I love stitch markers. They are so useful when making amigurumi, and not just for marking the start of your round! I love them so much I am writing an entire blog series that will take you through all the uses I have for stitch markers when crocheting amigurumi. But first, before I get into their uses, an introduction.
So what is a stitch marker? If you are new to crocheting you may not have a great idea of what a stitch marker actually is. A stitch marker marks a stitch. haha! Just kidding. Basically, you attach a stitch marker onto the stitch you are interested in, either through both loops or just one, and leave it there as you continue to crochet so that you can identify that particular stitch later within your sea of stitches that may all look the same. That is their main function, but they are also useful for other purposes other than marking a stitch, which I will get into during this series.
For amigurumi, and crocheting in general, you need to use stitch markers that are removable, so ones that have a clasp or opening in which to slip the yarn in and out of easily. This way, once you are done with the stitch marker, you can simply remove it from your project as if it was never there!
What can you use as a stitch marker?
- Bobby pins: When I first started crocheting I lived in Germany in a very small town where resources were scarce. I was also just taking up the craft and didn’t want to invest in anything fancy yet. What did I use? Hair bobby pins! They were something I already had lying around the house, were inexpensive, and did a great job of marking my stitches. They are quick to put on and take off (no latches to undo) and stay in place. I had the boring classic copper coloured ones, but you can get some pretty fancy and bright coloured pins if you want to jazz up your crocheting. The only negative I had with them was they were long, so got in the way a bit. You can maybe find some shorter ones out there, however, which would help with this issue.
- Lobster claw clips: These are clips that you can find at most craft stores and are often used for making jewellery or key chains. You can actually find some beautifully designed ones on Etsy with pretty beads or charms attached to add a little bling to your project as you crochet. Of course, I love the look of these cutie bee stitch markers made by Jill Richmond:
- Earring hooks/rings: Similar to the lobster claws, you can find these at your local craft store as well as fancy ones on Etsy. Simply search Etsy for stitch markers and you will find a lot of options. These ceramic owls made by Julie Finocchiaro are beautiful:
- Safety pins: You can use regular safety pins, especially since you likely have them on hand, but watch that your yarn doesn’t get caught in the coil. You may be better off with the coilless ones that are more yarn safe (like those by HiyaHiya). Safety pins are simple and serve their purpose, but you have to admit, they are are not as fun as some of the other options.
- Paper clips: I have never used paper clips as stitch markers because I always thought they would be too difficult to open and that they would snag and split my yarn because their ends are usually rough, but then I came across this article on the FutureGirl blog that demonstrates a way that you can use paper clips as stitch makers! You don’t have to use the boring normal ones either, because there are some fun coloured and patterned ones out there.
- A scrap piece of yarn: All crocheters have scrap yarn somewhere! You can use small pieces of yarn in a contrasting colour to what you are crocheting with to mark a stitch. Use your hook to pull the yarn through a loop or two of the stitch and tie it in place – but not too tightly because you will need to remove it later!
- Actual stitch markers: Several large companies, such as Boye and Clover, make stitch markers. They come in different sizes and shapes, including clasps that lock and split rings with openings to slide your yarn in and out. I use the locking ones made by Clover and I love them! The colours are great, they open and close easily, and they aren’t too big so they don’t get in the way as I crochet. I have never used the split ring kind, but they do intrigue me because you do not need to open and close them, so maybe I will try them next.
Everyone has a different crocheting style and varying resources available to them, but with all of these stitch marker options you should be able to find one that suits you! What do you like to use as your stitch marker?
Next, I will take you through all 8 uses I have for these little notions, so stay tuned!
Quick overview of the series:
Next in series: Uses #1 & #2
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Until next time,