Kits, Tools and Quirky Bits

Always on the look out for gadgets and useful things, we’ve managed to find a few items that fit the bill in time for this issue.

Knit Affair Design Knitting Needles

Daniel and Corinna Nippes are the founders of Knit Affair, the young Berlin label that produces contemporary needles and accessories for knitters.  Created with a respectful attitude towards the environment, Knit Affair products are manufactured in Germany, by German craftspeople.  The products are fun and quirky but not at the cost of practicality.  They are still tools, designed to do a job, but with an extra splash of fun to make you smile.

The Design Knitting Needles have each been turned from one piece of sustainable German Beech wood.  The needles feel extremely smooth to the touch, 33cms in length with a rounded tip, that isn’t too sharp.  The needles are light but sturdy and the stitches glide over them freely.

Olann and Kits, tools and quirky bits

Currently these needles with their ends painted by individual local artists are available in sizes 5/8 and 10mm.  There is a selection of different colourways to choose from and we’re particularly taken with the Rebellious Green combination of jade green and fluorescent pink or perhaps the purple and fluorescent yellow of the Hypnotic Purple set.

In keeping with the modern, contemporary styling, the Knit Affair Design Knitting Needles are presented in a grey kraft cardboard box, resulting in a gift that any knitter would be thrilled to receive.

You can find out more about the Knit Affair Design Knitting Needles and other products from the shop here.  We’re just slightly obsessed with the Knit Affair Needle Tubes and can’t wait to get our hands on one.

Olann and Kits, tools and quirky bits

Knitpro Wool Winder

You know when you see all those beautiful photos of yarn cakes on Instagram and Pinterest, they’ve been made using a Wool Winder.  It’s one of those tools that you don’t necessarily need, but once you have one you’ll wonder why it took you so long to buy it.

Many people think a wool winder is only for using in combination with a swift and whilst it really comes into its own when used with one, it isn’t necessary to have both. We’d be big advocates of re-winding commercial balls of yarn, to avoid any nasty and potentially time wasting tangles.  Yarncakes are also easier to store, if you happen to be experiencing an unruly stash.

Yarncakes won’t run away on you, lodge themselves under sofas, or tables and they don’t become tangled, which is a risk you face when using the yarn from the centre of your ball.  They’re invaluable if you knit in public, as they sit snuggly in your project bag, but the yarn still slips freely, ensuring you don’t elbow your fellow travellers, or worse still, watch as your ball rolls down the floor of the bus.

The KnitPro Wool winder is hand operated and easily winds your yarn into yummy (fat free) cakes.  The winder itself is light but sturdy and comes complete with a built in table clamp that will work on table thickness up to”.  It’s packaged in a compact cardboard box so you can store it away neatly after you’ve wound every ball of yarn you own!

Your local yarn shop will hopefully have the Knitpro Wool Winders in stock, but if they aren’t a Knitpro stockist then we would suggest you send an email to

HiyaHiya Sheep Needle Gauge

HiyaHiya needles and notions were previously only available in America.  In 2012 HiyaHiya UK was born and renamed HiyaHiya Europe in 2014.  Their products are designed by a knitter who understands what other knitters want.

The HiyaHiya Sheep Needle Gauge is fun and practical.  A needle gauge is one of those pieces of equipment no knitter should be without for so many reasons.  Have you been given your mum’s old imperial knitting needles and need to know their metric size?  Found a great pattern online, but it only gives the American needle size?  Or like us, you’re a fan of wooden knitting needles – you’ll know only too well how easily the sizes can rub off of some brands.

Olann and Kits, Tools and quirky bits

The HiyaHiya Europe cute sheep design is light but strong, with the sizes in millimetres on one side and the American sizes on the other.  Unlike many other knitting needle gauges that only go up to size 10mm, the HiyaHiya Europe Sheep Gauge includes slots for 12mm and 15mm needles.

You’ll find details of stockist of HiyaHiya Europe products here.

Olann and Kits, Tools and quirky bits

Zippy Loom Corners

You might recall we featured the Zippy Loom in the first issue of Olann and back in November 2015?  We also then had a look at it in more detail on the blog and devised a project –  The Zippy Loom Cowl.

Whilst the concept of the Zippy Loom was great for children and people with dexterity problems or anyone else that simply enjoys playing with yarn, it has its limitations, mainly, your projects had to be worked backwards and forwards. Now with the arrival of the Zippy Loom Corners, you can work in the round.

The corners are designed to be used with the Zippy Loom, it would have been great if they slotted into one another too, they could then be used for extreme French Knitting (icord).

Clover Tassel Maker

Those clever people over at Clover have done it again.  This time they’ve devised, what is essentially the simplest of tools but you’ll be amazed at how much time it saves.

Available in two sizes, the Clover Tassel Maker allows you to make tassels in less time then it will take to choose a yarn from your stash to use.  The smaller Tassel Maker allows you to make three different size tassels, 3cm, 4cm and 5cm, whilst the larger Tassel Maker can be used to make 5 sizes of tassel, from 6cm to 10 cm.

Olann and Kits, Tools and quirky bits

You can use pretty much anything to make your tassels, including yarn, embroidery thread and even strips of material.  In my head I’m playing with the idea of using newspaper too, but that will warrant further investigation on my part.

Then once you’ve made your tassels, the possibilities are endless: jewellery, home furnishings, decorations.  In fact, Viki Howell has created a fantastic V-Day Garland using the Clover Tassel Makers.  Head over here to find out how.

Hopefully your LYS is a Clover Stockist and will have the Tassel Makers in stock. If not, perhaps you could let your yarn shop know about the Tassel Makers so they can contact Clover for more details.