Alrighty fiber friends - you know how much I LURVE me some awesome knitting gadgets, needles, and notions. Buying the best quality you can afford is always a must. Don't put a second mortgage on the house to get the tools you really want, BUT don't skimp on something you can afford.
In this video, I wanted to show you just how worth the extra pennies it was to buy decent gadgets. Previously, I would've schlepped out my manual ball winder and umbrella swift, which together cost me about $75. To wind this particular skein, which is 1100 yds of lace wt, would've been exhausting and taken me forever - especially since you want to keep the same rate and tension when winding to get a nice cake. But with the Boye Electric Ball Winder and the Oregon Woodworker Table Top Swift (which cost me approx. $120 for the pair), you can see just how simple it is to wind 1100 yds of lace wt yarn!
A few other tips - I LOVE me some Signature Needles. But at $40/pr, can not obviously afford to buy several pair at one time. So, a good way to build your collection is to set aside $40/month and just buy a pair a month. For me, I cut out other frivolous spending to accommodate my Signature habit. But $40/month or $40/every other month is a lot more doable for most people.
T-pins drive me crazy! I purposely buy "rust proof" blocking-approved T-pins, only to have them eventually rust and leave nice little rust marks on my projects, which are virtually impossible to remove! So, if I start to see rust, I get rid of them all or re-purpose them for other things. Then I re-buy the same number of T-pins. This way, all of my T-pins are the same age. I only buy what I regularly use for a project so that I don't have some unused pins and some really used pins. This keeps my projects free of rust marks. Nothing is worse than spending all of that money on a nice winder/swift, gorgeous yarn, luxury needles, and then spending hours upon hours knitting and blocking only to have rust marks on your projects. Trust me!
Because lots of knitters use T-pins (and LOTS of T-pins) when blocking, more and more knitters are going to blocking wires which are threaded in the project and then pinned to mats or boards so that the T-pins aren't actually pinned to the yarn. A nice set of blocking wires will run you $40 or so. (More or less depending on what you want in the set). I bought a crummy, "cheap" set of blocking wires and because of that, I don't use blocking wires. So invest in a nice set that you will use!
So buy the nicest tools you CAN AFFORD. Like I said, the object isn't to have really nice knitting materials, but be living in a tent because you had to sell the house.