My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Stitch Markers

Reader Carolyn asked for stitch marker recommendations. These are my favorite:

They are the little rubber rings made by Clover. They come in a package like this:

The package contains two sizes of markers, and while it says the small ones are good for needle sizes up to U.S. 5, I am using them with no problem whatsoever on my size 7 needles.

I like the rubber rings because they tend to stay put until I move them. some metal rings I have want to fly off the needle point with only the slightest provocation. I do have a lovely assortment of fancy stitch markers that I use, but I like to use them sparingly — perhaps one at the start of a round.

And this is a nice segue into a discussion of stitch markers on your pi shawl.

You don’t  need to buy ring markers if you don’t already have them — you can simply use small lengths of yarn in a contrasting color tied into loops. another idea is rings cut from a jumbo drinking straw.

You also don’t need to mark every single pattern repeat on your pi.

Throughout this design, the pattern repeats are either 6 or 9 stitches. When we get a little further along in the increases and the total number of stitches is in the hundreds, you will find yourself needing a whole heckuva lot of markers if you want to mark every repeat. I find that putting a marker every 18 stitches is sufficient — that’s three of the 6-stitch pattern repeats and two of the 9-stitch repeats. (Did you see what I did there? I figured out those numbers quickly and in my head.)

As you can see, Lucy is visibly impressed by my prowess with numbers.

Don’t forget — Part Two of the Shetland Pi is coming tomorrow.


  1. I’m one of those neurotic people that puts stitch markers in between every repeat. And then has to email the designer in a panic when I can’t figure out why my counts are off. 😀
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Episode 21 – Hank of Yarn! =-.

  2. Also another idea for stitch markers are hair bands. I have found small one perfect for socks at Targets and they do work.

  3. I prefer thin wire markers because they don’t get in my way. LisaLisa sent me some little rubber bands not long ago, and they’re good, too. I’m very bad about losing stitches — usually forgetting a yo, so I need stitch markers.

    Are you sure Lucy didn’t do that math for you? She’s looking pretty smug there!
    .-= Cathie Jones´s last blog ..More Orange County Classic Jazz Festival =-.

  4. I use the black rubber rings from the home improvement stores and functional, much like the Clover ones without the pretty colors. On this project I am also using hair bands, mostly because I got a metric ton for a quarter on clearance somewhere.

    Like you, I don’t often use a ton of ‘fancy’ stitch markers. They are pretty but god forbid I lose a monkey one, or a ducky one or..or….

  5. I have “fancy” stitch markers. Every single one of them lost their pretty stones. I am left with empty metal rings. Not worth the money. Clover stitch markers are definitely my new favorite and much more economical. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  6. I love my CLovers but I adore my Hide and Go Sheep. They have some very cool markers that I love for lace.
    .-= LaLa´s last blog ..Episode 21 – Hank of Yarn! =-.

  7. Lisa West says:

    I use those little plastic rings that are on the corner of potholders – they come in several sizes, are found practically everywhere – and best yet – I got a little bag of them from my aunt – it was filled with rings that she had been using for years, some had been my grandmother’s!

  8. I have hard plastic ones…not clover but similar. They are wonderful. Gypsy (gray cat #1) thinks the pretty ones are fair game to play with…which is always creative.
    .-= Abigail´s last blog ..Too Many Projects!! =-.

  9. I agree – the Clover flexible stitch markers are the best. Really enjoying the KAL, and I somewhat credit your prowess with numbers to your clean eating :). Looking forward to Part Deux tomorrow.

  10. I have myriad markers of many different kinds. I used the small metal ones for this first part, but I found they snagged a lot. I’m switching to the Clover ones for the next part.
    .-= Ida´s last blog ..When Knitting Attacks and a contest scroll to end for a contest update =-.

  11. Can’t wait till tomorrow. Also, glad to see your part one looks like a boobie too. LOL
    .-= Angela Milazzo´s last blog ..Shawl KAL =-.

