Saturday, 28 June 2014

Best Knitting & Crochet Stitch Holders To Use

Ah, stitch holders. The age old dilemma of what to use. There are a few stitch holder substitutes at your disposal when your pattern asks you to move your stitches onto a stitch holder. When I was a beginner, I didn't really know what a stitch holder was. However, it's not a misnomer, it does exactly what it says on the tin: it holds your stitches for you. 

Knitting Crochet Stitch Holder Alternatives
The usual suspects

You need to use stitch holders when the pattern dictates you to, for example if you're knitting a jumper, or a twisted headband. They're also useful if, like me, you get impatient and want to start another project, but need the needles from your current work. You could go and buy new ones, but it's much easier to put the stitches on a holder, put the project on hold, and come back to it later.
Here are a couple of options for different stitch holders to use for either crochet or knitting. You don't have to spend a lot of money and often the cheap alternatives (read: things you have lying around your house) are the best. 
Option One: An actual stitch holder

Knitting Crochet Stitch Holder Alternatives
A stitch holder
Pros: Easy to use and the stitches stay on. Very easy to slip the stitches back onto the needle, or knit from the stitch holder
Cons: I find these very easy to lose! Although that could just be me.
Option Two: A spare bit of contrasting wool
Knitting Crochet Stitch Holder Alternatives
A spare piece of wool
Pros: Inexpensive because you'll already have it hanging around
Cons: Difficult to get the stitches back on the needle and difficult to thread through in the first place if you don't have a darning needle

Option Three: A knitting needle or pencil
Knitting Crochet Stitch Holder Alternatives
A spare knitting needle
Pros: Easy to transfer the stitches and you'll definitely have some spare needles hanging around
Cons: If you're not careful, the stitches can slip off (I usually get around this by putting blu-tac on the ends) and if you're really not careful, you can confuse the held stitches for the working ones! Also depending on the length of the needle, it can get in the way
Option Four: String

Knitting Crochet Stitch Holder Alternatives
A piece of string
Pros: It's a cheap option
Cons: I actually really wouldn't recommend this. I tried it out for this blog post and it has the same problems as wool, but it tends to fall apart. Don't do it!
So, there we have it. Obviously, you can pretty much use anything you have lying around to hold the stitches on, for example pipe cleaners, garden twine, a necklace etc etc.
I'd recommend something sturdy and rigid, because it's easier to transfer the stitches back. Also something that ties, or closes so that there's no danger of the stitches falling off. That's just personal preference though! What do you use?
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