Which Stitch Markers Are Best

When I first took up crochet I didn't have any stitch markers, I didn't even know stitch markers existed. It wasn't long before I knew about them and I learnt the value of using stitch markers, aka stitch savers. That first frustrating experience of when a project accidentally unravels because there's nothing holding onto the stitch to stop it coming undone or your crochet circle grows in ways it isn't supposed to and the worth of this tiny tool became obvious very quickly. But there are so many styles of stitch marker to choose from, locking, circle, coil-less, plastic, safety pins, thread, 3D printed... does it really make a difference which one you use? Is it just how pretty they are? I walk you through a dozen different stitch markers from items you have lying around your home to the fancy artisan styles. I share with you what features to look for and those that don't really hold up to the task.

Lace Pillow - first attempt (image heavy post)

template
To make my roller pillow I started with the cardboard core that some bamboo yarn had come wrapped around and used that as the basis for my template.



I got the proportions right using some grid paper taking care to make sure the diameter of the pillow would work with my pillow stand.

pillow stand ends
 with calico glued to one side

I then cut out the cardboard using the template for the ends of the pillow and pillow stand.

seam allowance on fabric
Using spray on glue I stuck the cardboard to some calico and cut around each piece leaving enough fabric for a seam allowance.

wrapping the calico around the
cardboard core used for the template

I measured the fabric for the roller cushion by wrapping the fabric around the cardboard core, marked it with a pin and cut it to size.

fancy stitch that stops fraying

For drawstring casings I turned the ends over and stitched. I used a fancy honeycomb stitch my machine has which is supposed to be used for stretch fabrics or something, but has the nifty benefit of stopping fraying and looks really pretty with a row of straight stitching either side.


drawstring

cardboard circle inserted 

Tie up one end and insert a cardboard circle with the fabric side facing out.

filling the tube with sand

Time to add the sand. When it's nearly full gently bounce it up and down on a hard surface to get the sand to settle, then keep adding more and tamping until it's just full enough to put your other circle in and close the drawstring.

completed roller cushion

One roller pillow, cushion, thingy! I planned to make a pretty cover for it.

the cardboard ends for a cardboard stand

Then I had plans to sew fabric around the stand ends and fill that with sand too to make a shaped stand, but you know what they say about 'the best laid plans of mice and men', so I've still got my 2 bits of cardboard with fabric glued to them.

empty box

What I did instead was take a box, it had one of those hinged lids, so I cut the lid off.

foam bits and sand filled square for added weight 

I then filled the box with a heap of ethafoam foam bits and added a sand filled calico square in the bottom. The sand square did two things, it filled a hole made from a funny shaped bit of foam and added weight.

positioning the foam and weight

squeezing in the last bits of foam

another layer of foam and a
double layer of cotton flannelette quilted together 

Over the top of all of that I added a small sheet of foam (the type you find in mattresses and cushions and stuff) over the top to smooth out the surface. I held it in position with a pin in each corner.

I had some flannelette left over from an earlier project that was a double layer of fabric which I'd quilted together using a zig-zag stitch. I made a 'fitted sheet' cover for the box with the flannelette.


fitted flannel cover

 The final layer was a pretty cover made from a dress that never fit me properly.

first lace pillow attempt

black vulgar-luer (veluer) on the back, foam on the front

I wanted to add the section that the bobbins rest on. So I glued some scrap upholstery fabric to the inside of the box lid and some foam to the outside.

covering the foam

Scrap, damask over the foam, also glued on.

ramp thiny leaning against the box edge.

Finished with a final layer of the dress fabric, cut the edges nice and square and I had plans to trim the edges with bias binding, which hasn't happened yet. One edge is supposed to sit on the box attached with pins, the pins allow you to remove the ramp thingy when you don't want to use it. Which you can kinda see here in the picture.

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