DIY stitch markers

I got sidetracked from Color Affection this weekend. It’s progressing, but the long, long rows of garter stitch are rather trying and I fear that I’ve lost my mojo. Another week should see it done, if only I can get my enthusiasm back. Plain garter stitch is at least very easy to knit, so I have no real excuse for not working on it when I sit down to watch TV in the evening.

Colour affection shawlI’m working the short rows in this three-coloured stripe part of the design using German short rows instead of the wrap-and-turn method specified in the pattern. I really like GSRs, having discovered them when I knitted a Wingspan shawlette last year. There is not even a hint of a hole where the row is turned, and none of the fuss of wrapping stitches and remembering to pick up the wraps later. The effect in garter stitch is particularly neat.

I haven’t needed to use a stitch marker while knitting the short rows, it is very obvious where the “double stitch” that is created by the GSR method is and the Color Affection pattern just requires me to knit a few stitches beyond that double stitch on the next row before turning. Idiot proof. But, probably because my brain wasn’t sufficiently engaged by the relentless garter stitch, I found myself thinking about stitch markers while I was knitting last night and wishing I had some pretty ones.

Pink stitch markersRecently, a friend showed me some that she’d bought and I took a quick snap thinking that I might try and make something similar. While I love the look of these, I find knitting with this ring type of marker quite annoying unless the needle happens to be just the right amount smaller than the ring.

Stitch markerLately I’ve been using cheapo plastic openable markers that have the same drawback, being far too big for the sub-4mm needles that I normally use. And they look awful, and snap easily. I remembered that I’d once seen someone using markers with wire loops that seemed not to get in the way quite so much when used on undersized needles.

This morning I had a rootle through my jewellery-making supplies, which are limited but cover the basics. I found some tiny silver-coloured rocaille beads, a short length of fine silver-coloured tiger tail, a few silver crimp beads and assorted small, round, semi-precious beads. Bingo! Everything needed for some stitch markers that I will not be ashamed to use in public, unlike the ghastly plastic ones.

Moss agate stitch markersI’ve posted an Instructable that shows in detail how to make these markers, including a larger one that I call the king marker for those times when you need one that looks different from the others. But if you’ve ever done any beading, you can probably figure out how they are made without having to pop over to Instructables for the tutorial.

I made six markers using 6-7mm moss agate beads, plus the king who boasts a dangly piece of mother-of-pearl as well. I don’t think that the usual sets of four or five are enough. These stitch markers are very quick and easy to make, and inexpensive too.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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