Stuff a stocking with tools and notions for a fiber artist in your life. They’ll love you for it, and you may even get a handmade gift in return! Here are some suggestions for stocking stuffers for knitters and crocheters.
Scroll over the image for more information, or click the links to learn more.
This post contains affiliate links, which may provide a small income to me if you buy something, but won’t cost you anything extra.
Every crocheter and knitter uses stitch markers, and if they don’t, they should! And markers have a way of getting lost, so we always need more.
There are several different styles of marker. Even if the gift recipient has a current favorite, it’s always a good idea to try new products. Try them all!
Hint: Crocheters need markers that open. Look for the words “locking”, “split ring”, or “opening” in the title to make sure you are getting the right kind.
A good pair of scissors is always appreciated. I’m always on the lookout for tiny scissors that pack easily but are sharp enough to cut well.
Sometimes you need just a small amount of yarn for a project, and it would be uncomfortable to use a full ball of yarn. That’s when you need a yarn butterfly! Here’s how to wind a yarn butterfly. It’s quick and easy.
A yarn butterfly is simply a “re-packaging” of yarn into a small butterfly-shaped bundle. If prepared right, the bundle stays wrapped and secured, making it possible to use the working end of the yarn for your project while the rest of the yarn waits patiently.
Yarn butterflies are usually used for the intarsia method (knitting or crocheting), but they can be used any time.
It can be easier to use a butterfly than a yarn bobbin. In my experience, plastic yarn bobbins get tangled more than butterflies. Plus, I can never find enough bobbins when I’m ready to start a complex intarsia project.
OK, I didn’t say that very well in words. It’s really quite easy to do, so let’s try some pictures. Follow these step-by-step instructions or watch the video at the bottom of the post.
Hold the yarn tail under your thumb and out of the way.
2. Begin wrapping the yarn around your fingers in a figure-8 pattern.
3. As you wrap, keep the strands parallel to each other. Don’t let them cross over each other.
4. When you have wrapped enough, pinch the yarn bundle together at the center point, and slide it off your fingers.
5. Leaving at least 12″ [30 cm], cut the working yarn. Wrap this end around the center of the bundle. Wrap tightly, but not too tightly.
6. Tuck the end under the center wraps. A crochet hook is handy to use for this task.
7. When you have finished, use the working end (the end that was under your thumb). It should pull out neatly as you need it, leaving the rest of the yarn still wrapped up in its butterfly shape.
Early Bird Tickets are only $55 now through Monday, September 2.
After Labor Day ticket prices will increase to $80, so buy now to lock in the lower price.
Tell Me More
Our experts are passionate about sharing their love of crochet with others. Whether your goal is to improve your skills in hat making, gather the bravery to begin your first sweater, or dive into short rows, our goal is to help you. We have handpicked these teachers and designers to bring you the best instructors on a variety of crochet topics.
Getting to an in-person conference can be a barrier for some crocheters. You want to improve your skills and meet new people, but work, family life and budget constraints can make that impossible. Stitch Makers Live is the affordable alternative, because you’re only paying for the classes, not for flights, hotel rooms, restaurant food, and so on.
Stitch Makers Live is the only crochet-only online conference, and we’d love you to be part of the excitement.
How Does Stitch Makers Live Work?
When you buy a ticket to Stitch Makers Live you’ll get access to a private Facebook group that is only open to Stitch Makers Live participants and teachers.
The event runs September 19-21. The live video classes and interaction with the teachers will take place on the private Facebook group. Instructors will be teaching and interacting with you from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm Eastern each of those days.
And we’ll be having a virtual party from 7:30 pm until 9:00 pm Eastern on Saturday night, September 21!
Edie, What Will You Be Doing?
I’ll be teaching techniques from The Village Hat pattern. You’ll learn my tips for great-looking crocheted motifs and join-as-you-go techniques. The Village Hat pattern includes both charted and text instructions, and it’s free with your Stitch Makers Live attendance.
Most new crocheters question where to put the first stitch of a crochet row. It’s not always clear from reading a pattern where that hook should go. If you don’t get it right, you may gain or lose stitches and have uneven edges.
Knowing where to put the first stitch of a crochet row in every situation will help you maintain the same number of stitches and keep your edges straight!
This article uses American crochet terminology. I’m assuming you want to keep the same number of stitches on each row, and to have straight sides. Be sure to watch the videos listed below to get a good close-up look of where I’m putting the first stitch of the second row in different situations.
The key to knowing where to put your hook lies in understanding turning chains. Turning chains are the chains at the beginning of a row that bring your hook up to the level of the next row, ready to work the new row.
Your pattern will tell you how many turning chains to work, and whether that turning chain counts as a stitch. If the pattern doesn’t indicate whether the turning chain counts, you can decide for yourself.
