Thursday, May 8, 2008
crochet stitch marking trick
i hate stitch markers. there, i said it. sure, it's nice not losing your place in crochet (or knitting, but i'm basically a crocheter). but they're so annoying! (*whine*...) they get caught in your working yarn, it slows you down having to remove and replace them, ... i just don't like using them.
but on my last project, i came up with something that really works, won't fall off, and takes almost zero effort to place or remove. it's so simple that i'm sure lots of other people have come up with it before, but i've never read about it anywhere, so i thought i'd share.
basically, take a short length (4-6 inches, whatever) of contrasting scrap yarn. when you get to the place you want to mark, just drape it across the previous row of stitches before you make the next stitch. the contrasting yarn will be caught under the stitch, and that's your mark. but here's the cool part: when you get to the next row/round, no need to pull it out and reinsert it, just flip one end of the contrasting yarn, say, from the front to the back. on the next row/round, flip it back to the front. the result is what looks like a little vertical row of running embroidery stitches. when you're done, just pull and it comes right out.
and here's a bonus: let's say you're in a part of your pattern where you need to count a bunch of rows or rounds. (when it's the same for a big set of rows, i tend to lose track -- and again, too lazy to do something as crazy as use a pencil and jot down a count on some scratch paper.) you can use your marking yarn to count rows (or rounds) -- just pull it out before the section you want to count and replace it at the first row. you can then count the "stitches" created by the contrasting yarn as you proceed; that is, each stitch or space created by the contrasting yarn is one row. now you're marking your rounds (or rows :) and your stitch count at the same time. and there's no little plastic doodad snagging your yarn.
and i should say, i'm sure there are stitch markers out there that actually work well. but i like this, because it's free, and i always have a little scrap of yarn on hand without having to dig around in my bag. give it a try and see what you think. (and as always, if anything is unclear, feel free to ask and i'll try to clarify...)