Saturday, April 27, 2013

Let's Talk Tools


Today is day five six of the 4th annual Knitting and Crochet Blogging week, and we're here to talk about tools.

Hmmm ... I have not really thought about tools all that much since, well, ever. I suppose, if I'm completely honest, I did think about them in 2009 after I took a tunisian crochet class at Stitches West. I came home, wanted to make something, but didn't have a proper tunisian crochet hook, so I fashioned one from a crochet hook, a knitting needle, and tape. And then I made a whole blanket with it. Desire can be a powerful thing.

Flash forward to now, and a test knit I recently completed. The shawl is constructed bottom-up, and I needed to do some major counting right off the bat, so I gathered up all of my stitch markers. It was the first time I had laid them all out - I wanted to see how many I had. Fifty-two was the final count. I was 8 shy of what I needed, but I made due.

So, I worked my next row, placing my stitch markers as I went. And then I got extremely familiar with all of my stitch markers (most of which I had never used).  I definitely found my favorites in pretty quick order.

Believe it or not, my absolute favorites out of the menagerie were the cheap plastic split-ring markers. They're lightweight, easily removable, and didn't get caught in my knitting. Not the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch, but really functional.

My second choice was the wire stitch markers just above the bottom left-hand silver "I love my cat" markers. They are incredibly lightweight, can actually fit a wide range of knitting needle sizes, and also didn't get caught in my knitting. The only downside was the lack of a split ring. I note that they are handmade and were part of a great swap package.

Then came the "I love my cat" markers, the two simple sterling rings with blue (right below the cats) and the gold coffee bean markers. The first two are aesthetically pleasing and didn't interfere with my knitting, and the coffee beans, while long and swingy, are very smooth - nothing to catch on one's yarn.

Finally, the middle set of cats, the silver rings with the gray and yellow balls and the leaves at the lower right did not work well. All of them kept catching on my yarn, and one of then actually broke mid-row. Not good at all. They have been permanently removed.

Who'd of thunk I could be so picky about stitch markers? What are your favorite markers and from where did you get them?


  1. I collect glass lampwork stitch markers. I like my markers to have some weight so that they stay in place and don't flip over to the back of the knitting (for some reason this drives me nuts!) My favorites are a set of little lampwork owls my mother gave me, some glass green pear stitch markers, and some oranges I got in a swap. I have a set of about 7 glass markers that don't have rings right now that are also various fruit -- and I can't wait to get them outfitted at the local bead shop.

  2. You have some real cute ones. I keep seeing handmade ones at the conferences but always think, aw, I don't really use them that often. Now I want some after looking at yours. I have some cute, simple handmade ones made by Armida of Fairytale Knits. I should dig hers out and use 'em. Now where did I put them...

  3. For a while I went crazy for fancy beaded stitch markers but they were so heavy that I found myself reaching for the lighter ones. My favorite at the moment are the ringos stitch markers from here:
    They are just little round circles with a small bead. They're light but have color so I can tell what I'm supposed to do where.

  4. I'm with you--have a lot of markers, but find myself using the plastic clip ones most of the time.

  5. I find that if my markers are a bit annoying it can make me not want to knit something so it definitely pays to be picky. I also love my fripperies & bibelots ringos.

  6. My favs are the ones I have made. That way I can choose the colors I like and make them as long or short as I want. Plus, I can choose which needles they fit.

  7. I have a bunch of those safety pin plastic ones & have used paper clips in a pinch. I definitely prefer the option to open mid-row. I almost never used my little plastic rings.

  8. I love split ring stitch markers, too! but I find really decorative ones hard to come by.