In teaching crocheting over the last few decades I have found that many crocheters are unaware of the advantages of using stitch markers when crocheting.  However by the end of my twelve weeks of the beginning class, they all leave enlighten and leave having a new appreciation for this small tools.

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First I would like to point out that even though there are many variations and styles of stitch markers there are basically only two types; closed and open.  

And yes I am sure you are aware of the fact that a bobby pin, paper clip, safety pin etc.  I prefer the ease of the yarn stitch markers.  Not that I have never use the above mentioned items, I have.  A matter of fact, I can remember once when using a safety pin and my yarn got caught in the small circle of the pin.  It took me about ten minutes to get my yarn out, that was the day I decided to go out and purchase some stitch markers.  It was love at first use, and I never went back.  Not convinced yet, let’s go over the uses for stitch markers.

To mark the beginning of a row:  some people have trouble recognizing the first and last stitch of a row, especially when you are new in crocheting.  This trick works without fail.  Place a stitch marker after completing your first stitch of a new row.  Then when you have completed that row and are ending the second, the stitch markers in remind you where your last stitch is. All you have to do is move it up with each new row.

When crocheting in rounds:  With me crocheting in rounds is when I usally have the most trouble seeing where one row ends and another begins.  I always place a stitch marker in the last stitch of every row, and just move it up as I go.  This helps me to know when I am begining each new row.

They can be used to mark a certain number of stitches: for example when I crochet a long chain, I can mark every 25 stitches to help me know when I reaching 221 more easily.  Or when I am crochet an afghan for example, I mark every so many stitches just so I can quickly count to make sure I have added or lost a stitch along the way.  Stitch markers can also be used for marking rows.

When I am crocheting my edging:  I will mark my first stitch with an orange stitch marker, then each of the next three corners with a blue ones.  This way I know where each of my corners are and which one was where I started.

To use to mark when to join:  When I am joining motifs, I will mark where each new one joins.  I will use blues ones for the where I join on the bottom and orange for where I join on the side.  This helps to ensure a successful and pleasant crocheting experience.

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To use to know when it is time to increase or decrease a row.  

A stitch marker is very helpful to mark where to repeat a pattern.  This is very useful exspecially if you have to change colors.  Wheather I am changing colors or not, I always mark the end of a repeat, so at a glace I can see where I am in the next one.

In the simplest term they are used  to mark a reference point, any reference point in your crocheting that you need have pointed out to you.  They are like the post em of the crocheting world.  There to remind you to do a cerntain action.

Stitch markers come in many shapes and sizes, the ones above are the ones I use.  However I found (below) “HiyaHiya Yarn Ball Stitch Markers “  (Multicolored) that I quickly added to my crochet tool wish list.  They are just too cute for me pass over.  What are some of the ones you have seen that you hoping to buy one day?

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If you are shopping for stitch markers, I would advise you to have at least two colors, as the they can be used to different purposes.  For example:  as mention above I always use an orange stitch marker to mark the begining stitch when needed.  

I hope this have opened your eyes to the just the start of the possibliets of using stitch markers in your crocheting adventures.  What you favorite ways to use your stitch markers, please share and help others discovers them at the same time.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.