Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Knit Trick: Removable Stitch Markers

This is the first post in what I hope to make a somewhat regular feature. There are all sorts of fun tricks and shortcuts to make knitting easier/more fun, and they're the kind of thing you rarely find in the how-to books.

When I first graduated from simple patterns to cables and shaping rows/rounds, I often kept track of where I was by marking up pieces of scrap paper. Especially in patterns with lots of at the same time instructions. I sometimes even went so far as to write out row-by-row instructions for myself.

Somewhere along the way (and far, far later in the game than I'd like to admit), I finally learned an easier way. Enter the removable stitch marker--the kind that looks like a little safety pin!

Say your pattern tells you to make a cable twist on alternating 6th and 7th rounds, while also doing some increases/decreases every 6 rounds, and maybe even one other thing of a different count. Instead of tracking it all in your head, or on paper, just use these handy little markers in different colors to show you were you are.
For instance, the orange marker in the above photo marks when I did a 7th round twist, and the turquoise shows a 6th round twist. I also used turquoise to mark my increase/decrease rounds (not shown). With this method, you can stop anywhere in the pattern and still know where you are when you pick it up later. Turquoise marker on top? That means you just completed a 6th round twist, so your next twist will come on the 7th round after this marker and you'll move that orange marker up, and vice versa. Same thing with marking increases and decreases. I don't even use those little row counter thingies anymore; it's too easy for me to forget to mark a round/row with them, and thus have to count rows anyway. If I just slip one of these little markers into the first increase/decrease of my round, then I only have to count the rounds/rows after it to know where I am at any given time.

This method is also immensely helpful when keeping track of different cable counts on sweaters with multiple types of cables, especially if the twist happens in different rounds for each type. Just make sure you have a different color for each different type of at the same time thing you're being asked to do, and mark the first instance of each in the appropriate round/row.

Neat, huh?

Any tricks you're dying to know more about? Have a neat trick of your own to share? Let me know in the comments!

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