hat. So here's my favourite non yarn gifts that I've added to my Christmas wishlist this year- thanks for the enabling Anj!

For the knitter who likes a challenge?

sirka counter

The Sirka Counter:  This little gadget fits snugly in your project bag and was specifically developed for those more complex instructions that ask for you to repeat counts simultaneously and keep track of multiple rows. There's 3 'crowns' that layer up to be clicked into position each time you need to count a different layer of instructions. It's pretty stylish too and there's colour coding which makes my highly visual  self happy. 

For the sock knitters/ photographers?

knit pro sock blocker

The Knit Pro Sock Blockers: I've wanted some of these for ages. I simply don't take good enough pictures of my socks and all that time and effort can feel a bit wasted during the 'ta DAH!' moment when I show them off. Also I hear blocking fixes a lot of the scruffy stitches you might have spoiling your pretty finished object. I approve. 

For Lace lovers and the tech adverse?

magma pattern keeper

The Magma Knitting Chart Keeper: I often use a quick iphone app to track my knitting these days but I'll confess something to you- I've used this pattern keeper over and over again. It's whenever I need charts that I find myself turning from tech and going old school. I love to have the chart big enough to actually see each little stitch box (the keeper folds out to A4 size), Also, I can prop it up if I leave it folded in half and the magnet trackers are brilliant unless the Tot gleefully finds them. 

That little something?

frippery and bibelot ringos

Fripperies and Bibelots- RingOs: I adore these. The stitchmarkers don't catch on the needles or yarn and slide pleasingly along your work as you stitch away. The tin is designed modestly but I find it super pretty. Again, it's a toddler magnet though. Don't say I didn't warn you!

That bigger something?

oak yarn swift

The Meadow Yarn Oak Yarn Swift: I love the story behind this and I love the craft quality! These swifts are handmade in the studio that is directly under Meadow Yarns and are beautiful to behold. The problem I have with my swift is that it needs clamping but this one solves that problem as it's designed to sit on the table top and won't jump around because of it's rubber feet. Clever!

The perfect precision needles?

hiya hiya interchangeable

Hiya Hiya Sharps- interchangeable: I am a massive fan of Hiya Hiyas. Infact, you'll be hearing me chat all about Hiya Hiya Sharps this weekend on the podcast because I ordered some in the hope the precision point and smooth cord will ease my RSI. I think interchangeable sets are really handy and I regret not plumping for these last Christmas as the join has a specially designed cuff to stop it coming loose- a problem I've found with a lot of interchangeables as I magic loop a lot.  

And if all else fails?

Gift Certificates: No really, hear me out on this one. I don't understand why gift vouchers have become such a dirty present?!?! I would love to treat myself to a no holds barred shopping experience in a yarn store. Fine, if I had a voucher for itunes or something I'd be less than thrilled but come on- knitting and credit? That's perfectly acceptable in my book. 

What's on your Christmas list this year?



~Anj has also kindly donated the winner's choice of 3 bestselling products for the MEalong- come check it out! 



Getting Prepped: The Selfish Single Skein Along

As next week is the Selfish Single Skein cast on date (details here) I have been pondering my selfishness with great relish and delight. I have a regular segment now dedicated to the love of imaginary knitting so I of course have been pondering skein and pattern options like a pro. I'm starting to see lots of excited chatter in the thread and some seriously delightful skeins appearing (I'm starting to feel that A Playful Day should come with an enabling warning). 

Here's where I'm at so far:

BC Yarnings Saturated Sport yarn in 'Bumble Bee'

BC Yarnings Saturated Sport yarn in 'Bumble Bee'

Simple socks in sportweight yarn courtesy of the very talented Berry Colorful Yarnings. I love the look of this Lara Neel pattern 'Fork in the Road' for Self Striping Yarns. She said the magic words "self-striping yarn and my favorite afterthought heel" and "unusually-shaped sock, worked in the most common top-down order of things". It reminds me that I really, really need to put her book 'Sock Architecture' on my Christmas wishlist. 

Leizu DK in 'Birch', I have it in Worsted too.... I have a problem. Ahem. 

Leizu DK in 'Birch', I have it in Worsted too.... I have a problem. Ahem. 

TinCanKnits very sweetly dropped their newsletter into my inbox this week and had me craving hats thanks to their hat marathon. I have this stunning skein of Julie Asselin's Leizu DK, a delicious 90% Merino and 10% Silk that screams slight slouch and comfort to me. I am a hat person and I always need more hats!

And then there's handspun..... always handspun...

This might be trickier than I thought. What are you planning to cast on for the #sssalong? See you on the 21st November when I'll be announcing a few prizes and surprises too so don't forget to play along via social media as well as join us on the thread.