Knitting Luxuries – Let’s Talk Stitch Markers

In my continuing quest to master the art of Cardigans, I suddenly find myself in need of more stitch markers. Lots of them. After conquering (at least in my mind) the art of yoke sweaters, I’ve moved on to raglans. Lesson Number One before starting a raglan sweater: you need a whole handful of stitch markers, at least 8 of them. 

Recently, I’ve bought several types of stitch markers. Have I simply bought the plastic ones sold at the big box craft stores? Oh no. That’s no fun. The prettiest ones are handmade and come from woman-owned small businesses. If you need a rationalization for your purchases (you don’t), you’re helping out small businesses owned by kindred spirits by buying the fancy ones.

My favorites have tiny mandalas and sparkly crystals attached to them. I must confess, I match my stitch markers to the colors of the knitting project I’m working on. (It gives me a sense of balance and harmony, and in this crazy time, that’s something.) For lightweight yarn – or if using a lot of markers – I like the ones with fine, ultrathin wires that barely weigh a thing. In my mind at least, they’re easier on my hands and wrists. 

Sure, you can make stitch markers out of spare yarn. I’ve even heard of knitters using the pop top from a canned drink for a stitch marker. But me? I need stitch markers that are pretty and make me happy. Lovely tools for knitting are a luxury, I know. But in the great scheme of things, it’s a small investment for the craft you love. 

Here’s what I’ve bought recently, after lots of browsing online:

I’ve bought a number of stitch markers from Jill’s Beaded Knit Bits, both on Amazon and Etsy. Her work is high quality, useful, and she ships quickly from Pennsylvania. She also offers row counting chains and other knitting related jewelry. 

I’ve also bought stitch markers from Crafty Cat Knitty Bits in the U.K.  She offers the ultrathin wire stitch markers I prefer when using multiple markers. Even though my order was shipped from England, I received it quickly AND got postage stamps with pictures of the Queen for the husband’s stamp collection. Double win!

What are your favorite stitch markers? Feel free to comment and share your faves!

Blessings, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. Available in e-book for US $4.99 and in paperback for $14.99. Read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

What’s Your “Small But Essential” Knitting Toolkit?

It’s the small things in life that make a difference. For knitters, we usually have a handful of small “must-have” tools we can’t knit without. Some of these are inexpensive, some a bit pricier, some may be items we’ve re-purposed.

Here’s my list of small but essential tools I use just about every day:

  • A small pair of really sharp scissors. I’m making a temperature blanket this year, and I’m changing colors (and cutting off loose ends) frequently. In tying up any loose ends, I’ve found a really sharp pair of scissors makes a difference. My go-to is a small pair of Fiskars.
  • A crochet needle. My pretty Birch-wood crochet needleis always within reach when I’m knitting. In addition to weaving in loose ends when a project’s complete, it’s handy for picking up dropped stitches as well. I recently found an inexpensive pack of crochet needles in every size imaginable, and I’m using the tiny ones for socks and lace weight projects.
  • A pattern page marker. I’m nearsighted, and I wear “progressive” glasses. I don’t need to ruin what vision I still have trying to decipher knitting patterns. This is a fairly new product I found recently, by Clover. It has magnets to mark exactly where you are on the pattern page.
  • Tapestry needles. Necessary for sewing up seams and useful for loose ends. I keep mine in a cork from a wine bottle so I won’t lose them.
  • Row counter. I’ve got one with sparkles on it, along with a claspthat I use to clip it to my project or knitting basket (‘cause they’re really easy to lose). 
  • Stitch gauge and ruler. These have been around since God was young, and they still get the job done. Measure your gauge, measure your work-in-progress, and figure out what size needles you’ve got – all in the same tool. 

What are your essentials? Feel free to comment to share ideas and tips with other readers!

Peace, Love, and Knitting, 

Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. Available in e-book for US $4.99 and in paperback for $14.99. Read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.