First, a caveat: 95% of the knitting I have been doing the last couple years has been stash busting. I won’t say I have been cold-sheeping, since that would be a big fat lie (let’s not discuss how much I spent on non-business yarn this month!), but my yarn and fiber stash has gone way down. And most of that knitting happens on my size 4 needles and a 16” cord from my Addi Click set. I’m a loose knitter, so that is closer to a size 6 needle for most people. No double pointed needles, I just magic loop it for a few rounds. I’ve also drastically streamlined my tools in the last few years. I went from havings vases full of straight needles I never used and tangled piles of “meh” circular needles down to a couple drawers full of supplies (ok, and several shelves for spinning and weaving tools, tubs on yarn, etc).
PS- This post contains affiliate links, which may give me a small commission when you buy through them. It helps keep me stocked up on yarn. If you have a local yarn shop near you, look for these items there! You can also see the list of knitting tools all in one place here: knitting tools.
Addi Click – I got these when I was still working in a yarn store, and they have been going strong for 6+ years. I bought extras of my favorite size needles and extra cords. I have a bunch of the 16” cords since my set doesn’t come with it and I knit mostly hats. I can magic loop with the 16” cords and the regular needle tips, but it is hard to do with the long lace tips.
I usually use Addi Rockets when I need a needle size smaller than what my interchangeable set has. When I travel I often switch to a wood circular needle and I always use wood double pointed needles (which I prefer anyways to metal since they feel warmer, despite breaking them occasionally). I keep all my circular and dpns in a needle case, though I have yet to find one in a pattern I am totally in love with. At some point I will probably switch back to just a zipped pouch for all my circs and a separate case for my dpns since my circs all tend to end up in the bottom of the tool drawer instead of in the case anyways.
Pom Pom Makers: My favorite are the Clover Pom Pom Makers which have a deeper channel cut cutting the yarn. I mostly use the large sizes (I like big pom poms!), though I have all but the largest size. I find the extra small size Clover ones to be fiddly and often not “puffy” enough. I also tried the plastic disk style makers (not this set, but look like this) and found them difficult to cut neatly. When I have extra yarn I make a few pom poms to keep on hand- they are often just the thing I need to top a hat!
Tapestry Needles: I always keep one of the bent metal tapestry needles in my wallet for weaving in ends on the go. They work for all but the absolutely bulkiest of yarn, and I have yet to break one (I tend to lose them first!).
Stitch Markers: most of the LYS (local yarn stores) near me carry my favorite locking stitch markers. I just wish they came in more colors! I like “french bulb pins” which are thin metal pins shaped like a gourd. I buy these 100 or 200 at a time on Amazon or eBay since I also use them to attach tag to things I am donating.
Scissors: I use a pair of nail clippers to cut most yarn ends. They live in my wallet along with a tapestry needle and extra stitch markers! When I need to cut lots of ends or when I am making pom poms I use a pair of scissors I keep just for crafting (currently these scissors, which are pretty small but very, very sharp).
I also find a seam ripper to be very helpful, especially when I unravel sweaters for the yarn. I don’t usually skein- I just wind directly on the ball winder and start knitting from it!
Wool Wash: I don’t use a specific wool wash. I use a dash of whatever castile soap I have on hand, which is also what I use to handwash delicate clothes.
Storing Yarn: I store yarn in large storage ziplocks or the smaller vacuum seal bags. I find it hard to tell what I have with the really big bags, especially single skeins and small lots of yarn. Partial skeins are stored combined with others in a ziplock of the same yarn type. Most smaller leftover bits live in a large glass storage jar until I have enough of the same type to make a stripey hat or another small project. Any yarn that I thrift or buy from an individual gets frozen for a couple cycles in my freezer (yarns from LYS too when I have space) since I am a bit paranoid about moths and bugs.
I don’t keep all my pattern samples I make, but I do keep most of them. Once they are photographed and the pattern published I store items in sealed bags in the same area I keep my “secret” stash of handknit items I keep on hand for gifting.
I use 2 sets foam mats to block knitting on (currently these ones since I wanted a solid color). I used the regular straight blocking wires for years, but switched recently to flexible ones from Inspinknity and have been kicking myself for waiting so long. Unlike the straight ones, you don’t have to fight with kinked wires or try and store cords that are intent going ten different directions. Get extra T pins. You can never have enough, and they seem to mysteriously disappear.
I recently got a larger ball winder. My old smaller one worked fine for most skeins of yarn, but wasn’t big enough for skeins I am making on my giant electric spinning wheel bobbins. I almost got one of the NNN ball winders (someday I want one of the electric ones!), but for now price and storage space won out. My search for the perfect swift that also works as a yarn winder continues, but in the meantime I use a wood one that clamps to my coffee table. People laugh, but my rule is that my furniture needs to be multi use and work well for my craft needs. So my side tables have tops I can clamp a wall winder or bobbin winder to, my coffee table is actually a bench, and and nightstand drawers actually hold my knitting tools.