At some point in most sweater patterns, you have to put some stitches on hold. Usually this is when you have to set aside your sleeve stitches and knit the body. There are lots of tools out there to help your keep hold of your stitches while you aren’t working on them. Let’s take a look at some of them.
These methods and tools range from using some thing you already have lying around, to being a fun tool that you can get to make your life easier.
This is the classic method that you will see written in many patterns. It is great because there is no need for fancy tools. It makes use of things you already have lying around. Simply take a tapestry needle and thread it with some scrap yarn, thread the needle through the stitches that you need held, and knot the ends of the scrap yarn to keep your stitches safe. Picking up the stitches with a tapestry needle can be a bit slow, but it does the trick.
Circular Cable Needles
If you are feeling lazy, you might just use your circular needle cables. If you are already knitting with circular needles and you have lots of spare cables lying around, you can just use one of your cables to hold your extra stitches. I like this method because you can just attach the needles you are using for your project to the cable to make it easy to slip them over onto the spare cable. Also, when it is time to pick up those stitches to knit them again, you simply have to attach the needles and you are ready to go.
Stitch holder strings, cables and tubes
There are a few different types of strings and tubes that are designed to hold longer lengths of stitches. Some are designed to attach to the needles you are knitting with (like this PetiteKnit one and this Sandnes Garn one) and then you can simply pull them through your stitches. Others come with a needle (like this Clover one and this CocoKnits one) that you attach and use to transfer stitches from your working needles to the string. With both these types, it is fairly easy to slip them over and then you can just tie the string to keep the stitches secure.
Stitch holder clips
These rigid metal holders almost look like large safety pins (see an example here). They are usually too small to be used for large numbers of stitches that need to be held in adult sweaters. For baby garments however, they are just the perfect size. Because they are rigid and have a point, it is easy to slip stitches onto and off of the holder.
It is fun that there are so many different tools and methods that you can use to put your stitches on hold. I find myself using pretty much all of these depending on the situation. Which of these methods do you use most often?