At the counter, we get asked a lot about how to use stitch markers, so we thought it would be a good idea to do a couple of posts on them. What's more, Chicane, the chosen pattern for our summer Knit-a-Along
, makes clever use of them, so this post counts as a bit of a warm up for that.
Stitch markers come in a variety of types - our online shop has a good selection
, though a simple loop of contrasting yarn will work nicely too. They all share one thing: they sit placidly on your needle and tell you where you are in your row or your round. When you know where you are, the whole process becomes more relaxing and enjoyable. What's not to love about that?
When you're ready to place a marker, work to the place you want to mark, and choose a marker.
Then just pop it onto your right hand needle (patterns usually call this "place marker" or PM for short)...
...where it'll just sit there, minding its own business.
Then just work your next stitch, as if the marker weren't there at all.
When you look back in a few stitches' time, this is what you'll see. The marker's right where you placed it, and the rest of the knitting just goes on around it.
When you come back to where the marker, on the next row or the next round, this is what you see:
Once you've worked the stitch right before, you'll have the marker sitting there on the left hand needle.
Simply slip it from the left hand needle to the right hand (this is what patterns mean by "slip marker" or SM), and continue to work as normal.
Stitch markers mean less counting and less worrying about where you are in the pattern, as well as making it much easier to find mistakes, and that's why we love them. What's more, there's other wily tricks for using them, which will make your Chicane flow more smoothly, so we'll be talking about more marker magic in the next couple of weeks!