The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used paper clips as stitch markers, or successfully whittled and then utilized bamboo skewers.
I am actually accepting this badge on behalf of a good friend and a great knitter, Seema. She turned me onto the coolest and cheapest (non waste yarn) stitch markers: she came in one day with those little plastic ponytail bands scattered through her row. You know the ones that are meant for tiny braids and some times come in such tiny diameters that you wonder how anyone can get two fingers in there to wrap around the end of even the finest itty bitty braid. You can get about a gazillion at the 99cents store, in many colors or in all black. She was lucky enough to find some that look like they were meant for #8 and smaller, while I found larger ones that are better for #11 and up but still do all the jobs that I have called 'em out to do thus far.
I have used plenty of non-knitting items as knitting tools, but I cannot think of anything that was originally my idea. I am often the first person to enlighten new knitters of using sandwich bags to contain unruly balls of yarn - but that is akin to a knitting colloquism - we all do it and who knows where it started. I have begun to collect plastic bread closure tabs to save my cast on ends a-la Lily Chin. One of my favorites is using hinged clothespins as bobbins for such tasks as intarsia , still not an original.
I am more famed for making one tool do as many tasks as possible (like Alton Brown in the kitchen). For example, I see no use for a cable needle - I replaced that tool with any double pointed needle that I might get my hands on. Then, I moved into the Annie Modesitt camp and cable needle free. I say fooey on stitch holders when you could use waste yarn. I like to think that Macgyver (whom I have loved since the age of four) worked in that spirit - using what was handy but traveling light (hmmmm....Macgyver wondering around in nothing but a smile and his red Swiss Army Knife...or was the Swiss Army Knife belonging to Magnum P.I.?...even better....).
How do you like my refreshing Ikea glass of Ikea ice water? (Ikea glasses were actually purchased by the man at 99cents store...he didn't notice that they were Ikea until about a week ago.)