Markers and holders

Knitters use a variety of tools to mark particular spots in their knitting and to hold live stitches. (Live stitches are stitches that you aren't working with at the moment, but that you'll do more with later.) Shoulder stitches that will later be bound off with the three-needle bind-off or the stitches for half the neckline after you've divided the left and right neck are common examples of stitches that you may want to put on a holder. Check out these marking and holding tools, which are shown in Figure 1-4:

1 Markers: Knitters sometimes need to leave a mark to note a stopping or starting place. There are several different sorts of markers for this purpose. If you want an easy way to spot where you started your armhole decreases, for instance, you place a marker on a stitch in that row and leave it there so you can measure from it later. Markers used for this purpose are often called split ring markers or locking markers. More often, though, you'll use markers on your needle. Markers used in this way are sometimes called ring markers. These are placed on the needle between stitches and slipped from needle to needle whenever you encounter them.

1 Safety pins: You can use safety pins to remind yourself which is the right side of your work by pinning them through the fabric on that side (this is particularly helpful when your stitch pattern looks the same on both sides). This way, when the instructions read "Decrease at each end every right-side row" you know that if you can see the safety pin, it's a decrease row.

Safety pins are also helpful when you notice a dropped stitch way down in your work. If you can't fix it (or you can't fix it at the moment), put the dropped stitch onto the safety pin and pin it to its neighbor. The stitch will be safe until help arrives. Coilless pins are particularly nice because the yarn doesn't catch on them and they can hold more stitches.

Figure 1-4:

Tools to help you mark and hold your stitches.

Figure 1-4:

Tools to help you mark and hold your stitches.

  1. Stitch markers
  2. Stitch holders
  3. Safety pins
  4. Stitch markers
  5. Stitch holders
  6. Safety pins

1 Holders: A safety pin is a great stitch holder for a few stitches, but if you have more than you can fit on your pin, you need to resort to something else. In this case, that something else is a stitch holder. The old-school models look like kilt pins. Newer varieties look a bit like hair curlers and have the advantage of opening on each end so you can access the stitches from either side. A spare needle or length of smooth scrap yarn can also hold your stitches for you.

Whatever kind of holder you use, slip the specified stitches to the holder purlwise. When it's time to address these stitches again, slip them back to the working needle, again slipping purlwise so the stitches aren't twisted.

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