For me, stitch markers are of vital importance when crocheting. For a bunch of reasons. This article will go over why you need stitch markers, what you can use as markers, and some extra tips for using them!
For one thing, stitch markers can be cute and colorful, so I’m always a sucker trying to not buy more at every shop I go to.
Now I do know that stitch markers are also used in knitting, but they do have some different uses in crocheting and I need them a lot more in crochet projects. So this is a crochet specific post!
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Why Do I Need Stitch Markers?
These are really important tools in crocheting for a few reasons:
The first is to just mark your place! Or a specific spot in a pattern! This is good for remembering where the end of the row is on something being crocheted in the round, or if a pattern changes partway through. Or if you just need to go back and connect to that stitch. Or hold pieces together if you need to sew them up at the end!
The other reason (and why I use stitch markers the most) is because they hold my yarn! If I go away from the project, I don’t want to come back to find that the project I’ve been working on so long has come apart because it got jostled around. These markers work to keep the from yarn going back through the last stitch.
This is why I think they’re more important in crocheting than knitting too. Because knitting there’s so many different loops on the needles; whereas crocheting you have one loop. Crochet hooks also come out of projects, whereas knitting needles don’t. You can have a crochet project not on the hook.
What Can I Use As Stitch Markers?
Really, there are 3 different things that I’ll use as stitch markers. Each has their own place, but in general you can use any of them.
The most important thing is to not accidentally get one that’s for knitting that doesn’t have a way to open/close. Knitting can use just round ones that go over the needle. They might be cute, but won’t work in your crocheting.
Specific Stitch Markers
These are the stitch markers that you can buy from most shops that sell yarn or craft supplies. There are a few different kinds, but typically they have some sort of latching mechanism so they can open and close.
This is what I use the most often in my projects. I try to have some near any new project to just be able to throw in where I need.
Safety pins are a great option if you don’t have the other stitch markers, or if you’re using a really fine yarn. If I’m making something tiny, then the normal stitch marker will be too wide for the hole. It’ll end up making the stitch it’s sitting in too big.
So instead use a safety pin! You also likely have some lying around the house, or in a sewing kit. The biggest problem I have with using safety pins instead of the first kind of stitch markers is I accidentally prick myself with the sharp point.
A long piece of scrap yarn is also an option for a stitch marker. Make sure to use a different color than what you’re working with so it doesn’t get lost in the pattern.
How this works is you just put the yarn between the two stitches, and then each row flip it to the other side of the work. This can easily be removed
What I don’t like about scrap yarn is I can’t use it as a stopper. With other markers, I can use them to hold my yarn in the right stitch if I put it down or move the project somewhere. Then I don’t worry about the project coming apart. This doesn’t work with scrap yarn.
Some extra tips for stitch markers that I find are useful!
1. If you’re using a stitch marker and notice that it feels like it might not hold or stay closed (for example if you’ve bit it open too many times and it’s weak), it’s a good idea to just throw it out. Then you don’t go looking for a specific part in your project just to find that the stitch marker is gone.
2. Connect one stitch marker to another. This is a newly learned trick that is actually helping me a lot. I use a stitch marker when working in the round to mark the end of a row. But sometimes I want to leave a stitch marker in the last row and use one in the next row. So I’ll just connect two stitch markers together at the end of the row. Then when I go to move my stitch marker, I don’t accidentally take the one I wanted to leave!
3. Keep some spare stitch markers on your project bag. Most of my project bags are drawstring closing so I just leave one or two on the drawstring in case I need one and am not around my other stitch markers.