This is the second post in a series on using stitch markers when crocheting amigurumi. If you missed the first introduction post, check it out HERE.
In this post, I jump right in and look at the first two uses I have for those oh so useful stitch makers.
USE #1: Mark the start of a round
Amigurumi is normally worked in continuous rounds, which means you do not join with a slip stitch at the end of each round or turn your work. Instead, you just keep crocheting one stitch after the other, round after round, in a spiral. This means you need to use a stitch marker to mark the first (or last!) stitch of each round so you know when you have completed a full round – otherwise all the stitches just look the same and you can’t keep track of what round or stitch you are on!
I prefer to mark the very first stitch of the round, but I have seen others mark the last stitch instead. Either way works and you end up with the same result, it is just a matter of preference, or simply what you learned first. Just make sure you pick a way and stick with it so you don’t get confused!
You can place the marker on the front loop or through both loops of a stitch. I use both ways, but most often my marker will go on the front loop (especially if I am crocheting into back loops only for my amigurumi).
Once you are back at your stitch marker and you are ready to start the next round, you can do one of two things. Either (1) remove the marker FIRST, then stitch into the next stitch and place the marker on your new stitch, OR, (2) if you are working into the back loop only for your amigurumi, you can crochet into the next stitch and THEN remove the stitch marker and move it up to your new stitch. This seems like a small difference, but I prefer the second method because you don’t have to figure out what to do with the marker while you make the first stitch of the round (it usually ends up in my mouth so I don’t forget about it!). In addition, if you forget to move the stitch marker for one round, you won’t be completely lost because the marker will still be in the first stitch of the previous round. In contrast, if you remove the marker first, make your first stitch, and then proceed to forget to place the marker again…uh oh!
Method (2) in pictures:
While you can use the above method when working through both loops (vs. back loop only), it is a little more tricky to crochet into the stitch with the marker still there, plus, the marker may pull the loop(s) out more (loosen them) and make the stitch look different than the other stitches once the marker is removed. Instead, you would use the first method I mentioned and remove the marker before making the first stitch of the round.
USE #2: Prevent your work in progress from unravelling
When you place your wip (work in progress) down, you don’t want all your hard work to unravel while you are away! What if someone moves your amigurumi piece and the yarn is pulled accidentally, causing stitches to come undone? You can keep your work safe with a stitch marker. Simply place the stitch marker in your working loop (the loop your hook is currently in), and it will prevent the loop from being pulled out.
Next in series: Uses #3 & #4
Don’t forget to sign up for my amigurumi newsletter to receive emails filled with ami fun. You can also follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest to keep up to date on all things hookabee.
Until next time,