Showing posts with label stitch markers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stitch markers. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Making My Mark

Back in 2013 I wrote a post about selected stitch markers, and I remember how looking at all those cute options felt like stitch marker porn. At that time I was using a set of commercially made plastic stitch markers myself. I never liked those stitch markers because I considered them very ugly, but I disliked their brittleness even more. They were shaped like tiny locks, but they broke so easily that I avoided locking and unlocking them, and I'd often find one had snapped from nothing more than the light pressure of my hand as it held the the needle the marker was on. I never lost any stitch markers, but one by one they cracked and split until I was down to the last eight or nine out of what had initially been two dozen or so. Then it was time to think about picking out some new ones -- and I can't say I was sorry to have the excuse to replace the old set. Finally I was going to get some pretty stitch markers!

When I revisited that old KNDD post for ideas on what stitch markers to buy, I was reminded by my own research that I could make my own stitch markers. I do some beading and had the tools and findings already, and it was just a matter of finding some suitable beads.

For this project, I looked for medium-sized, smooth beads that wouldn't snag or catch on whatever yarn I used. I tried to keep the cost to a minimum, and it is indeed quite possible to do this simple project for very little if you've got basic beading tools on hand. I also knew I wanted different colour stitch markers that I could colour code as I marked different things (i.e., a single distinct marker for the start of a row, or a matched set for the sleeve parts of a "top down" sweater project).

When I bought the beads for my grandniece's tenth birthday necklace and earring set in January, I got the string of orange Czech glass beads you see above as my "free string" in a "buy 1 string of beads, get one free" sale at Michaels. I found the two red beads and the two dyed jasper beads you see above in my box of beading supplies -- they were the only ones I had left of their kind. The remaining string of ivory beads in the photo was a necklace I bought for $2 at Value Village using a "$2 off" coupon I got from them for filling out an online survey. I was feeling quite pleased with myself for getting the beads for this project together at essentially no cost... until I actually tried making the stitch markers and it turned out that the holes in the ivory beads were too large for this project. Sigh. I bagged up those ivory beads and tucked them away in my beading box for some as yet unknown future use. Then I bought another thrift shop necklace for $2.25, and this time I checked the holes before I bought the necklace to be sure the beads were suitable.

To make your own stitch markers you need head pins, leverback earrings, and a few basic beading tools: cutters, round nose pliers, and flat pliers or crimpers (not shown). Put the bead on your head pin, add the lever-back earring, then twist the top of the pin around the needlenose pliers until it's in a small circle. Cut off the excess length of headpin with the cutters, clamp the circle you've created closed with the flat pliers or crimpers, and... you're done.

These are the finished stitch markers. Given that twenty is a plentiful supply of stitch markers for me (I seldom work on more than one knitting project at a time), they are unlikely to break, and I'm not one to lose things, they should last me for quite some time. If they look just like earrings to you, it's because they essentially are, though I would put a little more effort into earring design than I have into these stitch markers, which I wished to keep simple in order to give my yarn as little as possible to wind itself around.

I did hold back two of the orange Czech beads with the idea of possibly making them into earrings for me at some point... lest I be otherwise tempted to borrow two of my stitch markers for some special occasion involving an orange outfit.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Stitch Markers You'll Want to Snitch

Recently, after years of using improvised stitch markers, I decided to treat myself to some real ones while on a visit to Toronto's Romni Wools, and was disheartened by the limited selection and general unattractiveness of the stitch markers they had for sale. But I knew I'm not the only crafter who loves using beautiful and high quality tools. There had to be some awesome stitch markers out there, and even better, I could write a post about them. Well, as it happens, there are and I did and here's the resulting post.

If you've never used stitch markers, they are quite a simple and handy little knitting accessory to help you keep track of where you are in your knitting project by marking the beginning of a round or a lace pattern. One simply slips the stitch marker from the left needle to the right when one comes back to it. There are both closed loop and locking stitch markers. The latter are preferable because they have more uses in knitting and can also be used for crocheting. This Lion Brand blog post goes into some more detail about how to use stitch markers.

It's quite easy to make your own stitch markers with items you probably already have lying around your home. You can use earrings, paper clips, safety pins, bobby pins, twist ties, plastic drinking straws cut into small pieces and slipped onto the needle, or a contrasting strand of yarn or embroidery floss slip knotted over the needle. But if you'd like to indulge in some special stitch markers, I've picked out a selection of stitch markers from around the net that you can either buy or make for yourself with beading techniques. If you've never done any beading, Worm Spit has a primer on how to make beaded stitch markers.

The notation stitch markers above (which are the closed loop type of stitch marker) are available for sale at Stitch Culture.

Craftsy suggests you can make these yarn and bead markers with technical reminders on them. I don't think I could be bothered changing the beads as they propose doing, but it's workable idea if it suits you.

These number and pearl stitch markers from Seahorse Designs would be an easy way to keep track of your rounds.

If you don't want to use your yarn makers to keep track of technical requirements but still want them to reference your love of knitting, these yarn ball markers from Hiya Hiya North America are cute and colourful.

Make sure you don't lose these little sheep! From Caryll Designs.

These green bead markers from Yarn Tomato are ever so pretty. You could make something very similar yourself, and once you know how to make stitch markers, your ability to make them will be limited only by the kind of beads available to you.

Here are some pearl markers from Shade Tree Art. What else would one put with cashmere yarn but pearls?

How do you like these apples? From Creations Jacqueline.

Here are some adorable owl stitch markers from the Etsy shop Lavender Hill Knits. There are a number of lovely stitch markers in this shop, and for that matter the entire shop is well worth a look.

These are definitely the coolest stitch markers I came across while researching this post. From Etsy seller Lady Danio.

These disco stitch markers will add a little bling to your knitting projects. From Etsy seller rosyretro. There are a lot of stitch markers available on Etsy.