There are a ton of great knitting and crochet accessories available, but stitch markers might just be the most useful. I know I couldn't live without them! My favorites are at left, soft plastic green and purple markers from Clover.
I love these because they're soft, making them easy to slip between needles; they're the markers that I find least affect the flow of knitting. The colors are good, too. I use green at the beginning of a round: GO!
I recently used about thirty markers in a project, so I thought I'd try to come up with 10 uses for markers, which, unsurprisingly, was really easy!
1. Mark the beginning of a round. After working a few rounds in a project, it can become impossible to find the first stitch. Place a marker after joining to work in the round, and this problem is solved.
2. Divide cast-on stitches into manageable chunks. Need to cast on 500 stitches for a project? Place a marker after each group of 50 (or 25, or 100) stitches. When you need to count stitches, just count the groups. So much easier!
3. Mark the front (or back) of a project. If you're working on a reversible project, or anything that has a similar looking front and back, place a locking marker to remind you of which side you're working on. I love these Locking Stitch Markers, shown below.
4. Separating pattern repeats. One of my favorite uses for markers is placing them after each pattern repeat in a lace, colorwork, or cable project. This makes it easy to follow a chart, because you know where you are all the time.
5. Marking a stitch-pattern change. I always place a marker between the button band and front stitches, for example, or any edging stitch and the main stitch in a project. Here I'm using a green circular marker to note the separation between the shawl collar and body of the Veronika Cardigan.
6. Securing a dropped stitch. I asked on our Facebook page how people use markers, and Sherri A. said she uses a locking marker to secure a dropped stitch until she can fix it. Great idea!
7. Use markers to keep track of rows, increases, or decreases. I used locking markers to keep track of increases while using a dark yarn. I couldn't see the decreases easily, and I needed to make 14 of them. I marked each one as I completed it, so I could simply count the markers and know how many decreases I'd made.
8. Use locking stitch markers to hold your work together while seaming. These type of markers are basically plastic safely pins, so they're great for holding pieces together while finishing. I especially love them for set in sleeves; I use one to secure the center of the sleeve cap to the shoulder seam, and one each on the underarm edges.
9. Mark decreases when working hat shaping. Many hat patterns have crown decreases every seven or eight stitches. On the first decrease round, I place a marker after each decrease, and when I get to two stitches before each marker, I know it's time to decrease.
10. Amusing our cats. #cattoys This one is from Marybeth S. on Facebook. I love it!
Here's a video from Kelley on how she used stitch markers to prevent errors and speed up her knitting.
I hope these tips help you in your knitting and crochet projects. And if you're running low on markers (and who isn't?), check out our great selection!
P.S. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite way to use markers!
If you've ever struggled with the decrease section when knitting a hat on 16-inch circular needles, you need to learn the Magic Loop method of knitting. Similarly, if you hate how sweater sleeves twist up while knitting in the round, you need to learn the magic loop technique.
This technique works on just about any size project, so you can use it exclusively for smaller projects in the round, such as hats, sleeves, mittens, cowls, socks, and so on.
Kelley just finished knitting the Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry, and she's fallen in love with mosaic knitting.
While it sounds complicated or fiddly—mosaics are made up of little pieces of glass, after all—mosaic knitting is super easy. Seriously, you end up with a beautiful colorwork project, but you're only using one color in each row.
Note: Please use the following sizing chart for general reference only. Sizes between different vendors and manufacturers may vary. Please match your measurements to those in the size chart below.