Which stitch markers to choose and how to use them

Posted by Sarah Price on

So your pattern calls for a stitch marker and you're wondering why and which sort you should choose? If you've never used stitch markers before, I'm going to hazard a guess that your pattern is worked in-the-round and this is your first time using this technique (how exciting!).

Stitch markers a handy little tools used in knitting and crochet for a variety of reasons. Sometimes pattern specifically call for them, and in other cases you might find it helpful to add to a project even if the pattern doesn't mention them.

Here are some wonderful uses for stitch markers:

1. To mark the start of the round
When you're knitting or crocheting the in round, all of your stitches are joined together. This can make it hard to identify the end of one round and the beginning of the next. You might find yourself knitting/crocheting around and around, wondering how many rounds you've actually worked.

How it works:
Knitters | After joining your work in the round, slide the stitch marker onto your needle. When you knit around to the marker, simply slip it from your left needle onto your right (just like you would when slipping a stitch)
Crocheters | Clip a removable marker onto the first stitch at the beginning of your round. When you crochet around to the marker, simply unclip it and move it up to the stitch you just worked

2. Marking pattern repeats
When you're knitting lace, cables, or other pattern segments, the pattern may rely on the use of markers as part of the instructions.

For example, you might see 'knit to marker' or 'work pattern between markers' or something similar included in the pattern. 

How it works:
Knitters | Slide a stitch marker onto your needle when called for by the pattern. When you get to the marker, simply slip it from your left needle onto the right.

Bonus: You can add stitch markers to any pattern, even when they aren't called for. Adding markers between lace repeats can be a life saver on long rows!

3. Identifying the right and wrong sides of your work
Some projects make it tricky to tell which side is which. Take the guess work out of it by clipping a stitch marker on the right side of your work.

How to works:
Knitters | Use a removable or opening stitch marker, and clip it through a stitch on the right side of your work. When you've completed your project, remove the marker.
Crocheters | Use a removable or opening stitch marker and clip it through a stitch on the right side of your work. When you've completed your project, remove the marker.

Which stitch markers are right for you?

Crocheters | Removable or opening stitch markers are the kind used in crochet. The Cocoknits Coloured Opening Markers are excellent (the bright colours makes them hard to lose!) or for a special marker have a look at the handmade Mushroom Markers.

Knitters | Depending on the project, you'll want removable or closed/ring markers.
Closed/ring markers are used when the stitch marker is slipped onto your needle and carried with you every row. The Cocoknits Colourful Ring Markers are great if you need a variety of sizes for different needles, and the bright hues make them hard to loose.
Removable markers are used to clip through your work, if you need to mark a specific row or stitch (or identify the right side of your knitting).
Some removable markers can double for both purposes, such as the Cocoknits Coloured Opening Markers or the handmade Mushroom Markers.

For every type of stitch marker you'll ever need, grab a set of Cocoknits Precious Metal Markers or  KnitPro Mindful Marker pack. With a mixture of ring markers and opening/removeabe markers, you'll be set!

Still feeling confused about how to use stitch markers? Take a look at our video tutorial where Sarah walks you through how to use stitch markers.

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