Monday, August 29, 2011

Tools of the trade 1: Favorite knitting & cooking tools


School is starting here and it's about that time of year I get the annual knitting fever, and a new burst of energy for cooking. Brooke wanted to do a series on our favorite tools, so here are some of my favorite knitting and cooking tools:

Cooking

Oven-safe, non-stick skillet with a lid; pizza stone
I love my oven-safe, non-stick skillet with a lid. It can do just about everything in the kitchen: stovetop, oven (um, duh), covered simmering, etc. To go from stovetop to oven before, I'd have to use one of our cast iron skillets, and I never manage to wash one of those without ruining the season. It's also my biggest skillet, with really high sides, so it's got an amazing capacity. Plus, hey, it's a fun color (especially since my other pots and pans are all gray/black.) I know it seems like a lame gift, but I was really happy my husband found this for me for Christmas :D .

My pizza stone was a wedding gift. While we do love it for pizza, it's also great for baking bread and . . . I know we've used it for other things, but I'm blanking here. Anyway, it might look dirty there, but that's actually intentional, apparently: the packaging that came with it dictated that we never use soap to clean it, and that any stains and marks make it better. (They phrased it better.)

Knitting

"Knittin' Kaboodle"—it was only $6!


I really just pulled this out the first time, but I already love it. This is how I used to store my needles etc.:


And now:

The pocket holds a bunch of my favorite notions, including bone rings (stitch markers), stitch holders, yarn needles(love these!), and row counters.

My favorite "standard" tool is a plastic knit gauge (disclosure: we're an affiliate of Roberts; we'd receive a few cents if you bought something from Roberts from the links in these two paragraphs):



It looks boring but it helps you to make sure your finished pieces end up the right size (if your gauge is off, your 36" bust sweater could end up being a 30" or 46" bust sweater!). It's also great for sizing those random loose needles, or the circular or double point needles that don't have labels on them.

And my favorite "surprise" knitting tool:


A crochet hook! (As a reminder, crochet and knitting are two different fiber arts. Knitting uses two straight needles with a row of stitches on one; crochet uses one hooked needle which works one stitch at a time. They use very different techniques.) I am not a crocheter. I'm just not good at it. I don't do crochet edgings; I'm hard pressed to even do a crochet cast on.

However, my crochet hook has saved me countless times. Sometimes a stitch falls off a knitting needle before you work it. These loose stitches unravel and can undo the entire column throughout the whole piece. But with a crochet hook, you can fix the dropped stitches:
from Knitty.com

Voila! You're saved!

What are your favorite knitting and cooking tools?

7 comments :

Tracy said...

I would have bought the pan just for the colour :)

I have my crochet and knitting needles in a case and I love it.
I too use my crochet hook to fix my slipped stiches.

Brave Brooke said...

I love how deep that pan is. I put mine in an old biscotti plastic container. It's tall round and clear so I can find them. The stinker is that not all my needles fit in.

Lindsey said...

I don't knit, but my favorite cooking tool is my silicone "spoonula." It's one solid piece of silicone so it's super easy to clean, it won't scratch your pans, and it's heat safe up to 500 degrees. Plus, like your skillet, it's bright red. I love it so much I purchased 4 extras!

Jordan McCollum said...

@Lindsey—Oh, I love my heat-safe silicone spatulas! I don't have any "spoonulas," but I used to watch a lot of Rachael Ray so I think they must be fantastic ;)

Michelle said...

I love my wire cheese cutter. It is literally a handle with a piece of thick wire strung between it, but it slices cheese like a dream! I stole it from my mom when I went to college and still love it 13 years later. Ouch that made me sound old. Thanks for linking up with DIY under $5!

Lindsay said...

Great ideas! I want one of those plastic knit gauge! Thanks for linking up at Show & Share!

magi said...

My sister recommended this post and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!
Cooking Equipment

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