Type of Stitch
Typical Turning Chain
Does Turning Chain Count as a Stitch?
sometimes; you can decide
usually but not always
usually but not always
When the Turning Chain Counts as a Stitch
If the turning chain counts as a stitch and you don’t want to increase or decrease, the second stitch of the row or round (the first “real” dc, for example) goes into the stitch that is one stitch to the left of the stitch at the base of the turning chain. Or one stitch to the right if you are working left-handed.
The last stitch of a row goes into the top of the turning chain from the row below. The last stitch of a round goes into the last stitch of the previous round.
Here’s what that looks like in a stitch charts and on a swatch. This swatch and stitch chart begins with a foundation chain of 13 and has 11 stitches across each row, because the turning chain counts as a stitch.
Watch How to Work Double Crochet to see me transition from Row 1 to Row 2 on a swatch, and count the ch-3 turning chain as a stitch.
When the turning chain counts as a stitch, if you put the first stitch into the same stitch as the base of the turning chain, you’ll increase. If you don’t remember to put the last stitch into the top of the turning chain, you’ll decrease.
When the Turning Chain Doesn’t Count as a Stitch
If the turning chain does not count as a stitch, and you want to maintain the same number of stitches, the first stitch of the second row goes into the stitch at the base of the turning chain because you completely ignore the turning chain.
The last stitch of the row goes into the last “real” dc, because the turning chain is ignored. Here’s what that looks like in a stitch chart and on a swatch. This swatch and stitch chart begins with a foundation chain of 14 and has 11 stitches across each row, because the turning chain does not count as a stitch.
Watch Single Crochet with Edie Eckman starting at about 3:32 to see me transition from Row 1 to Row 2 on a swatch, but not count the ch-1 turning chain as a stitch.
When the turning chain does not count as a stitch, if you skip the stitch at the base of the chain and work into the next stitch, you’ll decrease. If you put the last stitch of the row into a turning chain, you’ll increase.
Reminders: Where to Put the First Stitch
Remember:When the turning chain counts as a stitch, treat it like one.
It has magically become a stitch (because the pattern told you so). Why would you put another stitch in the same place? And why would you not work into it on the way back?
Remember:When the turning chain does not count as a stitch, ignore it completely.
Your edges will be straight, your stitch count will stay the same, and you’ll stop worrying about where that stitch should go!
Using a join-as-you-go method to join crochet motifs is a great way to save time and effort.
With join-as-you-go, you don’t have any seaming to do at the end of the project, because you have joined all your individual pieces as your work. The flat join method of join-as-you-go gives a particularly beautiful and smooth connection.
Flat joins can be worked into chain spaces or into the top of stitches. With granny squares, the joins are usually worked into the chain-spaces.
Follow these step-by-step instructions, or scroll down to the bottom of the post for a video explanation.
This post contains affiliate links which don’t cost you anything but may provide a small income to me. The yarn pictured is Red Heart Chic Sheep by Marly Bird.
Join-As-You-Go Granny Square
We’ll be joining a classic granny square that has chain-2 corners and chain-1 side spaces. My sample square has three rounds.
Begin by working the entire first square. Weave in the ends.
Crochet the second square, stopping before you work the last round.
Begin working the last round of the second square, stopping when you get to the half-way point of a corner. In other words, stop after “3 dc in corner space, ch 1”.
Flat Join Join-As-You-Go
To work a flat join, draw up the loop on the hook until it is a bit longer than usual, then take the hook out of the loop. This is known as “dropping the loop”.
Pick up the first square with the right side facing. Insert the hook from right side to wrong side (from front to back) through a corner chain-2 space.
Pick up the dropped loop with your hook and draw it through to the right side of the first square.
Continue working on current square: ch 1, 3 dc in same space.
Continue working flat joins in the chain-1 spaces along this side, while working (3 dc, ch 1) in each ch-1 space of the current square. The last flat join will be in the chain-2 corner space.
Completing the Square
Once the squares are joined all along their sides, keep working along the remaining sides of the current square to complete the round.
Learn More About Join-As-You-Go
Join-as-you-go is such a time- and effort-saving technique! There’s a lot more to learn about this topic. If you want to make your crocheting life happier, check out my books and pattern page, as well as these resources:
Get ready for the cooler days of fall with my newest design for Universal Yarn: the Crimson Cowl. The cowl is shaped to drape gently around the neck and to sit lovingly over the shoulders.
Fibra Natura’s Cashmere Lusso from Universal Yarn is a luxurious blend of virgin cashmere and recycled cashmere. You can feel good about using yarn with recycled fiber, and the yarn feels great against the skin.
Cashmere yarn is lightweight but warm, and is lovely to crochet with.
You’ll need just a single skein in either this beautiful Anthurium color or one of the other on-trend colors available.
There are no tricky stitches here. Just chains, single and double crochets worked in the round and fanning out to create a lovely drape from the neck down. Use a size H-8 (5 mm) hook or whatever size you need to get gauge.