Knit on the Go:
I'm the sort of knitter who likes to take my projects just about everywhere. I not only knit in the car (as a passenger and at red lights), I like to knit while my daughter plays at the park or while I'm riding the stationary bike.
So I'm always on the lookout for solutions that will allow me to knit and walk at the same time without having to carry the yarn under my arm or stuffed in a pocket. The Yarn-a-Long Bracelet from Rock Farms is one solution to this problem that's a little more stylish than a plain project bag.
About the Yarn-a-Long:
The Yarn-a-Long is a stainless steel contraption that looks sort of like a twisted paper clip with a ring attached to it. The ring part is the bracelet that goes around your wrist, and it has beads on the ends. There are also beads on the ends of the twisted loop part.
The two pieces are attached by a locking hook. The whole thing weighs 1 ounce (29 grams, to be precise) and the loop part that holds the yarn is about 7 inches long.
To use the holder you need to have yarn that's wound into a center pull ball but you want to knit from the outside.
You get the yarn onto the holder by taking the ring and the hook off the end and pushing the loop of metal through the center of the ball. Don't try to go the other way. Trust me on this.
The maker of these bracelets, Deb Rock, says she was inspired by her busy lifestyle.
"I have cats...and am always on the run, so the ball of yarn was never where it needed to be for me to continue knitting as I buzzed through life," she said. "As I had recently learned to make glass beads by hand, I came up with the concept, and added the hand made beads to finish with flair!"
Using the Yarn-a-Long:
I decided to try the Yarn-a-Long out on a cake of Malabrigo I happened to have already wound up. I picked a simple fingerless gloves pattern that's worked flat and that I wouldn't have to pay a lot of attention to.
I started out working in my house, sometimes sitting down and sometimes following my daughter around or just standing up and watching her play. I found that it worked pretty well at feeding the yarn, though a couple of times the yarn did get caught, sometimes on the beads at the bottom and once or twice on the hook that holds the wrist loop.
I also found it kind of heavy to hold the yarn with my wrist, basically, while I was knitting. People who have carpal tunnel or reptetitve stress injuries should take great care when using a product like this that requires your arms to support the weight of the yarn.
We walked to our neighborhood park and when we got to the park I picked up my knitting again and followed my daughter around as she played. I don't know if I was just walking too much or if there was something about the way my particular ball was wound, but three times while we were out it managed to unwind a ridiculous amount of yarn so that I would have to stop and rewind it, picking leaves out as I went.
After the third time I gave up and decided this device may be better used walking around inside, or at least at a more leisurely pace.
I wouldn't rule out the Yarn-a-Long Bracelet entirely even though my experience was not entirely positive. It was fun to use walking around the house, and it is pretty. It could be your "going out" knitting companion to prevent you from keeping your yarn on the table during dinner, say.
For trips to the park, though, I think I'll keep using my much more utilitarian Yarn on the Go Bag.