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 Stitch Markers - what we have vs. what we use

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Clara Posted - 09/29/2010 : 09:24:58 AM
Mertle's post got me thinking about stitch markers. Also, I was doing some housecleaning and came upon a stash of stitch markers I didn't know I had and, quite clearly, wasn't missing.

I suspect many of us have a lovely collection of stitch markers. But they aren't always where we are at the moment we need a stitch marker. Forcing us to improvise.

So, when not using the beautiful stitch markers that you purchased expressly for this occasion, what are you actually using for stitch markers?

I've used twist-ties, leftover Christmas wrapping ribbon, dental floss (un-used, thank you very much), an un-darned tail that just happened to be hanging out of something else I was wearing at the time, rubber bands (although they tend to cling too much), paper clips...

What about you?

And for those times when we do use our stitch markers, what are your very favorites? Do you like the fancy beaded contraptions? Do you make your own?

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mokey Posted - 10/11/2010 : 09:06:39 AM
I don't use markers too often but when needed, use the prettiest ones I can get my hands on.

My favourites are ones that have little ceramic (clay?) creations in all sorts of shapes such as crabs, whales, jewels, bugs. Unfortunately I can't recall where they came from other than an online source a few years ago.

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lovethelake Posted - 10/10/2010 : 09:26:49 AM

Poop, who would have thought to keep all those ortho bands that my kids had for years? New goal, find a kid with braces.

I always use stitch markers because I am scatterbrained and I loose count in patterns. I knitted a shawl (aka the shawl from Hell) that had over 200 stitches per row. Boy did they come in handy to see where I dropped or added a stitch. But I am always loosing them so I went to the Dollar Store and bought small hair rubber bands. About 1000 for a dollar and in very vogue colors (fuchsia, orange, purple, hot pink....). This way I can loose them, stick them in my pocket or anywhere and have some handy.

Stitch markers are just a necessity for me. Without them I would be even more frustrated than I am normally. Lately I have been knitting shawls that are done in very long rows, so it helps me keep track with the repeat patterns,

Hey whatever helps keeps us sane(er) is worth every penny.

Be well, happy, safe and peaceful.

hillstreetmama Posted - 10/05/2010 : 2:22:16 PM
Janettoo, (hey! I'm a Janet, too!) I like your suggestion of the orthodontic bands. I bet I've got a few hundred around here somewhere.

I went to Hobby Lobby Saturday and roamed around looking for little containers to corral all my markers. Then, I started looking through my "stuff". I found about a DOZEN stitch holders - the ones that look like primitive safety pins, two measuring tapes (in the same bag), SIX of the barrel-type counters (again, in the same bag), EIGHT needle sizers, three Chibi's (one still in the package), four great big darning needles that I'll never use, at least 20 cable needles (don't ask), and yes, lots and lots of stitch markers. I have a set of numbered ones - 1 through 0 - but the 3 and the 7 are missing.... No wonder the place always looks cluttered!!! It was an eye-opener to put all my stitch markers in the same place. Part of me thinks I should give some of this stuff away, and part of me thinks I should keep it for the next time I lose all the duplicates. (It WILL happen.)

Janettoo Posted - 10/03/2010 : 11:19:29 PM
I use all kinds of stitch markers, but one of my favorites, for lace or socks, are teeny tiny rubber bands that my daughter got from her orthodontist for her braces. I have several little baggies of them saved. They are soft and don't get in the way of my knitting. I also use plastic/rubber rings of various sizes, and crochet thread loops or lengths woven in and out of my rows. I'll sometimes knit a length of regular sewing thread with my yarn along a row to mark it. This makes measuring easier, for example from the row I cast off underarm stitches (or put onto stitch holders).

I have made, and also purchased from a LYS, stitch markers that are a cord or chain with a ring on each end. The rings are different colors or marked by different colored beads. I use these on projects where I'm knitting in the round but need to do something every other row. The marker goes at the beginning/end of the round, and I flip it whenever I get there. One color tells me I'm on an increase round, and the other that I'm not!

I tie a thread or crochet cord to round markers for my beginning/end of round marker and weave it in - one round I pass the yarn in front of the cord and the next round behind it. This gives me a marker that CAN'T fall off! It is particularly useful when I use double-points and want my end-of-round to come at the end of a needle.

I mark vertical things like increases or decreases in a sweater with a long crochet cord that I wrap around each special stitch. Easy to count the rows and stitches. Although I have been known to use a chain of safety pins.
CatSamalea Posted - 10/03/2010 : 10:59:20 PM
I use stitch markers. I knit a lot while watching TV and it saves me from having to count (apparently I can't). My favourites are the coiless pins and the split ring markers. I also use those little rubber rings and those colourful hair elastics, although they can sometimes "boing" across the room if I am not careful. I even have glow in the dark markers for knitting in the movie theatres. I -- uh -- may have a little problem here ... Posted - 10/03/2010 : 7:35:26 PM
Stitch Markers: Yes, I use them.. I have both the full circle and broken circle ones. I keep them in little boxes in my knitting bag. So they are there are there when I need them. They are in several sizes so depending on the needle size, they fit. A great little accessory.
B. Schneider
susan14_23 Posted - 10/01/2010 : 4:14:42 PM
The first time I tried to knit lace I had to start over three times, and was so frustrated I could cry. Then I heard of the magic of stitch markers! I'd never try to knit lace without them again.

