Tips – using stitchmarkers

Stitchmarkers can be some of the most useful tools in your knitting or crochet bag but a lot of people haven’t used them or are puzzled because there seem to be so many different types as in this picture.

stitchmarker tips

You see stitchmarkers that are plain metal or plastic rings, charms hanging from rings, beads on loops of plastic coated wire, fancy ones using semi-precious stones and silver plated wire and ones that look like plastic safety pins.

In fact you use all the different types, apart from the plastic safety pins (which we will discuss below), in the same ways.

  • Start of a round. Tips – using stitchmarkersIf you are working in the round, hang a stitch marker on your needle before the first stitch of the round. Each time you start a new round, you know because you have to slip the marker from the left to the right needle tip.
  • Marking pattern repeatsusing stitchmarkers

    If you have a pattern that repeats across a row or a round, you can place a marker at the beginning of each repeat and at the end of the final one. This can help you keep track of the pattern and spot mistakes, because you can will be able to tell if there is a problem with a particular repeat rather than having to check the whole row.Here we have used a random selection of markers to show that they all serve the same purpose. However, if you need to mark the start of a round or the position of an increase or decrease, as well as pattern repeats, you might choose one type of marker for each. For example, a large marker for the start of the round, matching dangling ones for the pattern repeats and plain rings for shaping positions.

Markers are particularly useful if you are a fast knitter or someone who doesn’t look at their knitting all the time, because feeling the marker will remind you to take particular actions and you won’t have to unravel any stitches.

  • Row tally sttchmarker tipsThis is the first use of the safety pin type markers. Unlike the ones that you slide on to your knitting needle, these markers can be easily added to or removed from your work at any time.This makes them very useful for keeping track of rows on a long piece of knitting. You can clip a marker into the last stitch of every twentieth row, for example, then you only need to count every individual row from the last marker keep track of your total rows. For example three markers would mean 60 rows and 17 after the last marker would mean at total of 77 rows worked.
  • Crochet markers stitchmarkersIf, like many of us, you sometimes lose track of where a row or round of crochet starts, these removable markers are very useful.  Clip one through the first stitch of each row or round and you will know where stitches should align. This can be very helpful when crocheting in rows, in particular, because you are less likely to end up with sloping sides caused by not working to the correct last stitch on each row.
    When storing your plastic safety pin markers, leave them open because this reduces the strain on the plastic and makes them last longer.
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Crochet is more fashion than granny

crochet fashion

The so-called crochet “granny-square” was the talk of social media fashionistas in the past few weeks after Gigi Hadid was photographed in a crocheted Rosetta Getty coat ( pictured top left). Suddenly a technique often declared twee is the first love of fashion editors.

And it is not the only high fashion outing for the crochet square, above right is a dress from a recent Pucci collection.

So if you can crochet – and we know lots of you can as well as knit – you are way ahead in the fashion stakes and can start now on creating something striking for the spring or summer. Think about how much of a crochet statement you want to make and look at the fantastic choice of yarn and colour available to make your one off piece.

We’ve collected a few crochet square based patterns here to get you started but we’d also love to see your beautiful creations and your favourite squares. Do share your links below.