This started out to be a post about shopping early for
Christmas winter and other holiday gifts for knitters. It got really long. So, I'm breaking it up.
I've been collecting a list of links to things I'd like in my notions bag(s). I thought they'd make good stocking-stuffers (etc.), so I was going to wait to post it, then someone started a similar topic on Ravelry, and I realized that people might want to start shopping now (for themselves or friends/family who knit). I started it, but like I said, it got looong. Then, yesterday, I got a new gadget in the mail, and had to show it off, so the series was born!
Go-Go-Gadgets Part 1: Needle Gauges/Sizers
Needle gauges are a real must in a knitter's notions/gadget bag. They're used for exactly what the name says: to determine needle size -- helpful because a lot of needles don't come with the size printed on it (KnitPicks) or the info. wears off after use (any bamboo/wood needles). Most gauges also have a small ruler so you can figure out your stitches per inch (also called "gauge," in the US at least).
- The gauge shown here is a great item for sock-knitters! I ordered mine from ScoutJ on either Sunday or Monday, and it arrived on Wednesday. Most gauges just have the even needle sizes, except the 10½ (all sizes given are US), which makes it tough when you have sock needles in sizes like 1½ & 2½. This one only goes up to size 4, because that's the usual range for socks. The mini ruler is 2" long -- a standard length for ribbing on many sock patterns. ($12)
- The same maker has a regular needle gauge (same page as linked above) that starts at 8-0 (that's 00000000) and goes up to size 15 (doesn't seem to have 0, but I could be missing it), with a 4" ruler. ($16)
- These metal ones come in a wide variety of colors are are pretty enough to wear as a necklace. Even though they don't have the odd half sizes, I want at least one. This link goes to the best price I found ($16).
- I found the "i needle u" man-shaped gauge yesterday, and think it's hysterical. This link goes to the best price I found ($10).
- You can get simple metal ones from any craft store for under $3. They're perfectly fine, but can be a pain because they bend so easily.
There are even more options out there, but these are my favorites!
- The Knit Kit - Many gadgets in one! This is like a Swiss Army knife for knitters, with a tape measure (how it fits into this topic), tiny scissors, and lots more. ($19.99)
- Tape measures - range in price from $1 (small metal ones from places like Home Depot) to $10 (fancy sheep-shaped ones). I lose these things pretty frequently (they eventually show up again), and any child that gets their hands on one tends to pull the tape right out of the case, so I like to find them on sale and stock up. This one from KnitPicks is only $1.99, and since it's yellow, would be easy to find in a dark bag!