I have a few small jeweled markers, as well as some plastic ones.

Jardinier Posted - 10/01/2010 : 11:56:20 AM
I have purchased a lot of stitch markers some are beautiful dangle jeweled ones but they seem to get in the way. My favorites & the ones I use the most are some small snag free ones I found on Etsy. I always use stitch markers when I am doing lace - they just make life simpler.


Every skilled woman spun with her hands & brought what she had spun - blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. And all the women who were willing & had the skill spun goat hair.....Exodus 35:25 - 26
kare Posted - 10/01/2010 : 11:05:20 AM
I can see that I will have to get more organized with my stitch many great ideas here! Also will be trying new ones I might come across in the yarn shops I visit. Some of the emergency or homemade ones sound great too. I can see that I will never have too many of them!!
Lanea Posted - 10/01/2010 : 06:25:33 AM
I use those little black rubber stitch markers if I need to use a number of them in a project, like in a lace shawl. If I'm working in the round and need to make different points, like the start of a round and sleeves, I'm more like to use the dangly ones I made.

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BessH Posted - 10/01/2010 : 03:42:30 AM
I used to use only little circles of yarn from the scrap bag for stitch markers but now I also use pretty silver jump rings I found in the bead shop. They're light and come in several sizes and I like the idea of having a fine metal like silver on my needles.

I have beautiful beaded stitch markers but seldom use them because they're heavy. I have worn some as earings though

Bess Posted - 09/30/2010 : 8:39:00 PM
I wear two thin gold bands on my right hand. I use one when I knit in the round and it motivates me to finish the project in a timely manner and get my ring back in place on my finger. When I knit a shawl I use plastic rings in neon colors that slide well. I keep them in a small see through box.
Amarula Posted - 09/30/2010 : 6:50:58 PM
I'm with you, Janutah! I love my stitch marker collection - all different sizes and shapes. I buy them on Etsy, at Rhinebeck, at yarn stores everywhere I go..
hillstreetmama Posted - 09/30/2010 : 5:47:23 PM
I'm a sucker for pretty markers, and have been known to splurge on some that are definitely knitting jewelry. I've loved some, hated some, and have a few favorites I go back to. I like the simple, soft, plastic rings that the LYS sells. The rigid ones tend to fly across the room like airbourne Tiddly Winks. The split, or open, rings are nice that you can actually slip onto a stitch...they have their place, but I've had them come off, so rarely use them. If I need to mark a stitch, I use safety pins - coilless, plastic or metal. Etsy has loads of beautiful markers, but some are heavy, or catch the yarn. I've got tiger's eye markers, turquoise, faceted stones, numbered markers, even some made from old Barbie shoes. (They snag the yarn, but they're cute!) I really need to get organized and get them in one place, so I could find them when needed, and not have to resort to loops of yarn!

janutah Posted - 09/30/2010 : 5:22:27 PM
WOW! I guess I'm odd woman out here. I LOVE knitting jewelry. It makes me happy to have pretty stitch markers -- sheep, bunnies, llamas, alpacas, paw prints, and pretty beads. The plastic markers just look cheap and don't do justice to the yarn and pattern that I have carefully selected and paid a lot of money for.

I keep them in altoids boxes. If I'm somewhere and have to substitute, it's temporary until I get home and can properly adorn my knitting with jewelry fitting its status. I usually have a few plastic markers in my bag because I don't care if I give them away or they fall out of my bag.

No crappy rubberbands, straws or bits of string for my creations. But. . . to each her own. Posted - 09/30/2010 : 4:58:08 PM
I just use a piece of thread of contrasting color, and weave it from row to row until the pattern is established, and then I can easily pull it out and discard it. I've tried stitch markers, and they are always in the way. Jeanne Posted - 09/30/2010 : 1:53:50 PM
Ok, here's my confession: When working with large needles (I'm using size 15 needles at the moment), if I can't find a large stitch marker in my stash, I just use the pull-ring from my half-and-half container when it's new. You know those plastic plugs you have to pull off, under the screw-on cover? I just grab my kitchen scissors and cut the plug part off of the pull-ring, and voila...a perfect large, flexible, bright white stitch holder, for free.
mrssuem Posted - 09/30/2010 : 1:03:47 PM
I only started using regular stitch markers, hard plastic type, a few years ago. Before that it was just a contrasting color of yarn on whatever I was making. Actually at times I find the markers more of a pain than just having that extra loop of yarn. That's just me though, simple and old Yankee in me too.
akmtngrl Posted - 09/30/2010 : 11:19:32 AM
A pretty beaded one marks the end of my circular rows. Thin plastic circles mark any other needed places. That said, I often use safety pins, and I've been known to use little bits of yarn, though I tend to knit them in because I'm not watching. The best (worst?) ever were square bits of some felted building material, with slits in the center, made for me by a man who was watching my desperation at not having any markers for some complicated pattern.

Gail in Fairbanks
Alamedakid Posted - 09/30/2010 : 10:08:44 AM
I use stitch markers all the time. I prefer the small rubber ones and I place them 1 every 10 stitches unless I'm doing a lace pattern in which case I place them at the pattern repeat. That way if I ever drop a stitch or now & then accidentally add a stitch I know where my mistake is. sometimes I use heart shaped markers to distinguish a special place in the pattern.

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