Stitch markers might be small, but they are mighty. The tiny tools rank on our must-have notions list for their ability to keep our knitting organized and us on track as we work on a project. In a pinch they can:
- indicate the beginning of the round or row of your project
- indicate the right or wrong side of a project
- mark the beginning or end of a pattern repeat
- alert you to a specific point in a pattern
- help you count stitches
But while stitch markers all serve the same general purpose, there are several different types of stitch markers for knitting that each have a unique purpose.
What is a Stitch Marker?
Stitch markers are closed rings made of metal, silicone, or plastic that are not too much larger than the circumference of your needle. While typically round, these markers can take on other shapes, too, like triangles or hearts. Some will have charms or beads attached, but more often than not, these are simple rings that easily move along while you work.
Uses: Stitch markers can mark pattern repeats, alert you to a special stitch, define the right side of the work, or declare the beginning of the round.
Different Types of Stitch Markers
Progress keepers are generally constructed with a charm attached to a lobster claw clasp. These removable markers don’t fit on a needle and move with along with the work like a stitch marker. Instead, these clip-on markers are used as a reference point and mark how much you have worked.
Uses: Progress Keepers are a perfect way to track a measurement (like those patterns that instruct you to work for a certain number of inches) or simply a fun way to see how much you work in a day.
Beginning of the Row/Round Marker
A beginning of the row marker (or beginning of the round marker if you’re knitting in the round) is just like any other stitch marker, but should look different than the other markers you’re using. Chose a marker that is a different color or has an identifiable charm.
Uses: When knitting in the round, this marker will alert you to when it's time to change to the pattern's next round of instructions. Or, when knitting flat, use it to indicate the work's right side row.
Locking Stitch Marker
A locking stitch marker, which is also called a removable stitch marker, is one that moves with you as you work but can be unclipped and repositioned when the pattern calls for it. These markers typically have a safety pin-esque opening but have a wider body.
Uses: Use a locking stitch marker for a project that has a center point or special stitch that shifts while you work, like, sometimes, a passover stitch in a shawl's center spine detail.
There sure are! We love special markers with a specific purpose, like our Fix It Marker. Clip a Fix It Marker to a dropped stitch or other mistake in your work so you know to go back and fix it. And for crocheters, our Loop Locking Hook Holder aids your making by locking the live stitch of your work, while keeping your hook attached to your work.
Stitch markers come in a variety of options and styles, making them one of our favorite notions to collect. Which is good, because you can never have too many. Like socks and bobby pins, these little rings are known to disappear when you need them most. Keeping a stash in every notions bag and next to every knitting spot is not a bad idea.