When Louise said that I was to come up with a few lines of inspiration for our first blog post my mind went blank. It does the same when I’m trying to remember a song or book or even more embarrasingly when I go to make an introduction. Then I had a light-bulb moment, pear or bulb-shaped pins I use them all the time.
One big plus with knitting is it’s accessibility and immediacy. A ball of yarn and a pair of needles and you’re good to go, but then I love kit that makes the knitting run a little more smoothly and added to that I’m a bit of a haberdashery addict. Pear-shaped safety pins are a must-have in my knitting basket, they’re nice and cheap too so it’s no hardship when one rattles up the vacuum cleaner tube.
- Slip them over the needle to mark the start of a new round when working on circulars or double pointed needles.
- Mark the right and wrong side of your work
- Use them as locking stitch markers.
- Keep track of your pattern by marking stitch repeats and the point at which you need to increase or decrease. They can be threaded with coloured beads to differentiate the markers.
- If you have multiple increases (or decreases) gather together that number of pins and fasten them in a cluster to your knitting. Then as each increase is made mark it with a pin. When you’ve run out of pins you’ve finished your shaping.
- Keep hold of that recalcitrant dropped stitch before it runs the entire length of your knitting. Catch the stitch then gently pull the pin to lift the stitch on to the needle.
- Use when working Japanese short rows and use the pin to lift the loop of yarn on to the needle when closing the gap.
- Use as a mini stitch holder for just a few stitches.
- Finally if for any reason you put a project on hold (i.e. something more exciting comes along) use one to fasten a helpful note to the knitting then it will not be so traumatic when guilt makes you pick it up again.