Helpful in oh so many ways July 16, 2012 – Posted in: Mondays with Mona

Whenever I think about what makes knitting ‘easier’ –  be it knitting a certain pattern, casting on a lot of stitches, follow up with what you have been doing, keeping track of rows – I find that stitch markers are an essential tool.

I have a lot of them. I use them all the time.

We distinguish ring stitch markers and split stitch markers. Let’s talk about the ring markers first:

They come in all shapes and sizes, simple or elaborate. Whatever tickles your fancy.

You want to place a ring stitch marker on your needle for various reasons:

– when having to cast on many, many (I’m talking hundreds) of stitches, place a marker every 50 stitches, that makes counting much easier

– if there is a border to maintain, be it in garter, seed stitch or a rib, place a marker between border and main piece and you will not forget to change your stitches

– place a marker to know where the round begins when knitting in the round

– place markers to designate where the side seams would be (for sweaters knit in the round)

– place markers between back, sleeve, front, sleeve of a sweater knit from the top down – you’ll know where to increase

– place them to mark repeats in complicated stitch patterns

The use of a ring stitch marker is – if not endless – manifold.

Now let’s talk about the split stitch markers:

See the difference? These are meant to be placed directly into your knitting. And of course they can be removed again easily.

– when working double decreases a ring stitch marker can get ‘in the way’, meaning you have to remove it to work the decrease; place one of these markers instead

– when having to knit a lot of rows in stockinette stitch, avoid excessive counting by placing one of the markers every 20 rows (or 30, 50…)

– place a marker in the row where you start i.e. armhole decreases, or any other change up in your knitting happens

– catch a dropped stitch with a marker like that if you cannot attend to fixing your knitting right away – it won’t unravel further

While I cannot think of anything else right now, I am sure there are more uses to both kind of markers. If you have another idea, please leave a comment!

– Mona