Knitter’s Toolbox: For more than just sweaters

Hi everyone! Just a quick post today before I head off to pack the car for my weekend teaching gig. If you’re going to be in or near Kent, come on by! At the same time as the retreat registration opens on Monday, 12pm EST, I’ll be chatting with Beth Moriarty of Planet Purl about Knit Wear Love, and other things. But don’t fret if you can’t make it – the show will be on YouTube, too!

I’m so grateful for the lovely response that has greeted Knitter’s Toolbox, and thank you all for your kind messages and comments about it. I wanted to follow up on our initial post on the app with a little more detail.

It’s a well-kept secret that I knit things other than sweaters.

But I do! We live in a fairly chilly place, and have a moral objection to turning the heat up too high. So I knit indoor caps for the husband, and hand-knit socks and sweaters for the boys, and wraps and fingerless mitts to keep myself warm.


And I knit for babies, of course. (Who doesn’t knit for babies?) Here’s the yarn that I’m going to use to make Jackie’s new baby Eleanor a summer sweater:


…but somehow I don’t really blog about this stuff anymore. So someone could be forgiven in thinking that Knitter’s Toolbox was designed primarily for use with sweaters. Nothing could be further from the truth! (Actually, I do envision a sweater-focused version of the app in the future – something with dart and neckline calculations, sleeve cap generators, and such…)

So today, before we all head out into a glorious weekend, I want to talk a little bit about how I hope it will be useful in your knitting life – beyond sweaters.

Buttonhole spacer

Okay, you’ve got me. Mostly, buttons happen on sweaters. But they happen on all sweaters – even those adorable baby ones we churn out the second someone we know is expecting. And I don’t know anybody who truly picks up the number of stitches specified in the pattern, every time.

But occasionally, something else does come along with buttons – buttoned cowls come to mind – or buttoned mitts, or a hat. Or maybe you’re improvising something on your own!

Gauge widget

This handy little gadget is good for everything.

  • Know your gauge in your favorite sock yarn, and want to use it to make a hat? Measure your recipient’s head, subtract 10% or so, and put your gauge and the desired length into the widget. We’ll tell you your cast-on!
  • Know how many stitches your repeat needs for a lace scarf, and how wide you’d like it to be? Put your count and dimension into the widget, and we’ll give you your target gauge.
  • Are you more of a wing-it knitter, and chose your gauge and stitch count to please yourself and the patterning you’re doing on that funky pair of socks? We’ll tell you the circumference of the sock, and you can chose whose feet they’re for. 🙂

Shaping placer

I do, personally, tend to use this guy more for sweaters – changing a sleeve from long to short (or vice-versa), making a V-neck deeper than the one specified in the pattern, altering the shaping on a baby wrap sweater to account for an infant’s long body – but that says more about me than the calculator, I think! It can be used to help space shaping rows wherever you need to increase or decrease – be it on a shawl or shawlette, a shaped funky scarf, or for the top of a mitten.

Pickup calculator

It’s true, most button bands need you to pick up stitches along their edges. But I’m likely to find this most useful when I’m putting an edging on something else – a scarf, stole, or blanket, for example. Or if I got funky and did a log cabin blanket in differently-sized yarns. Or adding a chunky lace trim to a shrug that was knit in a floaty sport-weight. Or… well. You get the idea.


(My weekend, in wool.)

Whatever you’re knitting, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you all bright and early on Monday. Happy knitting!

1 thought on “Knitter’s Toolbox: For more than just sweaters

  1. Yesss!!! Sleeve cap generator PLEASE!!!

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