The Ultimate Guide to Stitch Markers
Stitch Markers are tiny yet handy knitting tools that are essential, as many knitters believe. These small but mighty tools are more useful than you can imagine. Let’s discuss more details about these stitch markers and some of the ways that you can use these little tools in your knitting projects.
What are Stitch Markers?
Stitch Marker is a little tool that knitters use to help them keep track of the stitch counts and placement of the pattern. These devices come in different materials, sizes, and there are several different types of stitch markers.
There are multiple ways of using stitch markers. One of the most common ways is placing the marker on the knitting needle next to the active stitches. It will help you to mark that particular position in your knitting pattern or even a complete project.
You can also place a stitch marker at the end of a project to mark its completion. Another way is using it to help in counting rows or rounds while knitting.
We’ll talk about all this in detail as we work through the post. For now, it’s important to know that stitch marker is an essential tool to have in your knitting kit.
So, let’s talk about the types of stitch markers available in the market.
Types of Stitch Markers
Mainly, there are two types of stitch markers:
- Ring Stitch Markers
- Locking Stitch Markers
The variety isn’t just limited to these two as there are several styles amongst these. There are also variations in sizes, colors, and even materials.
Ring Stitch Markers
Just as the name suggests, these stitch markers are circular in shape and you can simply slip them into the knitting needle between the stitches. There are two types of markers in this style: Closed Ring Stitch Marker and Open Ring Stitch Marker.
However, these markers can also come in different shapes, such as triangles. They also look like keyrings as they are quite spiral in shape. These styles can be fun as you can get the markers in a variety of shapes to keep them interesting.
These ring stitch markers come in a variety of colors and sizes and can be made from a host of different materials such as wood, plastic, or even metal.
Locking Stitch Markers
Most of the locking stitch markers look like safety pins but unlike safety pins, there is no coil so you can use them without any risk of catching the yarn. The use is the same as safety pins, open and lock them as needed.
Another type of locking stitch marker comes with a lobster clasp.
Are Locking Type Better Than Ring Markers?
Locking stitch markers are the most versatile of the stitch markers. What makes them more versatile is that you can reposition them quite easily if you need them. Another reason that makes it more useable is that these markers won’t fall off anytime while knitting. With ring markers, it can fall off when you put your knitting projects down.
How To Use Stitch Markers?
If you’ve ever lost stitch count while knitting or lost your place in the pattern, knitting stitch markers are just what you need!
Depending on the type of stitch marker, you can either attach them to the knitting itself or to the needle. In short, it’s a must-have accessory for your knitting arsenal.
Let’s go into a little bit of detail about all the different ways you can use stitch markers.
When you are knitting in the flat, the markers can mark the start or end of the row. It can even help to separate the edge stitches from the rest of the pattern.
They are also useful in marking the right side (RS) or wrong side (WS) in the knitting. It can also help in marking increases or decreases of stitches. If the number of stitches is too much, it can also help in keeping a track of the stitch count.
Knitting in the Round
Stitch markers are quite useful when you are knitting in the round as in circular knitting, information about beginning and end can help avoid mistakes. You can mark the start of your knitting pattern with these little tools to keep track!
Just remember, if you are using multiple tools, choose a different color for the one that marks the beginning as otherwise, it will become confusing.
Keep Track of Dropped Stitches
Dropped a stitch? Use a stitch marker to hold it in place until you can get back and fix the mistake. A marker will keep the pattern from unraveling further and prevent more damage.
Now that you have stopped the situation from escalating, you can assess the problem properly and decide how to fix it.
Marking Pattern Changes
Stitch markers are useful to mark any changes in the stitch pattern or even mark repeats of the pattern.
For example, if your pattern instructs a certain number of repeats, you can place a marker every 5 or 10 rows. This way, you only need to count the markers instead of counting every row.
Another way stitch markers are useful is when you need to slip a stitch. Sometimes, you might need to mark the edge stitches or even within the pattern itself.
Knitting Abbreviations for Stitch Markers
But, you might wonder, how will you know where a pattern requires a stitch marker? You will come across certain knitting patterns that will tell you where to put markers with specific abbreviations.
Place marker (pm) means that you need to simply place the stitch marker on the right needle after the worked stitch. As you continue your knitting, you will come across the marker on every row that you knit after it. When you come back around, just move it from the left to the right needle.
Slip marker (sm) is the other term that you will come across in certain patterns. What it means to slip marker is that you will move the marker from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle and then continue with the pattern.
Remove marker (rm) is quite self-explanatory, it just means that you remove the marker from the knitting project.
Check out other common knitting abbreviations that you will come across while reading stitch charts.
Best Stitch Markers
When choosing the best stitch markers, you need to consider what is your requirement from the marker. You also need to consider the thickness of the knitting needle and yarn especially if you are planning to get ring markers.
Finally, do you want markers that are just functional or do you want to add a bit of fun and color to your knitting project?
Here are some of our favorites:
Flexible Stitch Markers
These flexible stitch markers come in several sizes and colors. You can use these to mark the beginning of a round or even repeats of a pattern. Choose this if you are looking for some flexibility while adding markers to the pattern.
Quick Locking Stitch Marker
These colorful markers are simply a pleasure to use as it locks easily and come with a convenient carry case.
Metallic Stitch Marker
These metallic markers are a delight to use especially as they come in a cute tin pack for storage.
Split Ring Stitch Marker
Looking for marking stitches in your pattern or even marking increases or decreases, these markers are easy and fun to use.
DIY Stitch Markers
There is a wide variety of tools available in the market but, if you don’t like those, you can even make your own DIY stitch markers.
It is quite easy to make a DIY stitch marker as you will mostly have all the requirements in your knitting supplies. Find out how you can make your own markers here.
No matter what you decide about buying or DIY, just make sure that you keep the lot in a case or a container as these tiny little things are easy to lose. Also, because of their small size, have plenty of them on hand so you always have some with you! You never know when you need more of them.
Want more ideas and info about more useful knitting tools? Check out:
- Top 10 Best Yarn Winder For Knitting and Crochet
- Yarn Winder Buying Guide: All You Need To Know For Choosing The Best Yarn Winder
- An Ultimate Guide on Reading Knitting Stitch Charts for Absolute Beginners
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