Why not?

As I have been a knitting a bit more lately, I have been using stitch markers.

Let's be honest.

I have a lot of stitch markers.

Here are some of them in a box made to hold flies (for fly fishing):

At one time or another, I have used each and every one of these.

I even tried my hand at making a few of the ring markers:

Cute, right?

However, there is a little gap on most of them where the ends of the ring join. If I had a soldering iron, I would made them seamless...  

I do not own a soldering iron.

That little gap, it is a BIG pain, as it constantly snags the yarn.

Thus, these did not make for a very pleasant knitting experience. 

Lately, these have become my favorite stitch markers:

Three-and-a-half years ago, I went to a retreat hosted by Hill Country Weavers. A lovely lady named Tasha from Dallas was there. She had a gorgeous sweater made from Madelinetosh Merino Light that was simply stunning on her. At dinner one night, she pulled out a container FULL of stitch markers and bade me to pick some. There were hundreds in there. I picked out one. She laughed and said: "You may have more." I selected a second one. 

These are those stitch markers. 

I like them, not only because I liked her, but because they do not snag, they fit well on my needles (I rarely use anything larger than US 8), they slide easily, and their long shape and weight keep them where they are supposed to be, even if a yarn-over is on one side of them. 

I have always wanted more of them, but short of reaching out to Tasha and begging to buy some, I thought it might be nice if I could make them for myself (as well as my friends).

A two-second search led me to this 89 second video on how to make them. It also provided  information on supplies: Tiger Tail, crimp beads, and crimper...I already had some beads with which to play. Those links are to Hobby Lobby because their beads and Tiger Tail are all 50% off this week, and that is where I made my purchases.

The initial effort was not too bad:

However, I noted two things: 1) They hang at different lengths, as I failed make sure the loops were the same size and 2) I forgot to make one slightly different from the others so that it could be used as a beginning-of-the-round marker.

Rookie mistakes.

However, I have no doubt once the markers are in use on the needles, the slight differences in loop sizes will be go completely unnoticed. I just know they are there. 

After work this afternoon, I spent an hour or so and churned these out:

The one above is my new favorite marker! There were two solitary, unmatched beads in my stash. They belonged together. This one will go with the ones above as my designated beginning-of-the-round marker.

These next ones are cheerful and fun. They have already been tucked away for a sweet friend who likes to knit a lot of purple. 

These are pottery beads. One is misshapen a bit, but as I am usually drawn to the runt of the litter, I have particular affinity for it. I decided to further accentuate his difference by making him the beginning-of-the-round marker. He is also green, my favorite color, the one I never wear...

These feature rather large beads. As a result, I divided them into two sets of five, each set with its own beginning-of-the-round marker. Both sets will be gifted.

These little guys did not appeal me, until they were done. I thought the beads were ugly, but liked the square shape of them. I had two dozen of them. This is just one of the two sets that I made. 

Now that they are finished, I fully intend to keep one set and gift the other.

They are absolutely charming and a perfect little size. The fact they come in a set of a dozen is a bonus!

I had such a good time making these. In fact, I would be making more, but I completely ran out of Tiger Tail and crimp beads. 

I recommend this as a quick project. The investment is minimal. The learning curve is less than five minutes. 

They are as close to immediate gratification as one can get.

At the moment, I have them packaged for safety; however, I plan to pick up some of these little glass bottles and round containers to gift them. 



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