Monday, November 4, 2013

My Favorite Tools: Markers

What can I say, I love my markers. They make my life so much easier when knitting just about anything. I use my markers for the obvious uses such as:
  • dividing pattern repeats
  • mark center lines
  • marking the beginning of round
  • Marking the RS
  • Marking stitches when working gussets in my socks
  • These uses can be combined with markers of different colors. And these are just the uses for the closed markers.

    Movable markers have many uses of their own.

  • counting stitches
  • counting rows
  • Japanese short rows
  • catching a dropped stitch
  • forming a "block" when dropping a stitch down for repair - I put it just below what needs to be repaired so I won't go too far
  • when ripping back, if I don't have a lifeline, I put a removable marker in a stitch before where I want to stop
  • Cable Needle. I put the stitches on the removable marker to move them behind or in front and then return the stitches back to the needle to finish the cable.
  • Stitch holder. The large clover markers can hold stitches for a thumb when knitting mitts.
  • Temporary Marker. I can place one of these in my knitting while on the needle and then replace it with a ring marker when I get there
  • So which are my favorites?

    Knitifacts Ringlets. These are my goto markers. I usually knit on needles smaller than US 7 and I like to move my markers from needle to needle with the tip of the needle. I prefer metal over plastic, since they don't drag or stick to my needles. I have these in a slew of colors. I use color to define the meaning of the marker in the project. Typically, green is start of round or my right side marker. The silver ones mark pattern repeats. Red marks the center line. Well, you get the idea.
    When my needles get bigger, I move on to Ringers.
    And when I get really even bigger, I move on to Ringos X/L. These come from fripperies & bibelots. The shop is from England.
    Sometimes I need a marker that hangs, doesn't get in my way and doesn't interfere with my knitting. For these, I grab my HiyaHiya Dumpling case markers. I've seen these hanging off a soft loop and off a hard ring. I prefer the ones with the soft loop.
    Clover Locking Markers (small). I prefer these to the HiyaHiya version because the angle of the "safety pin" makes them easier to use. The "pin" section is also tapered which makes it easier to insert the marker into a stitch. I use these when counting stitches on the needle, as "cable needles" for sock knitting and as small stitch holders. I also use them to hold a small group of markers to carry with me. They are also useful when ripping out or when dropping a stitch. I catch a stitch in the marker and then drop or ripp stitches. The marker stops the process so I don't go too far.
    Clover Locking Markers (Large). For knitting larger than socks, I use these as cable needles and stitch holders. I also use these to organize my marker colors.
    HiyaHiya Knitters Safety Pins. I use these to count rows in lightweight knitting. The pins are lightweight and don't pull the stitch out of shape. I hook the pin around the stitch to mark a spot in my knitting for counting. Note: these do have a point, so be careful using them.
    Bsryspun Small Knitters Safety Pins. These have a regular safety pin look without the spiral hinge. These are most useful when doing japanese short rows. They are light and don't stretch my knitting. Note: these do have a point, so be careful using them.

    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

    Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits.

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