You will often find people describe knitting as needing nothing more than two sticks and some string, but let's be real honest here: knitters love their tools. Needles are tools, of course, and knitters can be quite passionate about them, but they are not the tools to which I refer. I am referring to all the other accoutrements that you convince yourself would elevate your knitting experience.*
I definitely love tools, regardless of the task. I love power tools, kitchen gadgets, laundry folding devices--you name it and if it helps me do a job better and faster, isn't cost prohibitive, and (I convince myself) I have somewhere to store it, I'm all over it. So knowing I'm a knitter, you can rightly assume that I have acquired more than a few things to enhance my knitting life. Do I believe any of these tools make my actual knitting any better? I am going to go out on a limb and say yes, yes I do.**
Back in the old days as a student with little spending money, I knit quite happily buying only very few extras, just the basic notions like a Susan Bates tapestry needle, a cable needle, and when I was feeling really extravagant, plastic bobbins for colourwork (which got used for exactly one project some 14 years ago and never again). But I would devise little "tools" out of common household objects when I thought of something that would make something easier to do (some worked better than others). Then, with the rise of the internet and the inevitable proliferation of knitting sites (Ravelry, in particular), my eyes were opened wide to the many possibilities out there, both DIY and ready-made. The truth of the matter is that one doesn't need much more than two sticks and string to knit but tools can facilitate certain steps in the process and that often means more efficient and more enjoyable knitting. Who doesn't want that?
So as a self-proclaimed gadget junkie, I decided I'm going to occasionally talk knitting tools on this accidental blog*** of mine. Possibly on intermittent Tuesdays, (i.e., possibly on Tuesdays, very likely intermittently.) The plan is to discuss knitting tools/accessories that I personally like but rarely encounter any discussion about, perhaps further eroding any possibility that other knitters are going to start reading this blog.****
My first official Knitting Tools-day post will be about yarn holders. I have posted about these before, in a distant time when I thought Tumblr was a good micro-blogging platform. (I lost interest when I realized that I couldn't maintain a blog even on a micro level.) It might seem as though I'm just rehashing old material, but two things: first, I have revised a few of my earlier impressions, and second, trees that fall in the forest that no one hears and all that.
Anyhow, all of this is to say that today is not my official first Tools-day. This is my official statement to myself that I'm going to get right on that, sometime.
*These accoutrements are not necessarily costly items. Whether you have a hand-carved walnut niddy-noddy or the humble PVC pipe version, it's a tool that helps you wind a skein and it is neither stick nor string.
**In addition to executing a task better than it would have been without, a good tool has a civilizing effect on me. And when I'm feeling more civilized, I'm more apt to strive harder for better than "good enough" results and I'm also more likely to have the patience for it if I didn't spend the better part of an hour in a stand-off with a pile of yarn barf.
***Occasional blogging was so much easier than creating real content, which, believe it or not, is still the ultimate plan for this website. But I seem to have a propensity for making plans for the future and keeping them firmly rooted there.
****Which may be for the best because I post secure in the knowledge that no one is actually visiting this corner of the internet. It certainly takes the pressure off.