My Favorite Crochet (& Knit!) Tools
Posted on February 19, 2021
This one has been a long time coming! I finally sat down and gathered up all my favorite fiber arts tools – my favorite crochet hooks, my go-to knitting needles, and all the important gadgets in between- to share with you in a video! These are my essential crochet (& knit) tools!
Full disclosure, this post/video contains affiliate links, meaning (at not extra cost to you) if you click through and purchase through my links I will receive a small commission. However, these are all products I have purchased with my own money, completely unsponsored, and that I stand behind, with or with out commission!
My favorite crochet tools:
Clover Amour Crochet Hook Set:
If I had to recommend only one product for crocheters to own, it’s this Clover Amour Crochet Hooks Set. In my opinion, these are the best, most comfortable, most functional hooks you can own. Yes, those wood ones or polymers that sparkle are cuter in pictures, but these are SO lightweight and comfortable in your hands, I would recommend them to any crocheter, but especially anyone who crochets A LOT.
They are aluminum throughout, with a light, cushy, durable, ergonomic rubber handle. They have tapered heads, so if you’re a fan of Boye hooks (as opposed to the Susan Bates incline style), you’ll love these. The set runs from 2.25-6mm (US size B-US size J), which is basically from lace weight up to worsted weight. If you’re looking to work with bulkier weights clover also makes larger sizes with this handle style, but the hooks themselves are plastic rather than aluminum. I own two sets of these, the first I’ve owned for going on 3 years and they hold up amazingly well. These are all I reach for!
My favorite fiber arts (crochet OR knit!) tools:
Rainbow Lightbulb Stitch Markers
While this set of 1,000 in 20 different colors are my favorite, any sort of metal lightbulb shape stitch marker will do ya just fine. I love these because they are perfect for any project, both crochet and knit, and can be used within the fabric of the item itself (and added/removed way easier than those rubbery ones!) as well as slipped onto a knitting needle. Any time I need a stitch marker or progress keeper, I pick these over my fancier charm-type ones. They are light. I can’t break them. If they get lost, it’s okay, I’ve got 1,000. And I can match the 20 different colors to ANY project- and also match them up to the Clover hooks if I need to remember which hook size I used in a project! (You’ll see a reoccurring theme here: I like practical, rainbow things.)
Stanwood 10oz yarn ball winder:
Okay yes, I know there are cheaper ones. And smaller ones. Often, those ones break. Specifically that $24 Knitpicks one (I have a tutorial on fixing yours if it slips gears and breaks repeatedly like mine did!). While that might be the most budget friendly option at first glance, mine didn’t even hold up a year, with fairly minimal use. I realize this may not be everyone’s experience, but it does seem to happen a lot based on reviews and feedback. It ain’t budget friendly if you have to replace it and sacrifice beautiful yarns to its wicked and snaggly ways!
Enter the Stanwood 10oz Yarn Ball/Cake winder. This thing is built to LAST. It weighs a whopping 3+ lbs (compared to the lightweight 11 oz plastic knitpicks one!). It’s made of Thick steel and the gears are a dense and durable nylon (again…compared to one that is wholly plastic and flimsy!). With the ability to wind up to 10oz at a time, you will never come across a yarn too big for this to handle (okay, unless like you are winding rope or something). They also make a slightly less expensive 4oz version, that is similar to the make up of the knitpicks, but when I was shopping around everyone said just pay the little extra and get the steel 10oz. And I am not disappointed. I want to do a whole review video/post on this item, but it works beautifully. Turns quietly and smoothly. Doesn’t eat my yarn. Does what it is supposed to do. LOVE IT.
Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift (Knitpicks):
Yes. I did just dis the Knitpicks/WeCrochet ball winder. But the Knitpicks Wooden Swift hasn’t failed me…yet. I have owned this one since 2019 and it’s still doing the job. However, it is likely that this won’t hold up the best long term? It is sturdy enough and clamps securely onto my table/desk, and it hasn’t given me any trouble thus far. I just make sure to close it up when not using it, cause it’s the sort of thing a toddler could easily grab and snap otherwise. I did find that Stanwood, the winder company, makes a very similar wood umbrella swift for slightly less money. and given the durability of their winders I’d imagine the swifts would hold up well too! Stanwood also makes Amish swifts- the ones that lay flat on a table, that look like a X with adjustable pegs in it- at an even more budget friendly price!
Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers:
Rainbow. Practical. I swear by these Knitters Pride rainbow knit blockers. If you’ve never wet blocked anything, or maybe thought that was just a knitting thing, I have a tutorial all about wet blocking crochet! Instead of having to place lots of little sewing pins or t-pins to try and create straight lines, these knit blockers are like combs of pins, so you’re able to essentially place 4 or 8 pins evenly and at the same time. Only complaint with these is that they are deceptively called knit blockers- they totally work for crochet too! They also come in a more neutral set if rainbow isn’t your thing but…come onnnnn.
On the topic of blocking, I don’t have an exact recommendation for blocking mats other than that you get you some. They sell fancy, expensive ones “made” for blocking, but basically any foam title will work. I prefer the big, interlocking ones that you see in playrooms and work out spaces. I got mine in a 6 pack at aldi (one of those random aldi things) for like $20, but any set will work! I should mention though, the knit blockers are wider pins than your average sewing pins, and will leave visible holes in most foam mats, so maybe don’t steal your kids mats unless they like the tiny holes look.
