Obsession: Coil-less Safety Pins

A good collection, improved

Many older knitting books mention a rather mysterious tool: the coil-less safety pin. I’ve been reading about them for years, and quietly wondering what the fuss is about. I’m always up for trying a new tool, but I could never seem to find them.

I do love me a good safety pin. I use them for all sorts of things: as markers, as stitch holders, as a crochet hook substitute for picking up dropped stitches, to keep track of a bunch of increases and decreases (just stick ’em in the knitting when you do the increase, and you can more easily count them). I even use big ones as shawl pins and instead of buttons on cardigans. I have a fair collection in a little tin – including the little plastic safety-pin style stitch holders.

The little plastic marker ones are good, but they are very small. And the traditional safety pin have a serious weakness: the yarn can get trapped in the coil. I’m doing a lot of lace knitting at the moment, and I’ve been nervous about using standard safety pins with delicate yarns. It occurred to me that coil-less safety pins might be the answer. But I’d never actually found any!

I’ve looked in every knitting shop I’ve ever been into, and never seen them.  Sure, stitch holders are basically giant coil-less safety pins, but they are too big. I wanted smaller ones.

Last weekend, a generous knitter (who also happens to quilt) was at one of my LYSs , waving around a bag full of coil-less safety pins. I cornered her and asked her where she got them. Turns out they are to be found in quilting shops. I’ve never stepped foot in a quilting shop in my life, so without her I may never have found them.

She gave me a few.

My life has changed.

I can use them for all the things I used to use normal safety pins for, but I need never worry about the yarn catching again.

I am indeed obsessed.  You know what to give me for my birthday…

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10 thoughts on “Obsession: Coil-less Safety Pins

  1. Kim

    Ok…I’m a knitter who also quilts and I’ve yet to find those pins myself! Does she know of any online quilt shops by any chance?

  2. Kim

    Never mind…I finally Googled the darned things. They’re in the jewelry makings department in craft stores!

  3. Candice Hope

    Amongst a bunch of random sewing notions I have found a few coil-less safety pins that also have a strange bump on one long side of the wire part… I THINK they are somehow for buttons, but I’m not sure.
    Cheap thrills, gotta love ’em!

  4. sam

    I work at joann fabrics (don’t know if you have them in canada) but they have them in the jewelry section!

  5. LoriAngela

    I ended up making stitch markers with lobster claws at the end because our yarn stores don’t believe in the mythic coiless safety pin.
    Quilt shops also have great measuring tapes, long pins and fabric to make knitting bags!

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