Alternative Crochet AccessoriesBy Claire Ortega-Reyes – 18 Comments
We’ve all seen those crochet notions or accessories in craft stores. Some make us go, “oohhh,” and others, “how could this possibly help me crochet?” Regardless, most of them really just are what they are called: accessories AKA things you can do without. Some of them really do help with crochet work, and some even regard them as necessities in completing any project. These items can be quite expensive though–and won’t fit in all craft budgets. Don’t dismay, you just might have something around the house to substitute for that store-bought crochet accessory.
Use these to secure the end(s) of your work so they won’t go unraveling unattended. They can also mark a specific part of your work. There are many types of stitch markers out there, but here’s a tip: you can use paper clips and safety pins instead. You can even use stray strands of thread, yarn, or wire. As long as it stays in place (and can be removed without wrecking your project), it works.
Stitch or Row Counter
This little things tick away the number of rows or stitches needed–so you won’t have to rely on your fallible human memory to do so. You won’t have to buy this at the store though, if you have a phone or tablet with you, you can use that to track your progress. Use the notes feature, or apps for counting. Going old school works, too–use pen and paper. Another alternative is using your improvised stitch markers, marking every 10 or 20 rows for easy counting.
For crocheters who love making wearables, blocking boards make life (and blocking) simpler. The down side is that they can be costly, and they are difficult to store. Use rubber mats instead (those we use for kids work great). My personal favorite are those colorful rubber mats in puzzle shapes, that interlock with each other when assembled. Use only the number of pieces needed to block your work, then dismantle and store when you’re done.
Sometimes I believe that yarn skeins have lives of their own–how else could you explain the way they always get tangled, unruly and disorderly? Various containers have been invented to limit their activities. You can use a round tissue dispenser to dispense thread or yarn while working–this prevents the yarn from bobbing around (ever so annoyingly). You can also try using ribbon or a sash to wrap around the yarn skein–tighten the knot around the center-pull yarn as it grows thinner.
I’m pretty sure you all have genius ideas for substituting everyday items for store-bought crochet accessories–after all, crocheters are known to be quite resourceful! Please share similar tricks you have found useful in your crafting in the comments below. Happy crocheting, everyone!