Though Elizabeth Zimmermann would tell us that we can knit in the dark just fine, thank you very much, it never hurts to have a bit of technology on your side for those moments when you need a little light to read your pattern instructions, take a measurement or fix a dropped stitch.
If you find yourself knitting a lot in low-light situations, the Stitch Light by Buffy Ann Designs is a product worth taking a look at.
This little portable, wearable light comes with a little bag you can put notions (or even a credit card) in and offers a wide range of adjustment options so you can point the light just where you need it.
About the Light
The Stitch Light by Buffy Ann Designs is a small light measuring 2 inches wide and 2.5 inches long at the lens. It features an LED light so there's no lightbulb to burn out, and it burns at a bright 300 lumens. The light is on a 3/4-inch wide, 36-inch long adjustable strap, and though the model I looked at didn't have it, they now come with Velcro on the strap to secure the end of the webbing.
The strap can also be removed from the light, which can then stand on its adjustable plate on a table or your chair to provide a different angle on lighting.
The light comes in a sheer gift bag and has a little fabric bag looped onto the strap. I initially thought you were supposed to take the bag off the strap to store the light in when you're not using it, but it actually doesn't fit in the bag (well, the light without the strap probably would).
The real intention of what's called by Buffy Ann Designs the "craft bag" is to hold little notions you might need while knitting (or your ID and credit card if you're taking the light to knit night). There are little elastic loops on one side of the bag from which you can hang different items like stitch markers or row counters, and the bag itself is lined and has a zipper for secure storage of whatever you need to bring along.
The light, which looks like a little microscope lens, has two brightness settings. The brighter one is great for working in dark settings, while the slightly dimmer option is nice if you're working somewhere with a little more light or trying to read rather than knit by the light.
The lens also adjusts the "zoom" of the light, making it more or less focused, which is handy if you're trying to light a small area or attempting to not tick off your neighbors on a plane, say.
There's also a flashing light option, which certainly isn't useful for crafting purposes but would be great if you got lost in the woods with your knitting. The strobe gave me an instant headache every time I saw it.
There's just one button on the light, which turns the light on, starting at the brightest level, takes you through the dimmer option and the flashing light and then turns it off. That certainly makes it easy to operate.
It runs on 3 AA batteries, which adds to the weight but doesn't make it incredibly heavy (it weighs in at 4.75 ounces).
The light is plenty bright to work by in low-light situations. You can easily read pattern instructions and see your knitting with the light. It's pretty bright -- in fact, I found it almost too bright when trying to find a dropped stitch in fuzzy yarn with the light -- so I wouldn't keep it on the whole time I was knitting somewhere dark where it might annoy others, but it is helpful if you need to see your instructions, check on your knitting, fix a mistake or find something in the depths of your bag.
If your knit night happens in a dark bar, a light like this would be a great choice. It's relatively light, easy to store in your bag and plenty bright for all your needs.
Though the light seems pretty durable it is not, alas, toddler friendly. I let my daughter play with mine and when she dropped it on our wood floor the back fell off, the batteries fell out and it didn't work again. But under normal operating conditions I'm sure it would be just fine.
I also found it a little tricky to adjust the strap and the plate in just the right way to best illuminate my knitting, particularly when I was switching back and forth from looking at my knitting to my notebook.
When you leave the light on for a long time, the lens part of the light, which is metal, gets warm, but the plastic part, which would be closest to your body when wearing it, doesn't get that warm.
The Stitch Light by Buffy Ann Designs is a good choice for knitters who frequently find themselves knitting in low-light situations and wishing they had a little illumination at the ready.
Knitters can customize the look of their light by choosing the pouch and strap color they like, which will make it easy to tell yours apart from the others when everyone in your knitting circle decides they need one.