A trip to the bead store
I went to the bead store yesterday. A trip to the bead store (or JoAnn's, or Michael's) invariably results in new beads or other materials for stitch markers. Do I need new stitch markers? I do not.
This, however, is much more than a stitch marker. It is an adjustable pattern row counter, seen here in the 6-row pattern repeat version. I started using it last night, and I love it.
In my first attempt at stitch markers, I made a two-row pattern row counter. Yes, I do sometimes have trouble counting to two rows, why? C'mon, most of my knitting is done while multi-tasking in some way -- listening to an audiobook or podcast, watching TV, watching soccer, etc. Isn't yours?
I've been using the two-row counter for toes of socks and such, and I actually find it very helpful. It wasn't helping me, though, with my Sonnet sleeve, which needs increases every 6 rows. I was ending up with somewhat random increases, and hoping they would average out properly. Well, that's no way to run a railroad, as the saying goes.
Enter the 6-row counter. As before, the idea is that on every round I move my needle down into the next loop closer to the bead, until I got to the loop closest to the bead. When the marker came around again, I knew it was time to increase again, and to move the needle up into the first loop again. For me, this works like a dream.
And to steal yet another idea from Turtlegirl's blog, this one is adjustable for different numbers of rows. Genius! One bead, one head pin, six split rings and six lobster claw clasps, and I have a 6-row counter. In fact, I should have made this with only five lobster claw clasps -- I attached the bead to a lobster claw and could have attached it straight to the split ring. This way, however, it can do double-duty as a row marker if I want it to.
If I need fewer rows for my pattern repeat, I remove some loops. I can add more just as easily.
While I was at it, I tried various other types of stitch and row markers:
The marker from my first batch is there for comparison, and the Clover openable marker is there for scale.
They are: two more two-row (but now adjustable!) row markers made with head pins, a single marker made with bead wire, a crimp bead and a split ring, and then one of my first batch of markers. You can see that I made the same
mistake design feature with the one on the far left that I did with the 6-row one. The lowest lobster claw clasp is not necessary, unless I want to use it for a row marker (the kind you attach to a stitch instead of hanging on the needles).
The trick with the lobster claw clasps and split rings can make any of your existing stitch markers into row counters. I bought packs of 25 of each for about $13.
Thank you, Turtlegirl! Check out her Etsy shop for more genius creations.