Escali Primo Digital Scale:
This Escali Primo Digital Scale is my most recent purchase, but I am thrilled with it so far! If you are someone who designs crochet/knit items or is ever a tester required to give yardage estimates, you need a scale of some sort. I had been using a postal scale left over from my husband jewelry days, but it wasn’t accurate on small increments of yarn. I spent a year hemming and hawing on amazon, overwhelmed by postal/kitchen/jewelry/coffee scale options, but finally went with this one, and I am glad I did. It’s intended to be a kitchen scale, but with a capacity of up to 5,000 g/11 lbs in increments of 0.1 oz/1 gm, great overall ratings, and lots of recommendations from other fiber artists, I knew I would be able to accurately weigh any project or yarn amount! Plus, it’s a super budget friendly option compared to come of the kitchen scales I had looked at! And if you don’t like the gray it comes in bunches of other colors too!
Clover Swatch Ruler:
I basically love this clover gauge swatch ruler because my kid cannot break it. Made of some sort of magical, durable and bendy plastic it has held up much better than the pretty wooden laser engraved one I bought and*someone* broke 2 days later. I can’t say I use the needle/hook measuring gauges often, as all mine are clearly labeled with the sizes, but they are good to have in case! I do prefer a flat, rigid ruler of some kind for measuring gauge, instead of a measuring tape. I just feel like those just slide around and tell me lies. But a nice gauge square is easy to use and doesn’t often tell me falsehoods. One way or another, gauge swatch with care, folks!
My favorite knitting tools:
ChiaoGoo Red Lace Interchangeable Full Knitting Needle Set:
If you’re anything like me, you’ve put off committing to an interchangeable needle set. Yes, they are pricey. Yes, they are a commitment. But do you know how much money I wasted on random fixed needles in different brands and all the sizes that I’m now trying to find homes for? A lot. I do recommend trying out some brands to figure out what you like- I know I prefer metal needles to bamboo or wood, and I had loved the ChiaoGoo brand as my go-to needle purchase for a while before I committed to the whole set. But I wish I had made up my mind sooner, because these ChiaoGoo Red Lace interchangeables are fantastic!
The set includes 2.75 – 10 mm (US size 4-15) steel 5″ tips that screw into seamlessly (no snagging!) into the red lace cords (24″, 32″ & 40″, in large and small join sizes). *there are different size red lace sets, so read carefully if you’re shopping around!* The red lace cord design are memory free so they don’t ever kink or tangle, due to the steel wire coated in a flexy red nylon material. The set also includes tightening keys, connectors to attached additional cords for more length, end caps for if you need to take the needles off the project, a ruler/needle gauge (though each needle is clearly and permanently marked with the size!), and a set of plastic ring stitch markers. I love absolutely everything about this set, other than the stitch markers (I just don’t like bulky rings- love me those lightbulbs!). The fact all the gadgets come in flimsy plastic baggies also is a little annoying, as I have had some tear and items fall out, but these are minor issues. The pouch itself is secure and durable, so once it’s zipped up nothing will escape on you. No regrets on this purchase at all!
ChiaoGoo Twist Shorties:
These Chiagoo Twist Shorties are more of a luxury than a need. And I definitely could just use my full size set, but I really loathe any situation that requires me having to magic loop, like on sweater sleeves. I requested these for Christmas to avoid that predicament and they have worked out PERFECTLY for working sleeves or anything in a 9-14″ circumference. 3.5- 5.5 mm (US 4-8) steel needles, each in a set of 2″ and 3″ tips. The blue x-flex cords (5″, 6″ , 8″) are very similar to the red lace, in their coated, no kink design, but maybe a little thinner (honestly, I don’t understand why they are different at all?). They are also interchangeable with the larger set of small size needles/cords. They come with a smaller set of goodies similar to the large set. My complaint on this one is that while they are very secure within the zipping pouch, they all tend to want to fall out of the black case when I pull the snap open, so just be careful! (there is room in the larger set to add additional tips, but I think these might be too short and would fall too deep in the little pockets?).
Hiya Hiya Flexi Flyers Sock Needles:
Again, not necessary if I would just learn to love magic loop (or DPNS), but … I don’t. These Hiya Hiya Sharp Flyers are my go to sock knitting needles. (I really like the Hiya Hiya sharps in general, and had strongly considered buying a set of those when I was looking for interchangeables, but the case had no zipper and a lot of reviews said they fall out, so ChiaoGoo won). They are a cross between 9″ circulars (which I have, and like, but my hands tend to cramp) and a DPN (which I tend to hate). You work the sock on 2 flexible needles, using the 3rd one as your working needle. If that sounds crazy, I demonstrate it in my Box of Socks 2020 video! My local yarn store owner introduced me to these, and I will never go back to knitting socks any other way. LOVE them.
I hope you found this favorite fiber arts tools guide helpful and maybe found yourself a new goodie or two to go snag, or save up for! Good tools make for a great making experience, quality makes, and a happy maker! So happy making, my friends!