If you’ve been following me on Instagram you may have noticed I’m going a little gaga over knitting. It’s a craft I never thought I’d enjoy but now that I’ve really given it a chance, I’m obsessed. I think I’m enjoying the challenge of learning new techniques with every project, and also it has a methodical, meditative aspect that I’ve been craving at the moment.
So far it’s been a steep but splendid learning curve full of new delightful discoveries like stitch markers.
Even though I was aware of them in crochet, I never had a need for them, but with knitting it’s different. Stitch markers are quite important to mark things like the beginning of rounds, increases and decreases and other stuff I probably don’t know about yet, they are also like a bit of jewellery for your knitting and many knitters choose ones that reflect their personality.
Until today I was improvising with paper clips, safety pins and little scraps of yarn, they all did the job but I wanted something prettier. So today I visited Beadil, a local bead workshop and made my own. If you are a jewellery maker you will probably have most of the supplies required but if you don’t, ask some of your crafty friends, they may have jewellery making supplies stashed away that you can borrow. Many years ago I used to help my sister make earrings, so was quite familiar with the kinds of bits that I needed.
Of course you can choose any beads that catch your eye. I’ve made a rainbow of stitch markers to brighten my knitting. If you have a friend that knits, stitch markers would make a great gift.
You will need:
– Assorted beads
– Tiger Tail Wire
– Crimp Beads
– Wire cutter pliers
– Flat nosed pliers
You can choose any beads or bead combination you like but keep them to about 1cm (1/2″) max, it’s handy if they have some weight too them.
These are crimp beads. They are a tiny metal bead that can be squashed over a wire to lock other beads in place.
Tiger tail wire is made up of strands of very fine steel twisted together. These multistrands are then coated with plastic or nylon, which creates a tough and resilient beading wire. You can get them in assorted colours, or just silver. It holds it’s shape when bent so it won’t get tangled in your knitting.
1. Cut about 3″ of tiger tail wire off the roll.
2. Gently fold it in half (don’t crease the top) and thread beads onto both wire ends in this order: crimp bead, decorative beads, crimp bead.
3. Adjust loop to desired size (make larger if you like to use large needles and vice versa) and firmly crimp top and bottom beads with flat nose pliers. Make sure the crimp beads are butted up against the decorative beads to stop them sliding about.
This is what the crimp beads look like when that are squished.
4. Cut of excess wire as close to the crimp bead as possible to avoid snagging on knitting.
Now it’s time to make some more.
These are fun but a bit fiddly to make, so it’s worth having a session and making a whole heap. If you have a group of knitting friends you may want to split the cost of supplies and have a stitch marker making party!
Now I’m off to knit a little more, on my needles is a summer cotton top for Emma.
You can check out my knitting progress on Ravelry, I’ve been posting my projects and notes under the name MyPoppet.