  12. Is it tomorrow yet?! Please tell me you’re going to post in the AM – I need part 2 to keep me busy while yarn cooks =)
    .-= Kyrana´s last blog ..What’s on your needles =-.

  13. I like Clover’s markers as well. However, I wish they would sell the small markers separately. I never have enough of the small ones and have too many of the large size.
    .-= KateinIowa´s last blog ..Bubbie and the Pea =-.

  14. I like locking stitch markers… those little plastic ones that can open. I can stick them in the row wherever I like without having to knit to the spot. Also, they can double as a stitch holder for a very small number of stitches (this need comes up surprisingly often!) or you can use them to pin your knitting together while you’re seaming. Very versatile.
    .-= Anisa´s last blog ..Chelsea skirt =-.

  15. This has nothing to do with knitting, I just want to say “Thank you Wendy” for posting however long ago about the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee. I have gotten so much pleasure and laughter from that blog… Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!

  16. Ditto on the Clovers – I find myself buying them every time I pass by a LYS ;o) and, for some reason, I prefer the green ones to the purple ones – maybe because they show up better? who knows?
    .-= margaret´s last blog ..Autumns in the Air =-.

  17. Aussie Rosemary says:

    Oh yes Kateiniowa. My small ones are constantly getting lost and there aren’t enough in the packet anyway.Good marketing I suppose – One has to buy more.

  18. Vicki Johnson says:

    My very favorite stitch markers are cut from the drinking straw. I keep a ton of them on a stitch holder in my project bag. When one goes flying, I just get a new one from the stitch holder. I am not searching for a straw ring that decided to go airborne. The vacuum cleaner will find it soon enough. The great thing about straw rings is the rings don’t bother my fingers while I am knitting. The straws at fast food places are perfect! You can cut a lot of rings from one drinking straw.

  19. I have to say, that those are my favorite markers too. I have some fancy ones that I love as well, but when one of those little sterling silver babies flies off my needles, I go into a panic trying to find it. Those little rubbery markers do grip just right.
    .-= Christina Bieloh´s last blog ..Fingerpaints- Passport- and a Crazy Quilt =-.

  20. I have yarn for this in the other room. Maybe after I finish the thong I will go and pull the yarn out to get this started.

    I have a variegated and a solid. Are any of the patterns large enough to work well with a variegated yarn.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..two more shows =-.

  21. Edie Swartz says:

    Here is a link to my favorite place to purchase wonderful, colorful stitch markers at a VERY reasonable price. They come in packages of 50 markers and are discounted if you purchase quantities.
    I also ordered the sample page that has all the sizes so that I would know what size suits me the best. I recommend the 1/4′ and the 3/8″ sizes for most of your knitting needs.
    Love ’em!

  22. I just got some stitch markers from Atomic Stitch markers in England on Anne Hanson’s recommendation and they are great – very simple plastic rings in all kinds of cool colors. On my current lace shawl (Les Abeilles) I decided to put stitch markers on every repeat, just to be totally OCD about it. It does keep me on track better, and I can tell if I am off and need to tink back immediately.
    .-= MicheleinMaine´s last blog ..Elephant Walk in Tangerine Tall Mia Bag =-.

  23. These markers are wonderful! I’ve owned them longer than I have used them…and now I wonder what took so long for me to open the pack.
    .-= dobarah´s last blog ..Homework! =-.

  24. Instead of paying lots of money for the little rubber O-rings from Clover, I buy them in much larger quantity for far less money from an Etsy seller. I have them in about 15 different colors and several different sizes, perfect for any yarn I might want to knit. I agree, they’re the best kind of stitch marker — they don’t snag on the yarn, they slide easily on the needles, etc.

  25. I make my own markers using 10mm jump rings and beads. I open the ring, slide on a bead, close the ring and super glue the bead over the split in the ring. Some are plain rings some have dangles. I have photos posted on my blog.
    .-= Pat´s last blog ..Shetland Pi Shawl =-.

  26. What is to frog or ‘frogging’?