Stitch markers. I have strong opinions about stitch markers. I love how they help me knit lace, I would be lost without them. However, I have yet to find, anywhere, a stitch marker that I enjoy using. The round rubber ones stick to my needles. The split ring plastic ones let stitches wander in to them, messing up my repeat counts. The beautiful, handmade ones that look like earrings always wind up on the wrong side of my knitting, interfering with the next stitch. Ditto with the green and orange plastic ones that open like safety pins. I love what stitch markers do, but dislike what’s on the market.
So, I made up my own stitch markers, using beads. I road tested them last night on some super-fuzzy, snag-prone alpaca yarn. They did not snag. They slid nicely along the needles. They didn’t get in my way. I think I’m in love with my stitch markers.
The larger ones will work on a needle up to size 10 1/2. The smaller ones work on a needle up to size 6. Below are instructions if you’d like to make your own. I’ll also be offering them for sale from the site later this week. If you’re interested in purchasing some stitch markers, please drop me an email and I’ll let you know when they’re available.
Beaded Stitch Marker Instructions
- .012 in / .30 mm beading wire.
- I used Beadalon 7-strand
- Size 11/0 round beads.
- I used glass beads. A tube containing about 300 beads cost me about $2.50 at a bead store. This size bead is also available in tubes from Michael’s.
- Size #1 crimp tube
- 4mm crimp cover
- Crimping tool
- Bead wire cutting tool/nipper
For the larger size stitch marker, use 18 beads
For the smaller size stitch marker, use 12 beads
- Cut a length of beading wire about 5 inches / 12 mm long.
- String the beads onto the wire.
- String the crimping tube onto the wire.
- Insert the first end of the beading wire through the crimp tube.
- For extra strength, push the first end of the beading wire through all the beads and through the crimp tube again.
- Pull the ends to make a small circle.
- Flatten the crimp tube with the crimping tool
- Turn the flattened crimp tube sideways in the crimping tool and squash it again.
- Snip off the extra ends as close as possible to the crimp tube.
- Put the crimp cover over the crimp tube
- Close the crimp cover with the crimping tool
It isn’t necessary to double-string the beads, I just did it because I was messing around and thought it would make the stitch markers stronger.
I found that the crimping tubes were inconsistently sized. There was one tube that I couldn’t use for double stringing because it was too small. You could use a size 2 crimp tube, but the crimp cover doesn’t cover that as well, which increases the chance that the nipped ends of the beading wire might snag in your yarn.
Be sure to leave a bit of play between the beads and the crimp tube so that you can crimp without crushing the beads. I managed to play Godzilla to a fair number of glass beads yesterday.