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.

Christmas Gifts for the Favorite Knitter in Your Life

What do you want for Christmas? Your spouse, child, close friends, and family members may ask this of the Knitting Superstar in their life (which would be YOU). What to tell them? 

You may have something specific in mind. But all of us like nice surprises for Christmas. If your loved ones need help in making Christmas extra special for the Knitting Diva in the house, here’s a handy-dandy suggestion list:

  • A Gift Card to the local yarn store nearest your home. Your beloved knitter will be sure to pick out lovely yarn, needles, or patterns to make something lovely. 
  • Extra Special Needles. These come in all price ranges. Check to see what brand your knitter uses and think about a set of them. Sets keep the knitting life organized and make sure the right size is always on hand. Here are some popular choices:
  • Clover Takumi Bamboo Interchangeables: This is what I use, and I highly recommend them. Most of the sizes you’ll ever need, with a good variety of cables, all in a nice case.
  • Chiagoo Sets: I use the small sets for socks. These metal needles are smooth as silk and come in nice cloth cases.
  • Prym Ergonomic Needles: I just discovered these recently and love the feel of them in my hands. No sets, but any size would make a good stocking stuffer.
  • Yarn. Luxury Yarns are even better. Knitters love squishy, soft yarn, and many of us penny-pinchers shy away from buying the expensive yarns for ourselves. Treat your favorite knitter to three months of projects with extra special yarns with a gift subscription to Knitcrate.  You can also buy luxury yarns online or at your local yarn store. Go for your knitter’s favorite color, and you’ll make her very happy. 
  • Swift and Winder. If your favorite knitter habitually buys high end yarns, they’ll likely have to wind them into balls by hand. Help your knitter out with some low-tech tools.
  • A Good Floor Light. It’s all about eyesight, whether you’re young and hoping to hang onto yours or older and can’t knit without direct lighting. Not a glam gift, but highly practical.
  • Fancy Stich Markers. These look like jewelry, but your knitter uses them to keep track of pattern changes within her work. Many of us use scrap yarn, but you know your knitter deserves better. Available online and likely at local yarn stores.
  • A Yarn Bowl. These are now the “must have” knitting accessories. They’re both decorative and help keep yarn balls from rolling all over the house.
  • Big Fat Knitting Books. Keep your knitter occupied with pretty pictures, lots of patterns, and everything there is to know about knitting. Try the new Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book or the Interweave’s Ultimate Pattern Collection.
  • Alone Time to Knit. If all else fails, make your loved one a certificate for quiet, peaceful, uninterrupted time to knit. Believe me, this will be appreciated by stressed, busy wanna-be knitters.

Happy Holidays!!!! 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.

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