How do you keep unworked stitches until ready to knit them?

On metal safety pin-like holders
49% (45 votes)
On double-ended needle with end caps held in place with a tension strips/springs
5% (5 votes)
On an unused circular needles longer than the area being held
8% (7 votes)
On a piece of waste yarn
30% (28 votes)
8% (7 votes)
Total votes: 92


potterdc's picture

One very nice thing about my new Denise Knitting Needle Kit that I'm so fond of is you can use the extra cables with end caps as stitch holders - very convenient!

Think less, enjoy it more.

I prefer the metal stitch holders, but will certainly use a piece of yarn if I can't readily find them.

kiwiknitter's picture

When I began to knit, I used the metal pin holder and had the same problems as Lars.  In addition, the opening to the pin was always on the opposite end of where I'd want to begin to knit-up those stitches.  So, I moved to the plastic DP needles (by Clover) which have end caps that are held together with a tension system.  This solved the problem of having the stitches available at only one end but I found this holder to be very bulky and it did not work well with how I knit (for example, when I shape the collar on the front piece, I always work both sides simultaneously with 2 balls of wool) and it was difficult to work with.  In my reading, especially vintage patterns, I had found references to putting the stitches onto some waste yarn and holding them that way (I think E Zimmermann gives this instruction).  I had thought it was rather non-tech given we had accessories to do the job but since I didn't find those tools very satisfactory, I gave the waste wool a try and now I wouldn't do it any other way.  It provides flexibility, cleared out a compartment in my knitting tool kit, and I can pick-up stitches however I desire.  I always find it interesting how often the simplest ideas and tools, especially those born of austerity, as the best ones.


Friends don't let friends knit drunk.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

JPaul's picture

I know exactly what you're saying about accessories, Jesse!  It's hard to give them up sometimes.  I started using the metal stitch holders when I first learned to knit, because that's how you put stitches on hold.  I used them for years and only retired them in the last few years because I feel like they tend to help stretch out the first few stitches they are holding.  So when I go back to them, I have to fuss with the stitches to keep from having a hole.

I haven't had a project yet where I needed to actually hold active unused stitches, but initially I would just use a spare cable from my set with the two end caps like potterdc said. I like the idea of the waste yarn tho so I'd probably do whichever one was handy.

Serge664's picture

I made a set of metal holders from a cut up clothes hanger. I cut it into 3 sizes then smoothed the ends with a dremmel. The turned out just like the Lion brand set and were free!

I know it is kinda silly since a new set was only a few dollars, but that's not the point... 

Please remember: I have a collection of needles and a history of violence

MMario's picture

very rarely need to do this, but when I do tend to either use a circ needle or a safety pin.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

DutchJan's picture

DJ On those fab needle keepers with double ends from Clover


trpc's picture

I just leave them on the needles. Kind of naughty, or just plain old boring. depends on how you look at it.