Which stitch markers?
Stitch markers are quite a personal thing! Some prefer a loop and dangly bead or charm which slide along your needle, some prefer a clip and charm, more useful for crochet to mark stitches…. I like these mini safety pin style for my knitting because they can be used in several ways:
How to use them…
Marking a point in your pattern
Use to mark a point on the edge of your knitting where something will happen during construction or sewing up. This pin stitch marker reminds me that this is the point where the sleeve edge cast on is. You can also use them to mark edges where there’s an increase or decrease, on the shoulder or neckline for example.
When knitting in the round
The loop type stitch marker, or the pin style can be used to mark the start/end of a row or part way round a number of stitches when knitting in the round. this is a great idea if you are knitting a pattern, colourwork or need to make increases or decreases rather than all knit stitches which can usually be knit in in the round like a spiral.
When casting on lots of stitches
If you are casting on a large number of stitches, why not place a pin style marker every twenty stitches or so, then if you loose count its easy to quickly add up rather than counting every stitch? You can use these style stitch markers on a length of stitches to mark pattern changes, or when something different happens too. For example, place stitch markers either side of panels when knitting Aran.
When knitting short rows
I’ve used these pin stitch markers like a pattern reminder while I’m knitting this moss stitch godet inset in my Cardicoat pattern. This way, I can be sure I’m making the short row turns in the right place and the godet shape is even on both sides. Each pin stitch marker is placed after 5 stitches working up the shaping, and taken out when working back down again. Of course, it doesn’t matter because they open like a pin so you can take them out whenever you like, or if they somehow get knitted into your work! (Yes, I’ve done that too!)
Argh! A dropped stitch
Do you sometimes drop a stitch? I use the pin style marker to catch and hold the stitch safely so it doesn’t unravel downwards until I can look at the knitting and pick it up correctly.
Lastly, if I am knitting a large or long piece, and need to count the rows, I place a marker at the beginning of every 5th of 10th row so I can keep track of the rows rather than remembering to count and risk making a mistake. This is also useful if you need to increase or decrease every “X” rows…. you can look back and count up to be sure that you are knitting the increase or decrease on the right row. (A good tip if you knit sleeves one by one to make sure your sleeves are exactly the same. (Yes, me too!)
Buying your stitch markers
Most yarn shops stock these handy little markers. Try Eldenwood Crafts for a cute box with 2 types of marker, or Yarn Worx for a range to suit your yarn craft needs. Sometimes yarn magazines have them as a free gift. They also make a lovely gift for a creative friend, for a birthday or just because