There have been some new crochet accessories, gadgets, and other tools on the market lately. I’ve written about some of them. However, I still prefer some of the older items that do the same work. Here’s my Top Five List. Please add your comments – pro or con – so we’ll all learn more about what’s available to improve our crocheting experience.
I think my favorite new tool is the Color Grid that I reviewed here. I’ve been playing a lot with it recently, finding new ways to combine yarns I already have in my stash. As I’ve written before, color is not my strong suit. I know what I like, but it seems to be the same thing over and over again. With this tool, I’m able to explore a broader range of color choices and see how they will actually work together. It has all the information a regular Color Wheel has – but more. The clever way the grid is arranged allows me to know almost instantly how one color will look placed next to another. This is very useful for me.
These are my favorite stitch markers. They come in two sizes, with both the aqua and the peach in each bag. I own a variety of stitch markers but find that these are the ones I always come back to. They never snag, are very light weight, and can be easily worked with only one hand. I have a small bag of them in my hook bag that goes with me everywhere. You can find these Clover Locking Stitch Markers at your LYS as well as at the big box stores.
I am completely in love with these new Tulip Etimo Crochet Hooks! They cost a bit more than other aluminum hooks, but they are worth every cent. At least my carpal tunnel and my thumb think so! When I crochet with one of these hooks, I have absolutely no pain. I know how personal a choice a crochet hook is. Our hands vary in size, our holds vary, some of us have longer or shorter fingers, etc etc etc. I own or have owned one or more of every brand of hook currently on the market and plenty that are no longer available. These are the best for me, hands down. I am deeply saddened that the largest size is a J. If Tulip would make these in larger sizes, I’d immediately purchase several in every larger size. Immediately!
For sheer inspiration or crochet dreaming, it’s hard to think of a better site than Pinterest. I (and you) could spend hours there, just looking and dreaming and wishing and thinking. This square is one I ran across recently. While you might not always be able to find the original pattern source when clicking through Pinterest, you will definitely find plenty of inspiration. I double dog dare you not to!
Not just for inspiration, but also for pattern definition, help in determining alternative yarn choices, and rethinking how to use a pattern or finished object, I find Ravelry.com to be truly helpful. Now, when I am contemplating taking on a new project, I am likely to check on ravelry to see who else has worked up this project, what yarn(s) were used, and what the finished projects look like. I’ve been able to solve a problem with a pattern simply by looking closely at someone else’s project. It’s also helpful that many of our trusted crochet designers have a presence there and are willing to respond to inquiries. I also use the site for inspiration. Ravelry is also a site to learn what the latest crochet trends are. Lots of information there and it’s all free!
The Urban Shells scarf pictured here is a pattern I’ve made several times. In determining what yarn I wanted to use for it, it helped me to see some of the almost 300 versions of it that have been posted on Ravelry. I was able to quickly and easily get an idea how the pattern would look worked up in a solid color or in one of my favorite variegateds. Saved me a lot of swatching time, using the yarns I had on hand that I was considering using for the project.