By Carlyn M.
Just as with knitting, you should always have a handy bag full of crochet notions with you while working on your crochet project. What I love, is there is some overlap, in fact the notions you need are almost the same. Almost being a key word here. So let me introduce to you what I always have handy when I start a crochet project.
The Gauge Ruler & Tape Measure
The top thing that is vital to any essential bag is a gauge ruler. This handy little device helps you find your gauge which is personal to you. I am the worst when coming to making a swatch to check your gauge but I know how vital it is. My favorite is this one.
Why do I like this one specifically? Because of the open space on the inside. Total honesty: I dont think I have ever made a crochet swatch. I know, bad bad Carlyn. In my defense, most of my crochet projects don’t need me to know my gauge, so I don’t pay attention to it, but I probably should in the future . . .
This handy thing also is a Knitting/Crochet needle/hook size measurer. Crochet hooks are usually well marked, unlike their knitting partners, but sometimes its just nice to have.
Now if you are measuring a small area, go ahead and use your gauge ruler. But a gauge ruler only measures a small area (mine happens to measure 5in or 14cm. If you are working on a larger project I would recommend grabbing a measuring tape for its flexibility and length. This is similar to what I use.
Unlike knitting, stitch markers in crochet are a much more vital tool than it is in knitting. You can use a stitch marker to mark where the beginning of a row is, or a specific stitch. You can use a stitch marker to keep a live stitch from coming out. You can keep track of rows, or stitches. Really the possibilities are endless. But here is the vital difference in stitch markers used in crochet. They need to lock. There is not a possible way to use a circular marker that doesn’t come apart unless you want that stitch marker to become a part of your project. So naturally, these bulb ones are perfect.
During my intro to crochet class, I noticed my teacher had these super cute sheep stitch markers. I asked her where she got them and she proudly said she make them. Naturally I had to have a set. They have become my go to stitch markers for crochet. And I haven’t lost one yet!
A Yarn Needle help you ‘sew in ends’ as is described in most patterns. I have had many and would highly recommend these metal ones.
I have used plastic before but find that sometimes the yarn sticks to the needle and pulls causing a snag. I would also recommend a blunt end needle, you don’t need it to be sharp.
And that is it. Now I will say I haven’t been crocheting as long so if you have a notion I didn’t mention, I would love to hear about it and why you love it.
Tune in next week where I am hoping to conquer straight crochet edges.