Why you need them and how to use them
We all see the cute stitch markers for sale on yarn websites and Etsy and we are drawn to collecting them for various reasons. But this simple item is one of the handiest tools for knitting since the invention of the knitting needle. Here’s how you can use them to make your knitting life easier.
Marking the beginning of the round
Knitting in the round is a fast and seamless method for knitting but, unlike flatting, it is not as easy to tell where the starting point of your round is. Slipping a stitch marker at the beginning of the round with tell you when you have reached the end.
Marking repeats in your work
Oftentimes in knitting, you will repeat the same sequence of stitches a number of times within the same row. To make it easier to know where you are in the pattern, a stitch marker can be placed after the end of each repeat. This will quickly alert you to differences in stitch count that can indicate a mistake, something especially helpful with lace.
Marking a change in stitch pattern
Sometimes, the project you are working on with have one stitch pattern up to a certain point and then change to a different stitch. You see this often in Guernsey and cabled pieces. A handy stitch marker can tell you where the pattern changes from seed stitch to the lace section or from cables to stockinette stitch. This type of marker is also handy for marking the point where you turn on short rows. Just move the marker along as you progress in the pattern.
Marking increase or decrease points
This is one of the handiest uses of stitch markers. Rather than have to count every stitch of every row when you are doing a series of decreases on a garment, a well placed stitch marker can tell you where those increases and decreases go. Then, rather than having to do all that counting, you can work to the marker, do the increase or decrease and then work to the next marker. So much easier to remember (and so much easier to write for the designer).
Marking Rows in between the action
It is common in knitting patterns to have one row where the action happens followed by a number of static rows where you work in pattern. You see this with increases and decreases for shaping and also with cable crosses and occasionally even in lace. Using a removable stitch marker can make keeping up with those occasional action rows much easier. Just clip the marker to a stitch in the row where the shaping or cable crossing happened. Then you can know at a glance how many rows you have worked since the last action row.