Stitch Markers Make Cables Easier

Losing count of cable rows? Use a locking stitch marker to keep track! #knitting |

It is go time here on the holiday gift knitting. The current project is a cabled scarf with a hard deadline that I can’t miss. Much to my surprise, I’m already past the halfway point and might actually finish with time to spare. I’m attributing part of this speed to my favorite stitch marker trick. 

Losing count of cable rows? Use a locking stitch marker to keep track! #knitting |

I can never pinpoint exactly which row I twist cables on which is frustrating when you have to work them every 8 rows or so. Locking stitch markers to the rescue! After I finish a cable row, I put a marker on that row. Then I keep knitting and can easily count the rows as I go. And it’s easy to put down and come back to a project because there’s no question about what row to work. 

I much prefer this method to row counters because I’m not always sure if I counted a row after I knit it. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Without the marker, I’d have no way of knowing for sure.  

P.S. Stitch markers are some of my favorite knitting tools. Here’s 5 more ways that stitch markers can help with your knitting. 

5 Ways To Use Stitch Markers

Stitch markers come in lots of shapes, sizes, and materials. They can be flexible rubber rings, simple metal triangles, intricate jeweled baubles, or cute beads on wire. You can even make them on the spot from small pieces of leftover yarn, paper clips, rubber bands, or hair ties. Stitch markers can be one continuous piece or able to be opened up and “locked” on a specific stitch. These little tools can do a lot to help with your knitting even if they are easy to lose between couch cushions.

Use them to mark the Right Side of your work. When you first cast-on for a garter stitch project, it can be hard to tell the Right Side from the Wrong Side when you pick it up after a break. Take a stitch marker, different from the rest if you’re using a lot of them, and put it a stitch or two in from the starting edge of the Right Side. Pick up your needles and don’t see the marker near the tip? Then you’re on the Wrong Side of your work. 

Stitch markers can be used to mark more than just stitch repeats. On the Cuddly Chevron Blanket, I placed a marker every time I had to increase or decrease. It kept me from having to count (or miscount) every stitch and left my mind free to listen to podcasts or watch a movie while I knit. 


Lockable stitch markers are great for tracking your progress. When you’re working on a big project and it starts to feel like a slog, start your knitting for the day by putting a locking stitch marker on a just knit stitch. When you’re done, you’ll easily see how much you’ve accomplished. This trick is great for seeing progress on sleeves, sweaters, and socks, but can be a bit discouraging if you’re knitting a blanket from the center out.  


Stitch markers are also great for counting rows. Here’s also where locking stitch markers come in handy again. When you’re starting a new section of knitting and need to knit a certain number of rows/rounds, say for the ribbing on a pair of toe-up socks, put a locking stitch marker on the first row and count from there. You could also put a marker every 5 or 10 rows so you can see how many rows you’ve knit at a glance. 

Stitch markers are really helpful when you’re casting on a large number of stitches. I can count 20 stitches without losing my place much easier than I can count 400. So, after you cast on 20 sts, place a marker and repeat until you have the required number for your pattern. No miscounting here.

P.S. Here’s one last tip for all the hand spinners out there. Locking stitch markers make it much easier to measure the yardage of skeined handspun. 

Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket Tutorials

1. Tips for Using Stitch Markers

2. Working lifted increases in garter stitch (January 27th)

3. Weaving in ends as you go without a tapestry needle (February 3rd)

Easily Measure the Yardage of Handspun Yarn

Keep losing count when you're trying to tally the yardage of handspun yarn? Here's how stitch markers can help out! | Easily Measure The Yardage Of Handspun Yarn

Whether you're spinning for Tour de Fleece, Spinzilla, or for a particular project, you'll have to figure out how much yardage you have eventually. This locking stitch marker trick will help you keep count no matter how much you've spun. 

Keep losing count when you're trying to tally the yardage of handspun yarn? Here's how stitch markers can help out! | Easily Measure The Yardage Of Handspun Yarn

Once the singles are plied and the yarn off the bobbins or spindle, skein up all that precious yardage. Instead of counting every wrap in one go, grab some locking stitch markers and let them keep keep track of the yarn. Just count 20 wraps, or whatever number you like best, and bundle them together with the stitch marker. Repeat till every strand is corralled. Count the markers and you’ll know exactly how many wraps you have without losing count somewhere in the triple digits. No need to wonder if you’ve counted every wrap or double-counted by mistake. The stitch markers are doing all the work.

Now all the need to go is a little math. Multiply the number of wraps by the circumference of the skein and you’ll have your yardage. If you want the yardage of all the individual singles, multiple the final yardage by the number of plies.

Keep losing count when you're trying to tally the yardage of handspun yarn? Here's how stitch markers can help out! | Easily Measure The Yardage Of Handspun Yarn

Little Things


Little Things: Celebrating the tiny, sudden joys in life

Last December, after all the Christmas hubbub was over, I got an unexpected gift in the mail. Inside was a collection of handmade stitch markers from a far away friend. One set looked like obsidian and the other is painted green glass. The markers use flexible wire instead of jump rings to hang on to the needles which, after using them on my Norma blanket, I put my knitter’s stamp of approval on. Now I want to make some too. 

Besides from being really helpful and snag-free, the stitch markers make me smile because a friend made them just for me. A friend who is really busy making games and going to school and being completely awesome took the time to make me some stitch markers. I love that. I appreciate that. I can’t help but be happy and smile whenever I see them arranging my knitting. 

All the markers fit in the palm of my hand. They may be small but they do big things. 

What little things are making you happy today?