What the hell do I do with Stitch Markers anyway?

Posted on Dec 04, 2010. 3 comments

I knit a lot of lace with an almost 4 year old hanging off the end of my needles. So I use stitch markers to hold my place and retain my sanity. The holidays are a good time to share which markers are in heavy rotation because knitters are always looking for gifts for other knitters and ideas for spouses who have no clue what to buy us.

Jump Rings
I mark the beginning of each row with a special marker and the rest of the repeats are marked with simple jump rings from any big box craft store. I typically purchase jump rings in two sizes, 7mm and 10mm to accommodate a wide range of needles. Typically plain jump rings cost approximately $1.99 for 50. I always have a lot of projects on the needles so I'm always picking up packs of jump rings when I find myself in Joann's. I also have more on hand to give out when ever any knitter at my house has a stitch marker emergency.

I use stitch markers by slipping them instead of knitting them into the fabric. To slip a stitch marker, stick the right needle tip into the marker and slip knit wise. Do this every time one pops up on the end of your needles. That special marker I mentioned above functions as a road sign to let you know you're at the end or beginning of a row so that you can perform what ever action needs to go next.

There are two main types of Stitch Marker, Flexible and Non Flexible. The difference being, the flexible markers bend at the joint between the jump ring and the bling, and non flexible markers do not. Flex or not flexing when using stitch markers is an entirely personal preference. Each marker has it's own time and place.

Flexible Markers

One Red Loop
This (now discontinued) One Red Loop marker is made with cord, entire marker will flex when used.

butterflysm Etsy Stitch Markers
Butterflysm markers made by Charlottesmom flex at the joint in between the jump ring and the bling.

Non Flexible Markers (by Knitifacts)

Knitifiacts Stitch Markers
These traditional stitch markers are crafted in one piece by Laura Crowley. There is no flexing between the ring and the bling.

Knitifacts Bumpers
Knitifacts Bumper rings are similar to the jump ring idea, except the rings are tiny enough for sock needles, and are made from colorful plastic.

Not a Stitch Marker but still pretty cool
5elementknitr on Etsy
I was lucky enough to get one of 5elementknitr's Stitch Savers in my Goodie Bag at Knot Hysteria's Silk Retreat. This little gadget went directly on to my key chain. I think it may also be good for poking people in the eyeball when they interrupt me when I'm counting.

That concludes today's discourse on knitting with Stitch Markers. I hope you've enjoyed my little tutorial. If you have any questions, leave a comment!


  • Posted by Brandi on Dec 09, 2010

    Loved the commentary on the stitchmarkers but what caught my eye was the crochet hook on a ring. It might be the perfect for pulling that first bit of fiber thru a diz.

  • Posted by Jeanie Babbage on Dec 04, 2010

    I was about to make some stitch markers when this popped up. Lace without markers or lifelines is soon a mess for me!

  • Posted by Kath on Dec 04, 2010

    “between the ring and the bling” can’t explain why that phrase makes me smile but it does!

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