Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame
27

How to Use Stitch Markers

July 25th, 2011

Pin It

Stitch markers are essential tools to crocheters and knitters alike. They can be used to mark a certain number of stitches, the beginning of a round, where to make a particular stitch, and more. Patterns often call for stitch markers with the abbreviations “pm” (place marker) and “sm” (slip marker). It’s important to note that there are essentially two categories of stitch markers: closed and open (also known as split-ring).

As the name implies, closed stitch markers feature one solid loop. They come in a wide variety of styles, including simple plastic rings and more complex charms. Here are a few examples:

Closed Stitch Markers

While knitting, the stitch marker sits on the needle between active stitches. To start using a closed marker, simply knit to where you want the marker, then place it on your right needle. Continue to knit as normal. Keep in mind that the marker can only be adjusted when you reach it in the row. When you reach the marker, simply slip it from the left needle to the right (as you would slip a stitch) to keep the marker in the same position.

Closed Stitch Marker while Knitting

Closed stitch markers do not work with most crocheting techniques. This is because crocheting closes stitches instead of leaving them live. Thus, if you used a closed stitch marker, it would be crocheted into your work. The only ways to remove the marker would be to rip out your stitches or cut your work (yikes!).

Open or split-ring markers are incredibly versatile. Because they aren’t closed, they can be added, removed, or adjusted at any time, regardless of which stitch you’re on. They come in a variety of different styles, including rings with a small gap, locking, or lever-backed.

Open Stitch Markers

When knitting, these markers can be used on the needle (as with closed markers) or attached to particular stitches.

Open Stitch Marker while Knitting

Because they can be removed at any time, open stitch markers are perfect for attaching to crochet stitches.

Open Stitch Marker while Crocheting

Those are the basics to selecting and using stitch markers! If you find yourself in a pinch and don’t have a stitch marker handy, try using a tie of yarn (for closed stitch markers) or a paperclip (for open stitch markers).

Related links:

Subscribe to our channel on YouTube
  • Myoung45

    Of course, you can always snip through the closed plastic markers to use for crochet.  Since I only had closed ones from knitting, that’s what I did for working on the mesh raglan pullover.  The red ones pictured have a smoother edge which looks like they might be slightly easier to use, however I won’t be rushing out to buy any!

  • Mikmowse

    And in a pinch I use paper clips.  They actually work quite well.

  • Clyde Ruth Beyer

    I use bobby pins as stitch markers.  Sometimes I use them to mark where I begin crocheting today…..to mark my progress.  I sometimes use them when I begin using the 2nd skein on a new pattern (to help me guage how long the afhan will be).  I usually put a bobby pin thru my last stitch–to keep it from accidently being pulled out.

    • Suecgrob

      i love your idea about bobby pins – i don’t pin my hair up like I use to so i have a whole bunch of the tight ones as well as the looser type bobby pins – i crochet mostly and the idea of bobby pins is a wonderful idea – they are easier to slip on and off – Safety pins always take time to unclasp and re-clasp –

      your ideas of marking the stitches to hold them is also a great idea –

      The Lion Brand Notebooks and free patterns is the best web-page i subscribe to –  

      thanks for the great tips
      sue grob

    • sandra

      that is a very good i dea and a crafty idea also im gonna use it

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3BV36SQ3WVTI5NAZDV6QVODAF4 Windy

    Stitch markers are a good thing to watch for at thrift shops and yard sales.  They are $6 at my local LYS!  They are easy to lose too so it’s good to pick up extras when possible.

    • Brenda

      My mother always used safety pins.

  • Gilda

    Never knew about the little plastic safty pins. My sister sent me some. they really come in handy.

  • wdc

    I often use a strand of contrasting yarn looped over the needle between stitches.

  • Jenndy

    I love the plastic markers that look like safety pins. They can be used for both knitting and crocheting and come in different sizes and colours.

  • Rose

    I have used several types of stitch markers and I like the little brass safety pins the best.
    Rose

  • PASTANOODLE5

    This was very helpful. I’ve had a small pack of the closed plastic markers from a starter kit for awhile now and never knew exactly how they were useful. Thank you for posting and showing pictures.

  • MissCaroline

    In a pinch you could cut up a plastic straw to use as markers.  They’re not glamorous but they’re the right price.

  • Pingback: Tips on Using Stitch Markers @Craftzine.com blog()

  • http://twitter.com/trisarahtop Sarah Kathleen

    This is a great resource for beginners! I know I was incredibly confused by the idea of stitch markers when I first starting using them, and last year it took 4 members of my book club to explain them to a marker newbie.

    I also like to use paperclips, but when I’m working on a project that uses bigger needles, I like to use those tiny silicone hair elastics.

  • Gigandgeo

    I have noticed the new trend in charms, to mark your stem glass when you are at a party.  I found some at a yard sale, so the price was right.  They look nice hanging from my lamp, and they don’t get lost or broken as easily.  I have also seen tutorials on line, for making your own.  They are becoming quite fancy and fun.

  • Crocheting4me

    Thanks for the article, but it didn’t really live up to its name HOW to use stitch markers. I would love to have a more detailed article on USE of these. 

    • Mizguru22

      The first way to use stitch markers is to put one in every 10th chain when you are setting up a large number of chains to start a project. Saves you from having to start at zero when you lose count.

  • Pingback: Tips on Using Stitch Markers | External Brain()

  • Pingback: yamaha r6()

  • Pingback: How to Knit: Using a Stitch Holder()

  • Pingback: silicone watches()

  • Pingback: silicone watch()

  • Pingback: billiard table dimensions()

  • Pingback: gprs()

  • stayathome247

    I have used twisty ties in a pinch.  But they get a bit too twisted after some use.

  • Rita Slicer

    I have used the colored rings that go around the neck of toothbrush replacements for electric toothbrushes. They don’t work with larger hooks or needles, so the bobby pins sounds like a good alternative.

css.php