Stitch marker series: Uses #1 & #2

Stitch marker blog series for amigurumi title: uses 1 and 2

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).

Stitch marker Use 1 for amigurumi: mark start of round
Above, I have just made the first stitch (st) of the round (rnd) and placed a stitch maker on that stitch.
Stitch marker Use 1 for amigurumi: mark start of round
Here, I have just completed a round by making the last stitch (st) in the round (rnd). I know this because I am back at the stitch marker.

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:

Stitch marker Use 1 for amigurumi: mark start of round
Above, I am crocheting in to the back loop of the 1st stitch of the round, with the stitch marker still in place on the front loop.
Stitch marker Use 1 for amigurumi: mark start of round
Above, I have just completed the first stitch (st) of the next round (rnd), but I have not moved the stitch marker yet (it is still on the front loop of the previous round’s 1st stitch).
Stitch marker Use 1 for amigurumi: mark start of round
Here, I have moved the marker up to the stitch (st) I just made, marking the start of the new round.

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.

Stitch marker Use 2 for amigurumi: prevent unravelling or wip

Stitch marker Use 2 for amigurumi: prevent unravelling or wipDo you use stitch markers to prevent your work from unravelling, or do you have a different method?  I would love to hear about it!

Next in series: Uses #3 & #4

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Until next time,


Stitch marker series: Introduction

Stitch marker uses series for amigurumi by @hookabeeI 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?

  1. 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.Bobby pins as stitch markers
  2. 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:crochet stitch markers
  3. 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:crochet stitch markers
  4. 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.Safety pins as stitch markers for crochet
  5. 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.Paper clips as stitch markers for crochet
  6. 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!Yarn scraps for stitch markers in crochet
  7. 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.Clover stitch markers for crochet

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:

Uses for stitch markers when crocheting amigurumi by @hookabee

Next in series: Uses #1 & #2

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,